Rockin’ Caleb Johnson crowned American Idol 2014; Fil-Am Malaya Watson privileged to sing ‘All Of Me’ with no less than John Legend

A male rocker, not the usual country singer WGWG (White Guy With Guitar), wins American Idol XIII: Caleb Johnson of Asheville, North Carolina!

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Caleb Johnson sings his debut single as ‘American Idol XIII’ winner

The 23-year-old former lead vocalist of a rock ’n roll band won over 17-year-old Jena Irene Asciutto of Farmington Hills, Michigan when the votes were tallied and announced Wednesday at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California.

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‘American Idol XIII’ Top 2 Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson sing together on grand finale night

(Click link for the announcement of Caleb as American Idol 2014 winner http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1vzny1_final-results-american-idol-winner-crowned-idol-13_people)

Both finalists sang three songs each on Tuesday – American Idol Executive Producer Simon Fuller’s Choice, Contestant’s Idol Performance Choice and their debut single.

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Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.

Caleb’s triumph is attributed to his strong performances of Dream On by former American Idol judge Steve Tyler of Aerosmith, Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney of the Beatles and As Long As You Love Me written by Justin Hawkins.

As Long As You Love Me is available on iTunes http://bit.ly/1nXVcq8

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Jena Irene with her favorite Paramore

Jena Irene, on the other hand, performed Dog Days Are Over by Florence And The Machine, Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love and We Are One written by Mitch Allan, Anne Preven and Felicia Barton.

Jena’s We Are One is available on iTunes http://bit.ly/1nXUTvB

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Caleb with the legendary KISS

The electric two-hour grand finale started with the video of Caleb and Jena’s auditions, then they came out on stage performing together.

The judges – Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. – along with former judge-turned-mentor Randy Jackson also performed.

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Ryan Seacrest with Richard Marx on the piano

(Click link to watch their performance http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1vzmg8_hd-jlo-keith-harry-randy-medley-american-idol-13-finale_people)

Even host Ryan Seacrest had his own singing moment with the legendary Richard Marx for Right Here Waiting.

Unlike in previous seasons, Ryan did not disclose the number of votes cast and the difference between the winner and the runner-up this time.

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The judges in a knockout performance

Other performances on grand finale night were third placer Alex Preston with Jason Mraz singing Love Someone together, Demi Lovato with the Idol girls, Aloe Blacc with the Idol boys, Sam Woolf with American Idol 2012 winner Phillip Phillips, Jennifer Lopez doing solo for her new single First Love, John Legend with Malaya Watson, Jena with Paramore and Caleb with KISS.

(Click link to watch John Legend’s performance of You And I, after which he sings his monster hit All Of Me with Malaya Watson http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1vzgvs_malaya-watson-john-legend-all-of-me-american-idol-13-finale_music)

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John Legend raises the hand of Malaya Watson, who’s sporting a new look sans glasses and braces, after singing ‘All Of Me’

Soon after his proclamation, Caleb posted on Facebook expressing his gratitude to those who have been with him in this journey:

“Wow what an incredible journey thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart this is absolutely amazing I am at loss for words right now !!! Thank you to all the amazing people who watched voted and supported me throughout this show !! I cannot wait to release some original soulful heavy rock n roll music for you in the coming months !!! God bless each and everyone of you !!!:) What an honor and privilege ! Thank you all so much !”

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Friends forever: Caleb’s going to be Jena’s prom escort

The new American Idol’s self-titled debut album will be released on August 12, 2014. His single is currently #162 on iTunes Top 200.

Meanwhile, the next season is reportedly going to be a one-night two-hour show instead of one-hour two-night program. It’s still going to be two nights during the audition episodes, though. Ryan Seacrest signed up for another year of hosting and the judges of Season 13 will be the same for Season 14.

Photos from www.americanidol.com

See related stories: Magnificent Jena Irene, Rockin’ Caleb Johnson to battle it out in ‘American Idol XIII’ Finale https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/magnificent-jena-irene-rockin-caleb-johnson-to-battle-it-out-in-american-idol-xiii-finale/ and Retards comment puts Caleb Johnson’s fate in the balance https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/retards-comment-puts-caleb-johnsons-ai-xiii-fate-in-the-balance/

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Magnificent Jena Irene, Rockin’ Caleb Johnson to battle it out in ‘American Idol XIII’ finale

Like the others before them, the Hometown Visit was emotional and enthralling for the American Idol XIII Top 3: Jena Irene Asciutto in Farmington Hills, Michigan; Caleb Johnson in Asheville, North Carolina; and Alex Preston in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire.

