American Idol Top 2 Performance Recap: Two Close for Comfort? [Updated]

american-idol-top-2-performance-recap-jena-irene-we-are-one-Clocking in at a mere 60 minutes, American Idol‘s Top 2 performance night was tighter than JLo’s calf muscles. And yet still, there was plenty of time for Keith Urban to throw subtle (and delicious) shade at a rival singing competition, for our friendly finalists to deliver six very good-to-excellent performances and for Randy Jackson to, um… cradle foam cut-outs of the contestants’ voting numbers? (Remind me: Where do I sign up for that seven-figure mentoring gig?)

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Oh, sure, there were the usual annoyances: Extended shots of Jenny From the Block upsetting the flow of the actual performances (#ENOUGH — not a reference to her God-awful film of the same name); the promise that the Season 13 winner’s album would drop on August 13 (a nasty reminder of how badly Season 12 champ Candice Glover’s debut got mishandled last year); and the enduring presence of audience SwayBots.

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Ultimately, though, this was one of the more satisfying Top 2 performance nights in recent memory. Sabotage did not come riding in on the back of a fanged beast (in the form of an inscrutable song pick by show creator Simon Fuller), tearing either contestant’s dreams to shreds. Yeah, Jena and Caleb’s reprises were a little too fresh in the memory to count as Major Moments, but they were both really good anyhow. (Still, what I wouldn’t have given to hear the self-penned tracks the duo had prepared for Top 4 night — ditties that were inexplicably replaced by “Travelin Band” and “Bad Romance” at the last possible second). And neither of the “winners’ singles” resembled the month-old hunk of bread served to Kris Allen and Adam Lambert in Season 8 (never forget “No Boundaries”) or contained turns of phrase such as David Cook’s “magic rainbow” or the Season 4 religious/sexual conundrum of “Inside Your Heaven.”

Jena’s track (co-written by Felicia Barton, who suffered a felony-level robbery by not getting a shot at the Season 8 Wild Card) proved more radio-ready and hook-laden than Caleb’s, but neither one will sink to “Flying Without Wings” depths on the Idol summer tour.

In other words, the Season 13 race is too close to call. I’ll go on the record and say that Jena will and should inherit Candice’s crown and sash, but I won’t be shocked if Caleb (who got slightly more enthusiastic feedback from the judges) ekes out the win.

011680With that bit of prognostication in the books, let’s jump to letter grades for the night’s performances:

Round 1: Simon Fuller’s Pick
Jena Irene: “The Dog Days Are Over” — Grade: A- | Jena’s detractors frequently decry the teenage contestant’s mushy diction, but tonight they’ll have to find another gripe. Indeed, Jena crisply enunciated every single word of Florence + The Machine’s roaring anthem, all while working the stage and nailing her notes in a way that’s rare for reality show contestants attempting to climb Mt. Welch. The camera work, alas, didn’t match the excellence of the vocal — too many cutaways! too many panoramic angles! too many obstructions from the skirt-clad drum line! — but as long as Per Blankens is executive producer, we’ll have to learn to live with such distractions, I suppose.

Caleb Johnson: “Dream On” — Grade: B+ | I was going to complain about the massive amounts of helpful reverb Caleb received during his incredibly difficult (and quite well-executed) final third of this Aerosmith classic, but then Uncle Per went and cut to a closeup of gaping-mouthed J.Lo right in the middle of dude’s biggest glory note. (We’ll just call it a wash in terms of production help/hindrance — and be thankful there was no Danny Gokey-style horror-movie screaming.) All that aside, while Caleb definitely got the crowd fired up with his hair-shaking, mic-stand-swinging antics, I was glad Harry called him out for failing to bring the same intensity and connectedness to the song’s opening verse. The entire opening verse was peppered with flat notes, and Caleb’s face seemed to register the errors with a surprising show of nervousness. All three judges called Round 1 for Caleb, but I say “dream on.”

