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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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

‘American Idol XIII’ Top 8 intact as Malaya Watson stays and Sam Woolf gets the Save

The Idols of Season 13 sang their audition pieces this week, and after the votes were in Dexter Roberts then Jena Irene were declared safe, followed by Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse and Alex Preston.

The Bottom 3 were Malaya Watson, Sam Woolf and CJ Harris.

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Top 8 intact until next week

Sam sang for the Save—only one for the whole season—and judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. were unanimous in keeping him for next week’s performance.

On Wednesday the Top 8 Idols gave a full rendition of their audition songs that impressed the judges and merited them tickets to Hollywood.

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Malaya performs ‘Ain’t No Way’ by Aretha Franklin

Before Malaya performed her piece, her father Ron said that she waited until the last two hours of the audition in Detroit to decide as she was hesitant.

She said she was only 15 then and people were telling her she has all the time in the world but her mom was persistent in saying to go for it. So she went, and as everyone knows now, the rest is history.

Keith gave Malaya a standing ovation after her performance of Aretha Franklin’s Ain’t No Way, while JLo noted how she was “blossoming into a star right before our eyes.” Harry praised her as well, and reiterated his earlier advice of working on her runs to make them all in tune.

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Sam Woolf and Malaya Watson singing ‘Lucky’

Everyone was really good—Jena’s tackling of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep with her very own version, Caleb who was told by Keith as rock Viking, CJ’s emotional performance for his father, Alex and Jessica’s original pieces, Dexter in his country style and Sam who was still timid onstage but showed his vocal prowess.

The duets also showed how the Idols collaborate with each other—Caleb and Jessica, Sam and Malaya, Jena and Alex, and CJ and Dexter.

Sam and Malaya sang Lucky by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz.

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Season 13 Idols Duets

In the rundown of support, the two are the preferred contestants by those 21 years old and younger along with CJ and Jessica whereas those over 21 prefer Jessica, CJ, Sam and Malaya, in that order.

Season 5 4th placer Chris Daughtry performed Waiting For Superman on Results Night. He reprised the look when host Ryan Seacrest said he could not forget the look on Daughtry’s face at the time of announcement he was to say to goodbye.

Next week’s theme will be the ‘80s.

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Touted as the Best Set of Judges

See Malaya perform Aretha Franklin’s Aint No Way here http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1litez_malaya-watson-top-8-american-idol-2014_music and her duet with Sam Woolf at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1lixu6_malaya-sam-top-8-american-idol-2014_music. These videos lead you to the individual performances of the rest of Top 8 and the duet numbers.

For Daughtry fans, see his performance here:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1lp2jl_daughtry-performs-waiting-for-superman-american-idol-results_music

Photos from www.americanidol.com

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).

 

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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 http://youtu.be/_ZFhFyBhzDA

Photos from http://www.americanidol.com