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Ryan brought Jena on stage to watch the playback from her hometown visit the weekend before 

Thousands of relatives, friends, supporters and townmates came to welcome their heroes and watch them perform live before their very eyes after more than three months of watching their journey to Idol-hood on national TV.

The mayors and governors of their hometown and home state declared the day of their arrival as their Day. There is now in history a Jena Irene Asciutto Day, Caleb Johnson Day and Alex Preston Day.

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Caleb, with his big little brother on stage next to him, got the rather incredible news that he’ll be performing with the legendary band KISS at the finale! While Caleb looked thrilled at the news, his little brother was even more excited!

It is also in front of their townmates that they told the audience the song that the judges – Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. – chose for them in the sing-off Wednesday. The Top 3 also learned what was the Hometown Choice for them.

The first round was mentor Randy Jackson’s Choice, which proved to be just a warm-up for all three: Caleb for Never Tear Us Apart by INXS, Alex for Pompeii (he played the drums while singing) by Bastille, and Jena for Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia.

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‘American Idol XIII’ judges – Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.

The second round – Judges Choice – was off for Caleb who was sick (his doctor was even called by host Ryan Seacrest on stage to make sure that the new rockstar can finish his repertoire until the end of the show) with his rendition of Imagine DragonsDemons. Alex was praised for his rendition of Stay by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko. Jena sailed through with Heart Attack by Demi Lovato.

The third and final round – Hometown Choice – put Caleb back in the running with Dazed And Confused by Led Zeppelin. He performed like it was his own concert, bringing the audience and JLo and Keith to their feet. Harry was his usual self, did not budge even when JLo tried to snatch him from his chair for standing ovation.

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Host Ryan Seacrest with the Top 3 before the announcement who’s going to be in the finale

Alex’s performance of One Direction’s Story Of My Life pulled him down from his performance in the second round. His rendition during Top 10 was even better.

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Jena gets the first ticket to the finale

Jena reprised Creep by Radiohead, which she sang during Top 7. Her rendition ended the show with a big bang – with Keith saying it was terrific, JLo calling it magnificent, and Harry declaring it as brilliant.

Right after his performance of Stay, Alex seemed to have the premonition that he won’t be in the finals as he said he gave his all as it could be his last performance in the sing-off.

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Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery performs his new single, Feelin’ It

On Thursday, after the votes were in, the only girl of the three, Jena Irene, was the first to be called by Ryan to be in the finale. And to battle it out with her is Caleb Johnson.

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Alex Preston sings goodbye as Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson watch him in the background

Alex watched his American Idol journey as played on the screen, then he sang his final song, self-composed Fairytale. There were no tears, just tight hugs from Jena and Caleb, who told him “I love you” a number of times.

The best thing for Alex is that he will be performing with his idol Jason Mraz on Finale Night. Jena will be performing with Paramore and Caleb with KISS.

The finale next week will be on Tuesday (8 p.m. CST) with the announcement on Wednesday (7 p.m. CST), instead of Wednesday and Thursday.

Photos from http://www.americanidol.com

‘American Idol XIII’ Top 3 revealed: Jena, Caleb, Alex in anticipated Hometown Visit

Quite expectedly, as she’s been in the bottom several times, Jessica Meuse sang her final song on American Idol Season 13 Thursday, missing out the Hometown Visit, which she said she wanted so badly.

First revealed by host Ryan Seacrest to qualify for the Top 3 was Jena Irene, considered by many as the strongest contender since Top 10 and who’ve had no issues either with her fans and supporters or fellow contestants.

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Jena Irene Asciutto

The 17-year-old senior high school student (confirmed to graduate in June) from Farmington Hills, Michigan gave the strongest performance of the night on Wednesday with her stylized rendition of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love which she dedicated to her mom in time of Mother’s Day.

(Click link to view Jena’s performance that had Jennifer Lopez go up and kiss her after and which made Keith Urban comment Jena as musical platypus http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1tij97_jena-irene-can-t-help-falling-in-love-american-idol-top-4_music)

Former judge turned mentor Randy Jackson said it was “one of the greatest performances in Idol history.”