Round 2: Best Peformance Reprise
Jena Irene: “Can’t Help Falling in Love” — Grade: A | I’m gonna stick my neck out and say it: Jena’s version trumps The Voice‘s Christina Grimmie’s cover from Monday night — by a significant margin. The break in Jena’s voice on the opening “wise men say,” the subtle shifts in melody from Elvis’ original, the butterfly-wing delicacy of her delivery, all combined to make this the performance of the night — in spite of the fact that we’d heard her do it just two weeks prior. Keith’s remark about Jena being a “trailblazer” who’d inspired “somebody else to do it” was a hilarious bit of trash talk (without ever mentioning the dreaded ‘V’ word), but really, it was Jena — connecting so completely with a 52-year-old song — who brought the hammer down the hardest.

Caleb Johnson: “Maybe I’m Amazed” — Grade: A- | Like Jena, Caleb also chose to repeat a track he’d done just two weeks ago. And while he delivered in pretty much the same fashion as his first go-’round (and completely killed it with a falsetto flourish at the end) I didn’t disagree with Jennifer that the resident retro-rock dude could’ve infused the performance with a little more heart, and a little less of the “In the morning! In the evening! I wanna please you!” ad-libbing.  Still, while Keith, J.Lo and Harry all seemed slightly less enthused by the encore than Caleb’s first go-’round, Keith still wound up declaring Round 2 “a tie” (#hrmm) — while his fellow judges gave the edge to Jena.

Round 3: “Winner’s Single”
Jena Irene: “We Are One” — Grade: A | Anyone else notice Ryan Seacrest referring to Jena’s final performance as “her potential winner’s single” — while dropping the word “potential” from his description of Caleb’s final number? (#doublehrmm) Who knows? Maybe our intrepid host was just trying to balance out some inequities, considering Jena landed the second-most radio-ready single in Top 2 history (behind only Phillip Phillips’ “Home”) while Caleb got… well, at least it wasn’t “Flying Without Wings.” Seriously, though, the way Jena’s chipotle-infused howl gave soaring life to the earworm chorus of “We Are One,” the way she drove home a message about taking down one’s own armor and opening oneself up to connections, made me feel like I was listening to a movie-soundtrack anthem that could roll over the credits of a Hunger Games or Divergent sequel. I may or may not have shed a couple tears (or perhaps struggled with the effects of a high pollen count in Jersey City). Anyhow, if to a large degree, the purpose of Idol is to upend modern record labels’ terrible tendency to reward gimmicks over talent — to not care whether or not their acts can sing live — shouldn’t Jena’s hitmaking potential tip the Season 13 scales in her favor?

Caleb Johnson: “As Long as You Love Me” — Grade: B+ | OK, so it wasn’t like putting J.Lo in something from the Modern Amish Collection, but nevertheless, I’m not sure one can accuse “As Long As You Love Me” of being a perfect fit for “the Rock-n-Roll Viking” (Keith’s nickname for Caleb, not mine!). Perhaps Caeb wasn’t entirely sold on the song choice, either, as his usual outré performance style got tamped down with some modest mic-stand shaking and a couple of perfunctory strolls down toward the SwayBots. The slight hint of ennui — combined with a not-quite-ready-for-primetime chorus — made Jena the easy winner of Round 3, even if Caleb’s unsmiling post-performance face underscored that fact more clearly than the judges’ vague non-critiques.

And with that, I turn it over to you…

What did you think of the Season 13 finale? What was your favorite performance? Who will win? Who should win? And what did you think of the “winners’ singles”? Take our polls below, then sound off in the comments! And follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV for all my Idol- and Voice-related news, exclusives, interviews and recaps.



American Idol: 30 Best Performances of All Time

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338 Comments
  1. Mike says:

    JENA WILL WIN THIS!!

    • Let’s hope that the fact that Jena chose to go first in the finale won’t cost her. I always feel like going last is best. I took a look and out of the 12 previous Idol finales 8 of the winners sang last, including the last 2 seasons. So it’s not a huge deal-breaker, but with the 2 of them being pretty closely matched, and not a ton separating them it could mean something. I think Jena has done everything that she could to win the season, I think Caleb had a little more momentum and juice tonight, so we’ll see what happens. It was a pretty great finale no matter what.

