The American Idol Final 2 perform ONE LAST TIME for YOUR votes. Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene will perform 3 songs. One they choose, their winners single and Simon Fuller’s Choice. We’ll be live blogging the performances right here!
The judges and Randy Jackson will perform tomorrow night. Also, it was announced that the winner’s album will be released on August 12, with pre-sales beginning tomorrow. I’ll believe that release date when I see it!
The best performances of the night were Jena Irene’s reprise of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and Caleb Johnson’s “Dream On.” Having said that, Caleb had a more consistent night of performances. Jena faltered on “Dog Days” but luckily, that was her first song. I still think Caleb has this. But I was totally wrong about tonight’s The Voice results. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about here either!
Because despite Jena’s inconsistent run on Idol, she’s the more interesting of the finalists. Wind Caleb up and he can go go go, but it’s glorified karaoke. Sometimes, extremely good. He’s had some inspired song choices, like when he covered Adele’s “Skyfall” and his “Maybe I’m Amazed” proved he could cover ballads. He totally nailed that note on “Dream On” tonight, but ultimately, there’s no originality. He’s a performer. Not an artist.
Jena has had some failures, but she’s never had a performance that felt false or copycat. She never bores me. When she’s in control of her instrument, her vocals are powerful and unique–her original songs fantastic. She’s only 17 and has so much potential. For all of those reasons, I think she should be the next American Idol.
Tonight felt a little rushed, as final performance night usually does. Still too many camera cutaways to the judges! Per seems to be in love with that technique, so I doubt it will change.
Too bad Kelly Clarkson herself couldn’t drop by to sing “Breakaway.” She’s at home eating pickles, waiting for her baby to arrive. And tweeting about The Voice…
We’re coming LIVE to you from the NOKIA THEATER IN LA! YAY. 7,000 fans are in the audience. Here come the judges. Could Jlo’s dress be any tighter? I DON’T THINK SO. Harry looks VERY VERY VERY handsome in a tux.
Ryan calls the competition the “battle of the Wild card vs the Wild Child” or “as Harry and Keith would say, it’s The Sleeper vs The Rock and Roll Viking.” They make Caleb sound a lot more fun. That’s not necessarily so.
The final two take the stage. “YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!” says Caleb. Jena never thought she’d be in front of all “these amazing people.”
In a video package, Jena fake asks Caleb out to prom. The two show up all romantic to a fake prom. And then, Jena realizes that Caleb is her rival and THINGS GET A LITTLE UGLY.
Simon Fuller’s pick is first. There he is in the audience! Contestant’s Favorite Performance is second and the Winners Single is last.
Jena won the coin toss and yes she made the “bold move” to perform first.
Simon Fuller’s Choice
Jena Irene – Dog Days are Over by Florence + the Machine – This is a really good song choice for Jena. But she does that gurgly swallowing her words thing she does sometimes. She needs to learn how to control her breath while she’s running all over the stage. The solution would be to calm down a little and not let adrenaline take over, at least until she learns how to chew gum and walk at the same time, so to speak. Nevertheless, a very energetic and uplifting performance from Jena. Keith compliments Simon on the song choice. He loved the way she owned the stage. A sign of a real pro, he says. There were issues with breath control, but he understands that it’s adrenaline. Jlo pretty much agrees with Keith. Harry says she has great internal tempo. Great choice, great job, he says. – Call 1 855 4 IDOL 08 (1 855 443 6508) or Text 08 to 83676
Caleb Johnson – Dream On by Aerosmith – LOL FOREVER AT THIS SONG CHOICE. Caleb has a bruised vocal cord, and Fuller gives him one of the hardest songs in rock n roll to pull off. But after a shaky, somewhat pitchy start, Caleb pulls it off. There’s a ton of reverb on that mic helping get the job done. But good on Caleb. He nails that last note. No Gokey scream here. The crowd goes wild. Jlo says Caleb SEIZED THE MOMENT with the right song. Harry warns him to watch his lower register. Great job, though. Keith loved the way he arced the entire song. “Fantastic man, Great job.” To Simon “You should start a music show…Oh wait YOU DID.” Call 1 855 4 IDOL 13(1 855 443 6513) or Text 13 to 83676
The Final Two Favorite Performances
Ryan is in the red room with the finalists. Questions for the duo. What do they do to blow off steam? We make fun of each other, they say. Jena mock sings, “I love biscuits and gravy.” And Caleb mimicks, “Everybody put those glowsticks up”
Jena Irene – I Can’t Help Falling in Love – I wish she had chosen another song. There’s no way she could know that Christina Grimmie would perform this song and steal some of her thunder. Jena’s version is miles better. But, because perception– with Christina sitting atop iTunes with the song. The performance is just as lovely and moving as it was the first time. Jena, behind the piano, giving us tender moments with feeling and passion–does it get better? Just gorgeous. Harry admires the way she can put her influences aside and do her own thing. “Absolutely beautiful” he says. Keith says “You inspired SOMEBODY ELSE to do it.” He calls her a leader. HEE. Love the bit of Voice shade there. Jlo says, “Your soul comes though…you are so incredibly talented…you make me feel things.” Jlo notes how fierce the battle is tonight.
Caleb Johnson – Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney – And Caleb chooses HIS finest ballad for his personal choice. Vocally, he’s doing so much better this week. If he still has issues, I’m not hearing them. He’s hitting all those money notes just fine. And that’s what counts. A beautiful version of this song. Keith warns him not to get caught up in gymnastics. It loses the emotion. Jennifer felt him holding back. It needed more heart and less of the “powerful thing that you do.’ Harry calls them two heavyweight fighters.” I dunno. He sang it pretty much the same the first time, and the judges raved…
All three judges call the first round for Caleb. Harry gives the second round to Jena. Keith and Jennifer call the second round a tie.
If Jena wins, she’d be the first Wildcard to do so.
Jena Irene – We Are One – I don’t love this song. But it’s up Jena’s alley, and she’s doing a great job singing it. This time, she’s not overcome with nervous energy. She’s hitting the notes and working the stage and THANKING AMERICA. I feel like I’m at a Jena Irene concert. What IS great about this tune–it is a glimpse into the type of relevant artist Jena could be. They don’t have much time to comment, but basically, the judges love the live version of the song.
Caleb Johnson – As Long As You Love Me – Not really crazy about this song, either, although I LOVE Justin Hawkins. This song is straight outta the 80s. I’m old, but have no interest in songs that are derivative (inspired is a different story) of the past. Having said all that, the older demo will love this. His vocals have completely recovered. He’s hitting those crazy notes, working the stage, putting on a major show. Smoke and mic slinging. It’s just what the audience loves. Harry calls Caleb Joe Frazier, Jena Muhammad Ali. “This is the puncher vs a boxer…all I can say is Good Luck America.” Keith is DYING to see what happens tomorrow night. “It’s been an amazing night. Congrats,” he says. Jlo felt Caleb put it all out there. “It’s going to be a tough night for everybody.”
Jena and Caleb sing “Breakaway” while a recap of the season runs on the screen behind them. Oy. This is pretty terrible. Unfortunate that it’s the last thing we hear from them. Jena is especially terrible. The Top 13 joining them on stage does not improve the song.
The text and phone voting window for this year’s finale is only two hours. But you can vote via other methods until 10 am PT tomorrow.