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Caleb Johnson (Asheville, North Carolina) was the second to qualify.

Amid brouhaha on his retards comment in an interview after the Top 4 were named, Caleb’s consistent performances on the show and continued support from viewers despite all the issues has made him a shoo-in for the finale.

(See related story Retards comment puts Caleb Johnson’s fate in the balance https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/retards-comment-puts-caleb-johnsons-ai-xiii-fate-in-the-balance/)

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Alex Preston (Mont Vernon, New Hampshire) was the other contestant left with Jessica to fight it out for the last slot for the awaited Hometown Visit. His face showed a mixture of emotions when it was confirmed he’s in the Top 3—that of relief and maybe sadness for friend Jess. (They’ve been partnered in their last sojourn around town to go to places that have what they missed most.)

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Jessica Meuse sings goodbye

Jessica held back her tears as she was given to own the stage once again. Unlike CJ Harris who was not able to finish his final song, the talented singer-songwriter from Slapout, Alabama was able to finish her original song, Blue Eyed Lie, to the last note.

The Top 3 then surrounded her as the judges also came up to the stage to hug her goodbye.

(As Fox does not allow access of its contents outside USA, credit goes to dailymotion for posting clips where internet access is available anywhere in the world http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1tnx5f_one-singing-says-goodbye-american-idol-top-4-results_music)

Soon after her elimination, Jessica posted this message for her supporters on Twitter:

Jess Meuse @JessMeuse

I ain’t done yet!!!! Thank you all with all my heart and soul for being the amazing people you are…

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Jennifer Lopez reacts to Jena’s mesmerizing performance as Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. smile with approval

Auditions for American Idol Season 14 in five key cities are scheduled as follows: Minneapolis June 18, New Orleans June 25, New York July 23, Nashville July 30 and San Francisco September 29.

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American Idol Season 13 Top 4 with host Ryan Seacrest

A 10-city Bus Tour schedule can also be seen at www.americanidol.com/auditions

Photos from www.americanidol.com

Retards comment puts Caleb Johnson’s fate in the balance

After last week’s performance, American Idol XIII resident rocker Caleb Johnson went down from being the strongest contender to the most voted contestant to go home this week.

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Caleb Johnson in different moods

It’s not because of his not-so-sterling rendition of Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing but his remarks of fans who spam his Twitter feeds of songs they want him to perform.

The worst thing is, which offended not a few of his supporters, he called those who flood requests as retards.

Click link to view interview http://youtu.be/X0kaS90CBqA

Although the tone of Caleb’s voice was not on the warpath, viewers were astonished at what came out of his mouth.

“Twitter gives access to a bunch of retards to talk to me. I don’t really enjoy having to see somebody telling me what song I have to sing. I think at this point of the competition, I can pick and choose my own songs and represent me. I don’t need 10,000 people saying, ‘You should sing this, you should sing that. Listen to me!’ Fortunately, guys, I’m going to listen to myself, whether you like it or not.”

Viewers took to Twitter to express their disgust.

“I don’t appreciate being called a retard. I was a fan who occasionally wanted you to sing certain songs. WAS. Bye” – Kyle Brooks.

“Huge fan Caleb but having an autistic brother I lost a lot of respect for you with the ‘retard’ comment. Not cool, bro.” – Sophia Rose Hagen

“as much as it pains me, I’m unfollowing @CalebPJohnson on twitter. I’ll need an apology before I debase myself enough to keep flwing him.” – doodette

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Touted by many as the best set of judges thus far: Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr.

On May 4, Caleb apologized thru his Facebook official fan page, but not on Twitter.

“For the record that juvenile comment I made in the interview was not directed towards my fans but to the wackos that send hundreds of hate messages a day to me! You guys are amazing and I cannot thank you enough for your support. Sorry if it offended anybody it was the wrong choice of words. Also I greatly appreciate it when you guys give me song suggestions but it gets really overwhelming at the volume it comes in so please understand! Rock on!:)”

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Host Ryan Seacrest: Idol through the years

Hardcore fans defended him but others pointed out his apology was out of sync, as he called those asking him to perform songs he did not like as retards in the interview, but said on Facebook he meant it for wackos that send him hate messages.