      • Danny says:

        Idol- I’m not saying you’re wrong because I don’t know. How has it stacked up going 1st vs 2nd? I know when there’s a lot of contestants ya want to go later in the show. When there’s less than 5 I’m not so sure it matters as much. I’m not really recalling who went first or 2nd all these years. Didn’t Crystal go 2nd?

        • Crystal did go second her year, and she lost. The 4 winners that won going first were Scotty McCreery, Lee DeWyze, David Cook and Ruben Studdard. So I’m not saying it’s a huge deal, but I think going last leaves a lasting impression, and given it’s a pretty close match between the two a small detail as going last might alter it. Not saying it will in this case, but just throwing it out there.

        • Owen says:

          I think because Caleb’s original song was so much more mediocre than Jena’s it worked out for the better, as Caleb did not finish strong.

          • Emma says:

            Jeeena didn’t finish strong either if you count “Breakaway”. WTF was up with her voice on that sing out?!? Yikes!

          • There was something happening there.
            Usually Jena is ll smile every time she’s shown, last night she was very serious and looked pissed most of the time. I noticed it the most after Caleb tried to imitate her, when she did she was very good and didn’t go over, but Caleb really mocked her, a little too much for my (and her) taste.
            Then they showed her second outfit for the Coke feature, and she went singing 30 seconds after it. I’m not sure she s the one who picked to go first. t least, she didn’t though it was gonna be like that. She clearly knows that the producers are rooting against her, I just have no idea why. She’s the best commercial sing in the show after Kelly . She’s young, she’s sweet, she’s into electronic and pop,she knows howto sing, she has a lot of stage presence. If Caleb wins I’m calling this show out!

        • bobsaccamanna says:

          Not only did she go second but her final song was incredible and Lee’s was a mess, yet she still lost. Of course Crystal remains my all time favorite idol so there might be a slight bias there :)

          • Stormy says:

            Really? Crystal is your all time favorite? Wow! I would not have guessed that. I know this is just an impersonal situation online, but over time you start to feel you know the other participants. I would never have guessed you were a Crystal fan. Mind blown.

          • deedee says:

            Weird how so many people find Jena’s winner’s single so good. Michael calls it hooky and an “earworm”. I heard it last night for the first time (didn’t listen to the studio version before the show) and didn’t like it at all! I couldn’t remember it 5 seconds after it was over. There was no hook, imo – just a flat, meandering, forgettable blah. Maybe after a few listens I’ll grow to like it, but right off the bat it was a completely nondescript bore.

        • Name That Tune says:

          Danny, you should read MJSBigBlog. Look for

          Idol Superstition Roundup – Can the Tea Leaves Predict the Winner?

          History of the Superstitions (Advantages):

          Season 10: Scotty (4), Lauren (2), Neither (1) – Scotty won
          Season 11: Phil (7), Jessica (0), Neither (0) – Phillip won
          Season 12: Kree (4), Candice (1), Neither (3) – Candice won (although, Neither has made a strong case for being the real winner)

          Season 13: Caleb (6), Jena (3), Neither (1)

          • Joe Strummer says:

            What are you talking about?

          • Name This Tune says:

            Mjsbig blog had a piece on Idol superstitions. The author listed about 10 superstitions. One being who performs last
            Advantage – Caleb
            One being from the South.
            Based on superstitions, Caleb has the advantage.

          • Timmah says:

            No superstitions necessary to predict the winner. Caleb will win because he’s from the South, a male, and his style of music appeals to the older Idol demographic. Jena might have been able to overcome one of those factors, but not all three.

      • Mary says:

        At this stage I think everyone has their favorite so unless someone really bombed on their performances I don’t think it makes a big difference especially because it was a new song for both.

        • tealeaves says:

          My favorites are already gone. I have also liked Jena and Caleb all season.

          • GuitarBlue says:

            That’s ditto for me, so I don’t really care which one wins, wish them both well..

