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.


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.


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.


‘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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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‘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.


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

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


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


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.)


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

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…


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.


American Idol Season 13 Top 4 with host Ryan Seacrest

A 10-city Bus Tour schedule can also be seen at

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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.


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

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


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!:)”


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 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.”


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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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 and Malaya’s Facebook page.

Fil-Am Malaya journeys to ‘AI XIII’ Top 8 via ‘The Long And Winding Road’

The road to the finals is indeed long and winding. And Filipino-American Malaya Watson journeyed to the Circle of 8 with her rendition of the BeatlesThe Long And Winding Road on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila).



Malaya Watson performs ‘The Long And Winding Road’ by the Beatles

Theme for the week was I’m With The Band, the goal of which was to act as front man for a real band live onstage.

Judge Jennifer Lopez said Malaya’s voice stands out above everybody else and sounds like the sweetness of young Michael Jackson. Keith Urban said she “chose a performance that shows us your voice” and “that performance showed us your spirit.” Harry Connick Jr. meanwhile said he’s giving her “the awards for consistently improving.”


Majesty Rose York with host Ryan Seacrest after her performance on Wednesday

In the announcement of who’s going home on Thursday night (Friday morning in Manila), voted off was Majesty Rose York, who performed Shake It Out by Florence + The Machines. It was Majesty’s third time to be in the Bottom 3. Others in the Bottom 3 were CJ Harris and Sam Woolf.


American Idol Season 13 Top 9

First to be declared safe were Jena Irene and Malaya.

To get the Judges Save, York performed Pharrell WilliamsHappy. Keith Urban said it was the hardest deliberation they had, but no, it’s not unanimous, so the 21-year-old pre-school teacher from Goldsboro, North Carolina goes home.


Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.

The Fil-Am teener from Southfield, Michigan esteems Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles as her biggest influences, as she sings and plays the piano (aside from tuba) like those two musical greats.

See Malaya’s performance here

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