In the idolbloglive.com American Idol Top 4 Pre-Performance Poll Monday, Caleb topped it with 29.54% as against Jena Irene 26.31%, Alex Preston 24.46% and Jessica Meuse 19.69%.

The poll is “to pick who you feel will go home BEFORE hearing the Top 4 sing on Wednesday 5/7/14.”

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Who will be American Idol 2014?

Viewers are excited who among the Top 4—Caleb, Alex, Jena or Jessica—can tug their heart strings the most with this week’s theme “Breakups and Makeups.”

Whether Caleb Johnson can sail through the finals with his candidness or that will spell doom for him will be known on Thursday.

Photos from http://www.americanidol.com

Sam Woolf leaves ‘AI XIII’ sans tears; Malaya digs having no braces

Heartthrob Sam Woolf finally leaves the American Idol XIII stage as the Judges’ Save was already used on him in Top 8.

Unlike last week when CJ Harris turned the studio into a big weeping room, the only one seen teary for Sam was Jena Irene, touted as one of the two strongest contenders, along with Caleb Johnson.

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Host Ryan Seacrest with the Top 4 huddle around Sam Woolf as he leaves ‘American Idol XIII’

CJ was not able to finish his song, Jennifer Lopez was in tears, fans were sobbing, so with the others in Top 6.

In Sam’s case, his elimination was greeted with acceptance, except maybe for Keith Urban, who signified his disapproval by his gesture. However, Keith sang along as Sam performed his final song, Imagine DragonsI’m Never Changing Who I Am.

On Wednesday (Thursday morning in Manila), the Top 5 sang two songs each chosen by America for them with the hashtag #IdolRequest. Jason Mraz mentored the contestants with surprise appearances of Ariana Grande for Sam and Zooey Deschanel for Alex.

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Mentor Jason Mraz

There was a twist in the results. The contestants themselves had the option to send home the one in the bottom immediately or send two next week instead. As it was not unanimous, Ryan Seacrest announced that when the votes were in it was Sam Woolf going home.

Sam was supposed to have been sent home ahead of Malaya Watson but was given another chance when the judges unanimously decided to keep him another week. He survived again when Dexter Roberts bade goodbye after the Fil-Am teener from Southfield, Michigan and still made it to Top 5 when CJ Harris packed his bags.

Season 13 becomes more tense with the Top 4 slugging it out who will be proclaimed American Idol 2014—resident rocker Caleb Johnson, country cool Jessica Meuse, steady Alex Preston or chanteuse Jena Irene.

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Keith Urban, who took the challenge of wearing coat and tie last week, takes a selfie with co-judges Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez

Jessica had been in the Bottom 3 once and in Bottom 2 twice. The other three have never in the bottom yet.

Generally, it is seen that Caleb and Jena will be the last two standing come finale.

Meanwhile, Malaya Watson excitedly shared her selfie Thursday smiling saying she’s really diggin’ the no braces deal.

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Malaya Watson digs having no braces

Harry Connick Jr. commented in one of the earlier episodes that Malaya made wearing glasses and braces look cool.

Now that Malaya no longer dons braces, will she be wearing contact lenses instead of glasses soon? A lot of her fans think she’d be more beautiful sans the glasses.

Early this week, Malaya welcomed questions sent thru Instagram but because of the volume she fell asleep and apologized she can no longer answer all the messages. However, she’d love to interact by mail. For those interested, you can write to her at:

Malaya Watson
PO Box #725376
Berkley, MI
48075 USA

Photos from http://www.americanidol.com and Malaya’s Facebook page.

After ‘American Idol XIII’ elimination: Fil-Am Malaya Watson sets eyes on acting; Dexter Roberts on Nashville, hunting show

Many cried or got so sad when Malaya Watson was eliminated earlier than expected. But the teener with Filipino roots from Southfield, Michigan is positive about everything. After all, she already set a record for being the youngest contestant in the 13-year history of American Idol.

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Malaya’s FB pic greeting everyone Happy Easter!

Her legions of fans and supporters will get to see her perform live in the Idol Tour after the new winner is proclaimed by the third week of May.

Malaya, who was supposed to play the tuba in her next performance had she not been eliminated, said the journey continues for her.

“I did what I wanted to do and I’m glad I came out doing what I like. Thanks, guys. You guys are the best, and just stay tuned because I’m not done. I’m not done,” she told the media after she was bumped off from the competition.