          • karyn says:

            Me too. I didn’t even watch last night b/c I don’t really care who wins (though I will go back and watch the original songs). Jena is far more talented than Caleb (who I think just does karaoke) so I would lean toward her, but I don’t really like her voice. Alex smoked them both.

        • caleb was sooo good!

      • Shel says:

        I think Jena was the one with more juice, but obviously that is a completely subjective opinion. I certainly felt like JLo and Keith had a bit more juice for Caleb (JLo – seriously? Muttering that Caleb won the competition after the first song?? Keith, you couldn’t give Jena Round 2??? Even Harry was shocked.)

        I was a little worried about Jena going second also. However, it was a nice (new?) touch to have the Finalists and the Top Ten sing together at the end. I think Jena more than held her own singing Clarkson’s song side-by-side with Caleb.

        We’ll see! Once again, I think Slezak is right. I really wish we got to hear THEIR originals. While these two songs are a cut above previous entries, it is still such a downer to end on those songs that most people don’t know. Michael was also right about Caleb’s Dream On first verse – it made me very nervous for him. Glad he pulled it off.

        I think Jena should win and the polls above are trending that way also. But it sure feels like JLo and maybe Keith are assuming a Caleb win.

        • tealeaves says:

          “it was a nice (new?) touch to have the Finalists and the Top Ten sing together at the end.”
          Yes. Usually the year’s vote-off song is performed at the end of this episode by whoever had recorded the song. This year the common vote-off song was that they each sang this same song and it was played during the show when they were sent home. So that gave them the opportunity to have a contestant group performance at the end of the show tonight.

          • Mary says:

            It was a nice touch too bad the execution wasn’t pulled off. There was a lot of bad notes in there.

        • Joolie says:

          It was pretty obvious the other contestants mics were turned off (or very low) at the end there, you couldn’t hear any of them! I thought Jena & Caleb sounded terrible, off key. But that’s just me.

      • I will say that I felt Jena going first was a huge misstep too, until the second round where Jena’s Can’t Help Falling In Love set the bar so high that Caleb’s pretty great Maybe I’m Amazed just looked hollow in comparison. Maybe Jena did know what she was doing.

        • AlyB says:

          I agree. That definitely worked out in her favor. She gave such a beautiful, heartfelt performance and Caleb’s fell emotionally flat. The vocal was good but there was a disconnect there till he started rocking out at the end. The fact that Jena accompanied herself on the piano also served as a reminder that he doesn’t play an instrument. Jena brought home the point that she can do both uptempo and tender while Caleb isn’t as versatile.

    • MAB says:

      I agree, though I did not vote tonight. I just don’t care enough who wins at this point. There are things I really dislike about each of them and things I am okay with. I just don’t feel passionate enough about either one.

      • kp says:

        Completely agree. I have been completely underwhelmed by both of these contestants and dislike very much their versions of Amazed and Can’t Help Falling.

      • Lyn12 says:

        Ditto for me; No love, no disdain for either singer. I think I might be more likely to pause at Caleb rather than Jena if I heard them on my car radio, but can’t imagine buying music by either one of them.

        • Emma says:

          Michael should have had that option on the poll… the “I don’t care who wins” option is the one I would have picked had it been there.

      • voiceless says:

        Good thing you didn’t vote. When I tried to vote, all I got was a busy tone even though I tried many times after 11:00 p.m. ET. I’ll watch the show next year, but won’t vote. What’s the use if I can’t get through? This kind of stuff is exactly what turns people off about Idol. It comes off looking phony even if it isn’t.

    • Akash says:

      Jena obviously should win. But this was still the worst finale in all 13 seasons.

      • Ella says:

        I don’t think Jena should win per se, but I agree this finale was severly underwhelming. The across-the-board A grades for Jena on here are absurd. She seemed tired and, quite frankly, BORED!

      • AlyB says:

        IMO that dubious distinction goes to Scotty v Lauren. The entertainment value of that night was in its hilarity. Between the original Dr. In scrubs visitation, Ryan escorting Lauren down the stairs to sing that cringe inducing Like My Mother does song directly to her mother and Scotty seemingly sensing the steamroller and coming off as defeated it was like an SNL skit of an Idol finale. I didn’t really support either of them that season but was actually glad Scotty won after that debacle.

