Welcome back. Last night was American Idol's 500th episode and tonight is our 200th blog post about American Idol on I'dol Be The Judge. That's a lot of recaps, discussion and thoughts about one particular show. Before we get to the finale and finish the season with our 201st and 202nd post we have to know which two finalists will be most featured in next week's recap.
We predicted that Alex will be eliminated tonight with Caleb and Jena getting to the finale. Alex had a pretty great night last night. His version of "Stay" and "Pompeii" were two of his best performances, but unfortunately his last song didn't really rhyme like those two did, so it didn't work out that well. Seriously though, his last performance of "Story of My Life" was pleasant, but Caleb's out of (but kind of in) control performance of "Dazed and Confused" was his last performance and might have left just enough of an impression on voters to propel him to next week's finale. We think that overall Jena had the most solid night, and her last song of "Creep" was amazing, thus, sending her into the finale next week.
This week's episode is one hour long. I didn't know this until a minute before the show started. Lot's of time to stretch things out. We'll see how it all goes down, let's get going:
Randy Jackson's Take
Jena's version of "Creep" was amazing. Whoever goes home will have just missed the finale. Doesn't know how America will vote. [Editor's Note: He really just said that "whoever goes home will miss the finale". In other news the sky is blue and 1+1=2....Jeez Randy. There are 3 people left and next week is the finale, we understand.]
Jena's Hometown Visit
Her hometown is in the state of Michigan, she lives in North Farmington. She got to fly in on a small, private plane and was greeted by her family. She gets to go on local news shows, drive in a Limo and visit a lot of fans at some local establishments. She then gets to go home and visit her grandparents and all of her family. We see her room and see her downstairs basement where she learned to play piano and continues to play, she even plays a few bars of an original song. She then gets to perform in front of thousands of people. Very cool. Ryan tells Jena that on the finale she will join forces with Paramore. Jena has been compared to and thought to be like the lead singer of Paramore, Haley Williams, so that's a nice fit.
Season 10 American Idol winner Scotty McCreery is back to perform, but not before a little catching up with some other Idol Alum. Elliot Yamin from Season 5 and Danny Gokey from Season 8 are former 3rd place finishing American Idol contestants. They give a little update on their lives now, personally and professionally. Scotty performs his new song "Feeling It". Scotty still has that deep voice but he is a far superior performer on stage than in his Idol days.
Alex's Hometown Visit
His hometown is in the state of New Hampshire, he lives in Mont Vernon to be exact. He first stops at a local radio station. He then takes a huge stretch limo home. His family is outside waiting for him. Lots of hugs and kisses go around. Family and friends welcome Alex in his own home. His high school band "Undertow" comes by to welcome Alex back as well. Right outside of Town Hall at least a thousand people are waiting for Alex. The governor calls May 14th Alex Preston Day. Alex performs in front of a couple thousand people. For some reason during the video package the camera is locked on Jennifer Lopez's reaction as we have split shot of her face and Alex's hometown visit. She is just watching the thing, she's not getting too emotional or anything. Producers probably want her to cry or something, but it's not happening, they can focus on Alex but focusing on her is absurd. Ryan tells Alex that he gets to sing with Jason Mraz next week at the finale.
Caleb's Hometown Visit
Caleb lives in the state of North Carolina, in the hometown of Asheville. He goes to the rock academy and visits a group of kids rocking out. He then visits a local radio station and shakes hands with a few fans. He then goes home and visits his brother Houston, who is a bigger version of Caleb, pretty funny. He then visits the Biltmore Estate which is a big Asheville landmark. He then gets to jam with his former band and plays in front of a big group of people. The mayor of Asheville declares May 14th, Caleb Johnson Day. He goes to visit a local pub/restaurant and performs there as well. He then participates in a parade in downtown Asheville and eventually gets pretty emotional. Ryan confirms that Caleb gets to perform with Kiss next week at the finale.
After 53 minutes of non-results it's time to get to the results.
First Into The Finale= Jena Irene
Second Into The Finale=Caleb Johnson
Going Home=Alex Preston. I think Alex could have been fine in that final spot over Caleb, but Caleb deserved to be there as well. Alex put up a good fight last night, he really did. I do think that last performance of Caleb's being so incredible and Alex's being kind of subdued in comparison was the difference maker. It was a great run for Alex. He is up for one of the better 3rd place finishers in Idol history.
Our Season Predictions
Bottom 3/2 Predictions=None Tonight. 19 of 26 This Season.
Going Home Predictions=1 of 1 Tonight. 6 of 12 This Season.
*A Jena and Caleb finale. We predicted this several weeks back, with both of them being at the top of our Power Ranking list for most of the season. Both of them deserve a spot in the finale. They have been the most consistent performers week to week. I think right now Jena has a slight edge over Caleb, but it's not by that much. If Caleb's voice is all the way back, and he gets the last spot of the night, the spot right before the main voting block begins then he can do to Jena what he did to Alex. It's not gonna be an easy win for either of them.
*In the history of American Idol there has been now 8 seasons with a male versus female finale. Seasons 2, 7 and 8 were male versus male. Seasons 3 and 12 were female versus female. The seasons in which it was like this season, male versus female were Seasons 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 and now 13. Out of those previous 7 seasons only 3 times has a woman won over a male. Those winners were Kelly Clarkson(Season 1) over Justin Guarini, Carrie Underwood(Season 4) over Bo Bice and Jordin Sparks(Season 6) over Blake Lewis. A woman hasn't beaten a man in 6 years, Jena is going to look to break that streak next week.
*I really enjoyed watching the hometown visits this year. Last year, stupidly, the Idol producers put the hometown video packages on right before the contestants performed on Performance night. Last year's hometowns were pretty darn emotional and it kind of messed with their heads. This year they smartly put the full video packages on Results night. Much better idea. Jessica Meuse also got a hometown parade and recognition from her hometown Slapout, Alabama, but they didn't show that tonight, they showed us a second or two of it yesterday.
*Programming Note: Next week's 1-hour performance show is on Tuesday night and the 2-hour results show will be on Wednesday night.
*Our favorite performance was from the now departed Alex Preston. His version of "Stay" was pretty incredible. Check it out if you haven't already:
That's it. The finale is set. Only 1 more week of American Idol and we are done until next January. Please come back here next Tuesday for our take on the Finale performances. It should be a great battle. So until then, see ya!