It was perhaps THE most suspenseful non-finale results show in American Idol history. Top three contestants Alex Preston, Jena Irene, and Caleb Johnson — all very worthy contenders, and all very different types of singers — awaited their fate, and really, it could have gone any which way.
Ugh. Couldn't Idol just be like The Voice, and have a three-person final showdown? Couldn't the Judges' Save be reinstated this week, and used on one of these talented kids?
Well, no. That didn't happen. So… dim the lights… the top two competing next week will be…
JENA IRENE and CALEB JOHNSON!
A battle between these two powerhouses will make for a very dynamic finale. (Ryan Seacrest announced that Caleb will duet with KISS and Jena with Paramore, too.) And they're both unlike any previous champion. While Caleb represents an archetype very popular among loyal Idol viewers — the Adam Lambert/James Durbin-esque rock 'n' roll showboater — a true theatrical headbanger has never actually won this show. And Jena is simply uncategorizable: a pop/alt/rock/EDM diva, equally capable of belting a glowstick-waving Zedd partystarter or a weepy, Regina Spektorian piano ballad.
Caleb auditioned three times to make it this far. Jena was a Wild Card, and is the first Wild Card to get to the finale since Season 2's Clay Aiken. Whoever wins next week, Idol history will be made.
But that being said, after all the Season 13 confetti is swept away, and the top three all release music, it is humble, quirky muso Alex's album that I'll be most likely to buy. And I'm already looking forward to seeing Alex team up with his idol, Jason Mraz, on next week's finale.
See you next week. Until then, Parker out.