      • Idolhead Ed says:

        What in the hell are you talking bout. Please give me an example of one better. Please just one.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Worse than the Scotty/Lauren finale?
        Seriously, people???????????

    • ameria says:

      I think caleb is better singer and performer, most young people and adults now days prefer her style of music Well……. not this 31 yr old woman. He seems like the real deal like a natural talent with a amazing gift and not some wannabe whos parents probably paid for her singing lessons. I say it like it is and dont care who dislikes my post because I dont read up on who disagrees with me because I know im right and youre wrong:)

    • I thought this was one of the most boring, rushed, weak final two that I’ve ever seen. I didn’t think either contestant seemed to be trying very hard, and there was absolutely nothing special in the entire show. Very disappointing.

      • justme says:

        I agree. It was as dull as I expected it to be. Jena’s singing on all three numbers made me cringe (sorry, but she butchered “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”). And she mumbled her way through all three songs.
        Caleb’s performances were unremarkable and he seemed to have an “over it” attitude the entire show.
        Between the dull Top 13 and the judges’ “wacky, look-at-me” antics (and just JLo in general), this has been the worst season of Idol.

    • gabrielle says:

      CALEBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB YOU WILLLLLLLL WINNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!

    • gabrielle says:

      CALEB WILL WINN BUT EVERY WERE I LOOK I SEE JENNA COMING IN FIRST SHES GOOD BUT I THING CALEB IS A LITTLE BETTER TEAM CALEB FOR THE WINNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • PeteBS1956 says:

      Funny all the post showed Jenna the favorite to win. And when Caleb won Idol judges did not even go up on stage to congratulate. JLO even looked P.O.

  2. Danny says:

    I’m so done with this show after tomorrow. Way to again ruin pretty much every song by focusing on Lopez and her fake mannerisms. I’m not going through this for another year. The talent IMO was better this year than last. Though not spectacular, the top 4 was pretty good. They never had a chance though. The focus was never on them.

    There were a lot of songs, maybe 40-50 throughout the year, that I could have enjoyed a lot more. Nope, some F- up from Sweden thinks all of America wants to see some washed up no talent has been.

    Uggh. A Michigan resident finally makes it to the Finals and it’s not even that enjoyable. Today I watched pretty much live, except I paused during the commercials. During the commercials I heard Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC. I listened to The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. I also gave a listen to Trent Reznor’s version of the song. Everytime Idol came back on, I was thinking “ok, when are they going to ruin the next song by showing Lopez’ face?” In that sense AI never disappoints. They insist on not focusing on the contestants.

    Oh yea, could ya let em sing for longer than 90 seconds? I want to like AI. It’s been my favorite show for 10 years. The last 2 have been extremely tough though. I just have that feeling that they’re gonna see how much crap the viewer will put up with. I can totally see why they’ve lost 23 million viewers over the past few years. Other people wised up before I did I guess.

    • Ben says:

      Danny – for all I have disagreed with you on Lopez, Per Blankens MUST take heed of this – we want to watch the contestants while they are singing. It does not matter who the judges are or how popular or beautiful you believe they are, it is simply distracting to cut constantly to one judge in particular during the performances (I’m ok with the wide shots that show how the judges are reacting generally, even though Harry is about as reactive as a Helium atom).

      They could also far improve the show by allowing songs to go beyond 2 minutes. I guess some songs don’t need to go much beyond 2 (some studios don’t) and they want some kind of parity so that one contestant isn’t singing for twice as long as another. But honestly, even if you just make it 3 minutes, this would feel like it makes a huge difference. Mo singing, less judging.

      Having said that, I’m not so quick to jump ship. Season 12 was awful, but season 13 only suffered from things that would be quick fixes. I’m willing to give PB a chance to get it right.