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Ryan Seacrest hugs Malaya

Her rendition of Chaka Khan’s Through The Fire in the ‘80s theme got her burned and did not deliver the needed votes to stay on. Also, since the judges already used their Save on Sam Woolf the previous week, they can no longer use it on Malaya, who was seen to have one of the competition’s biggest voices and the rawest potential of any of the Top 8.

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Malaya back in school with friends

She also added that she’s glad to be able to finish school and now considering acting—movies, TV or stage.

Since she could no longer sing a Nat King Cole classic for Harry Connick Jr. in the show, the newest AI judge reportedly told her dad, “Don’t worry about it and we will probably see you soon.”

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#ThrowALLtheWayBack ‘La Familia’ (Malaya is beside ‘lola’. Note the guys in barong)

Malaya said she hopes that Mr. Connick does as she really wanted to do that song for him, really badly.

Country singer Dexter Roberts was next to get the boot. He sang Lucky Man in the Competitor’s Choice last week but not lucky enough to stay longer. Together with him in the Bottom 2 was his duet partner, Jessica Meuse, who got an almost scathing review from the judges.

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Dexter Roberts gives his all in final performance

Teary-eyed when his co-contestants surrounded him as he sang his final song on the show, he said that his immediate plan was to get home and sleep. He will continue with his singing career and hopefully have a hunting show one day. He clarified, though, that he’s not going to hunt his Idol successors, but “turkeys, ducks and whitetails!”

Nashville is just happy to have Dexter, as he’s heading there!

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Top 6 surrounds teary-eyed Dexter Roberts

The Top 6: Jena Irene (considered the strongest contender as of last performance), Caleb Johnson (Jena’s duet partner and strongest competitor to be in the Final 2), Alex Preston (the only other contestant who has not gotten into Bottom 3 or Bottom 2), CJ Harris (already in the Bottom 3 or Bottom 2 3x), Sam Woolf (who was supposed to have been eliminated from Top 8 but was Saved), and Jessica Meuse.

Photos from http://www.americanidol.com (except Malaya‘s personal pics)

Fil-Am Malaya Watson says goodbye to ‘American Idol’ dream

After almost everyone’s lackluster ‘80s performance on Wednesday (Thursday morning in Manila), America voted who should stay as Top 7 on Idol Season 13. Not one got a standing ovation from the judges.

The contestants were mentored by American Idol Season 9 winner David Cook.

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Malaya Watson

The sad thing is, it’s Filipino-American Malaya Watson who got eliminated, as the judges already used their Save on Sam Woolf last week.

Malaya performed Chaka Khan’s Through The Fire, and honestly, it wasn’t as sterling as her other performances.

On Results Night (Thursday, Friday morning in Manila), host Ryan Seacrest called Dexter (Roberts), Caleb (Johnson), Jessica (Meuse) and CJ (Harris) to get the first in the Bottom 2.

First declared safe was Caleb, then Jessica, and Dexter. CJ waited for the other contestant in the Bottom 2.

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‘American Idol XIII’ Top 8 after ’80s performance with host Ryan Seacrest

The rest of the Top 8 were called—Sam, Malaya, Alex (Preston) and Jena (Irene)—and former judge-turned-mentor Randy Jackson said that Malaya could be in trouble with the votes as she hit some of the notes but also did not hit some.

After the review of the performances, Ryan announced Alex was safe, then Jena, and Sam, who looked surprised of the announcement.

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CJ Harris

Jackson was proven correct. Malaya then joined CJ. When the results were read, it was the 16-year-old tuba player from Southfield, Michigan who was to leave the competition.

Jennifer Lopez was teary-eyed as Malaya performed her final song, I Am Changing. The judges gave her standing ovation.

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Sam Woolf

The youngest contestant this season, as part of Top 10, Malaya will get in touch with her fans and supporters during the nationwide tour.

Filipinos may also get to see the Season 13 Idols if and when the tour includes Manila, as in Season 10, when the winner was Scotty McCreery and Fil-Am Thia Megia was in the Top 10.

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‘Who’s known for earrings like Malaya’s?’ asked Ryan

Watch the announcement and Malaya’s performance of her final song, I Am Changing, here:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ng87b_malaya-watson-leaving-the-competition-american-idol-top-7-1_music

Photos from http://www.americanidol.com