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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 13

'American Idol' crowns Caleb Johnson thirteenth-season champion over Jena Irene

By Reality TV World staff, 05/22/2014 

American Idol crowned Caleb Johnson its thirteen-season champion during Thursday night's live finale broadcast on Fox.

"This is crazy... thank you guys so much, thank you guys so much!" Caleb said after American Idol host Ryan Seacrest revealed his victory.

Caleb, a 22-year-old from Asheville, NC, defeated Jena Irene, a 17-year-old from Farmington Hills, MI after he received the majority of home viewer votes cast immediately following Tuesday night's performance broadcast which featured the Top 2 finalists each singing three songs. 

"Congratulations!" Seacrest told Caleb as the finale concluded. "Congratulations, you've got the trophy and the title! Now the fun really begins!"

"Yes.  Thank you guys so much. Thank you so much!" Caleb replied.

Caleb joins original Idol champion Kelly Clarkson, second-season winner Ruben Studdard, third-season champ Fantasia Barrino, fourth-season winner Carrie Underwood, fifth-season champ Taylor Hicks, sixth-season winner Jordin Sparks, seventh-season champ David Cook, eighth-season winner Kris Allen, ninth-season champ Lee Dewyze, tenth-season winner Scotty McCreery, eleventh-season champion Phillip Phillips, and twelfth-season winner Candice Glover as the recipient of a recording contract.

Tuesday night's American Idol performance show had featured Caleb and Jena each performing three songs -- one song selected by Idol producer Simon Fuller, a reprise of their most memorable song, and a victory song created just for them.

For Simon's pick, Jena sang "The Dog Days are Over" by Florence and the Machine while Caleb performed "Dream On" by Aerosmith. All three judges then agreed Caleb had won the first round.

"That's what you gotta do! This is the finale! This is it! You gotta come on and you gotta deliver, you gotta seize the moment, you gotta carpe diem, and that's what you just did!... You should thank Mr. Fuller for that song... because that song -- that may have did it right there," Idol judge Jennifer Lopez told Caleb after his "Dream On" performance.

Jena performed "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley for the reprise round while Caleb sang "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney and Wings.

Idol judge Keith Urban declared the second round a tie, however Jennifer and remaining judge Harry Connick Jr. both felt Jena had won it.

"What separates you from a lot of other performers is that you're able to take [your] influences, put them aside, and come up with a performance that's very unique and very, very special... It was absolutely beautiful, Jena," Harry said.

Jena sang "We Are One" for her victory song while Caleb performed "As Long As You Love Me."

"The way I look at it, you're going to sleep tonight. I know you're going to have a nice, long sleep. The way I look at it, you're like Joe Frazier and Jena is like Muhammad Ali. This is a puncher against a boxer. All I can say is, good luck America," Harry explained.

"It's insane. I'm dying to see what happens tomorrow night... It's been an amazing night, congrats," Keith added.

"You probably won't sleep tonight, but you gave it everything and you should, you should sleep well. I felt you put it all out there and you went for it and you sounded good. It's going to be a tough night for everybody [voting]," Jennifer said.

Caleb's debut album will be released August 12.

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