      • Danny says:

        That’s just it. They won’t make the quick fixes. Michael told the guy a few weeks ago that his viewers didn’t like it. So what does the guy do? Shows more Lopez. I don’t know why on there’s a 2 minute limit. Obviously the Voice doesn’t have it. Idol didn’t use to have it. I don’t get it.
        ..
        I understand that a lot of people watch the show who don’t see this blog. Still, Michael has a pretty good audience and can speak on behalf of a lot of people at once. People do not want to see that lady. I don’t care how much they pay her. The ratings have tanked since she came on board. Her own show tanked. Fox would have been better off if they’d put an Infomercial in the time slot of her show. When she does perform she never gets praised. She always gets ridiculed. They must shield her from the reviews because she keeps on wanting to perform. She’s terrible.

        • whatever says:

          The chronic cutting to JLo and the short amount of time given to each song is truly shameful, almost bordering on sadistic. However, I must say that your never-ending, obsessive-compulsive, hateful attitude towards JLo has a tendency to strongly discredit your other comments, IMO. I can not think of a single positive attribute about JLo that captures my attention but I do not let that unduly bother me. Maybe you could direct your rants towards the corporate mentality displayed by the producer etc which then decide on camera decisions. Corporations possess none of the human qualities that would elevate American Idol, you know that so do not let them control your mood. A couple of weeks ago it seemed that your head was going to explode. So, when the camera fixates on her instead of thinking, “JLo is a fu*king douchebag, dirtbag, wacked-out, smelly, skank” change that thought to “I am frightfully disillusioned by the production values on tonight’s American Idol show, perhaps I may switch to my fav Monty Python episode.” Then, head downtown for a concert at The State Theatre or The Fox and on the way home, dinner and drinks in Royal Oak.

          • Danny says:

            Yea, I’m aware my attitude about her stinks. That’s why I’m done with the show. AI this year was sort of like my last trip to Cedar Point. For those that don’t know, Cedar Point is an awesome amusement park. It rained that day. We stayed the whole day and still had a good time. We didn’t get many rides in though. Hanging out with friends, but not riding the rides because most of them weren’t open. So, we had a good a time, but not as good as we could have if it hadn’t rained.

            Cedar Point isn’t something ya go to if ya know it’s going to rain. Lopez is like a storm cloud. I had thought Harry and Keith would make her raise her game. Instead she brought them down towards her level. Now that I know what I’m in for next year I won’t be tuning in. I’m going to finish out this year though. I have enjoyed the actual talent. I just could have enjoyed it a lot more if her no talent face wasn’t in every song.
            ..
            As for the production end of it I thought they did a terrible job also. The top 4 this year I enjoyed quite a bit. Seasons 8 and 11 were the only other years where I liked more than the top 4. I wish they’d had a chance to sing more than 90 seconds. I wish there wasn’t so much going on around them. By that I mean there were too many things that put the singers in positions where they didn’t sing as well as they could have. Interviews right before the songs and such. Even then I thought they did pretty well despite the hindrances.

            Overall I’m guessing there were 60 or so songs I could have really liked this year between all the contestants. Every single one of them was brought down by a storm cloud though. So yea, I’m an idiot for getting so aggravated. After the first couple of weeks I knew it was going to happen but I still kept watching hoping it would change. At least tomorrow I can FF through anything she performs in.

          • justme says:

            I’ve got to agree with Danny. Jennifer Lopez has been Idol’s worst judge. The show has been mostly about her, not the contestants – the constant cut-aways to her during her performances, Seacrest, Keith and Harry fawning over her, the vapid critiques and the one female contestant who in her eyes can do nothing right.
            Lord knows Mariah and Nicki were bad, but I’d rather have them back as judges than sit through another season of “American Idol” starring Jennifer Lopez.

        • Lisa says:

          I love Cedar Point, Danny. It’s one of the things I miss about Ohio, so I get your analogy. I have to say, it’s pretty spot on.

      • karen says:

        SEason 12 was excellent. Kree, Candice, Angie, Janelle, Devin. Kree is my all time favorite idol. Wynonna Judd called her “The Next Generation of Greatness.” I’ll take Wynonna’s opinion over yours.

        • Danny says:

          Karen, I guess it’s just different tastes. My fav Idol was Haley. Haley hasn’t done much either. There’s a whole slew of people who were saying similar things about Haley back when she was on. The general public hasn’t agreed with either of us. A lot of people make predictions that don’t pan out.
          ..
          As for Season 12 as a whole, I felt it was lacking big time. IMO the girls were ok, but far from outstanding. The guys I didn’t care for at all. Then add in the judges and I felt it was a mess. A lot of people left the show last year. This year a lot more left. Between the 2 seasons obviously something didn’t connect with a lot of people.

          • Stormy says:

            What Haley lovers can’t seem to get is that talent was not the issue with her. It was that she came off as extremely unlikable to a lot of people. Same goes for Pia Toscano and Jessica Sanchez. If people dislike someone, it doesn’t matter how talented they are, they won’t sell. It works in reverse, too. As in the case of Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze, no matter how likable they are, if the star power and talent aren’t excellent they won’t be greatly successful either. Hence the phrase “Whole Package”.

          • Emma says:

            Good grief Stormy, contestants that come off as extremely unlikable don’t make it all the way to the top 3! You don’t like her, whatever, that doesn’t mean the majority of viewers agree with you. Haley was a fan favorite, whether you like it or not. Her album never sold well because no one knew it existed. She had zero label support after the album came out. Interscope released one single, the least radio-friendly song on the album, and then dropped her six months later when it didn’t take off. Even so, she managed to sell more than last year’s winner and the year before’s runner up.

          • HTGR says:

            The general public doesn’t even know if they agree with us or not. Ask 10 random people if they know who Haley Reinhart is and have ever heard a single song from her. I bet none have a clue. You can’t like what you haven’t heard. Weakly pushing one of the less instantly radio friendly grab you in singles for a handful of months isn’t much these days. We don’t know if the general public would have gone for her own songs or not.
            .
            Same goes for most of the rest of these. Idol itself isn’t nearly big enough to get anyone instantly known to the general public, these days not even if you win (see Candice, I don’t know anyone who has ever heard of her), although winning still helps.

          • HTGR says:

            @Stormy – which is why A.I. sucks, because they will go there and ruin the likeability factor of their own contestants if their storyline doesn’t stick to pre-planned script and/or if they think they can get someone to crack and produce some cheap drama for ratings. Whatever all the nonsense The Voice pulls, at least they don’t go there. Haley was not supposed to make the top three, much less the finale. So they dogged her, gave her bad cuts, pushed her to the limit and got people to make up nonsense about her. A total joke. There is nothing she could have done. If she whines about it then people say she is a spoiled whining B, if she doesn’t then she is sunken by their slams. No way to win, but forget it and hope you can find ways to reach a new broader audience. Which is why I have no problem with people slamming the show or certain judges, some like JLo are filthy rich, but had no problem selling out and taking someone else down just for a couple bits more pocket change. Randy has to be pretty well off at this point too.
            .
            It hasn’t hurt her among the greater general public since they don’t even know who she is, but it probably did kill her chances to get any potential for a viral build from the limited Idol audience alone. They got up her negative ratings too high.
            .
            It just gets to be frustrating to see people write all sorts of personal nonsense about what contestants are like when it’s based upon a mixture of nothing at all but jealousy and/or feelings they need to project to make their own favorite seem better and/or on producer manipulations.
            .
            Ever notice how contestants often come across radically differently in even Slezak’s interviews compared to how they were portrayed on the show? An awful lot seem wayyy different. (and even still it’s but just a little to judge them by) Heck Lauren Alaina seemed so different you wonder if she was actually the same person on the show or some re-programmed, cloned replacement. And the list goes on.
            .
            Ever bother to hear what her former teaches and people in her hometown and high school said? It was a FAR different picture than all the haters in the forums presented.

          • HTGR says:

            @Stormy – and once you get into Haley+Pia+Jessica+ it almost starts sounding like the only thing they did wrong was be thin, fine and female, but on reality TV that often brings out the hate, because I don’t know what all three of those all did the same that was unlikeable.
            .
            (also even though they did get some neg factor going for Haley, there was a good number who didn’t fall for that and on the flip side, among a core of viewers she was seen as one of the most likeable contestants)

      • Elaine says:

        I so agree about the cameras on JLo – this show isn’t about her – it is about the contestants AND could she please act her age and stop it with the dresses that hardly cover her “butt” – we know she has gorgeous legs, but enough already! I am sick of all the attention that is given to her – I would love to see more of Keith however :-)

        • Elaine says:

          P.S. Adam Lambert is my all time favorite for real talent – what a voice. He was robbed of the title, but boy has he made up for it – looks like Elvis! What a talent!

          • Carla says:

            I agree! Adam is my all time favorite. Unlike this season, he had so many “moments”. There was not one moment this season. Also loved Joshua Ledet. Adam and Joshua could blow the roof off. Not posers like this bunch. Seriously this season’s crop are mediocre at best. I don’t mean to be nasty. It’s JMHO. Don’t get me started with the so-called judges. J-Lo is the worst and what is the deal with them stuffing her down our throats.

          • Danny says:

            With the understanding that I thought Adam was pretty dang good, of the final 2 that year I would have given the nod to Kris. I actually had Adam 4th in his year, behind Allison, Matt, and Kris. So while I think he would have been a good choice if he had won, I don’t think he got robbed. Season 8 was stacked. The hardcore Adam fans will disagree, but I don’t think ya could really go wrong that year among the top tiered contestants.

    • Angela says:

      Oh yea, could ya let em sing for longer than 90 seconds?
      Seriously. We can do without the random, pointless conversations in between songs-much better to put more of that time into letting the contestants really sink their teeth into their performances.

      • Mary says:

        I agree if they cannot fit three full songs in then just have two. Don’t let the judges critique them, I think at this stage the contestants really don’t need the feedback. If they must then wait for all the performances to end then the judges can give their opinions. Oh well some things probably will never change.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      @Danny. I love when you get all fired up. I totally agree. I actually forgot to watch tonight – still voted for JENA though – LOL ;) I am happy to be done with this show. It’s jumped the shark long ago.

      • Danny says:

        @Teeny- Thanks. As ya can see not everyone thinks getting fired up is great. There’s times when I’m kicking myself wondering why I’ve invested so much time into this show. The guy above actually has a point.
        ..
        I stopped watching baseball back in 95 or so because of lockouts. I’ve quit watching the NHL because of the lockouts. Ironically I got into AI when I was channel flipping during the 2005 lockout. I still remember the first time I saw AI. This girl belted out Girls Just Wanna Have Fun in an audition. I saw Paula Abdul and thought “oh, this is what she’s up too.” They had this girl sing another song and then they sent her through.
        ..
        I’d never heard of Simon, Randy, or Ryan back then. I’d heard of Kelly Clarkson, but I wasn’t aware that this is what she’d won to become famous. I thought I’d discovered a new show. The next day I’m telling people about my find and they’re wondering if I lived in a cave.
        ..
        With sports I’m pretty much done except for the Super Bowl and those types of games. I’ll catch the highlights and check the standings, but I don’t watch too many games anymore. I may or may not do the same with AI. I can now at least see why people visit this blog even though they don’t watch AI. Before I thought they were nuts. I’ve at least watched the last few of Michael/Melinda’s recaps with the thought of would I still enjoy the recap had I not seen the actual show.
        ..
        I’ve gotten rid of cable a month or so ago and this weekend I’m selling my tv. I can still watch something on the computer if it’s that important, but I’m done with tv in general.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Oh, wow. I am jealous of the “getting rid of the TV” idea. I tried to do it this year, but I chickened out when The Walking Dead came on and I seriously love every show on HBO. But otherwise, I could probably find a ton of other things to do with that money. Congrats to you. Enjoy the finale… :) Cheers.

      • Lisa says:

        I have to say that this year, the stunt they pulled a few weeks back when they had the contestants so called “anonymously” vote to more or less save Sam was a bit much for me. It completely wreaked of blatant manipulation and left me sour. I finished up this year, because I do care about the end result for the contestants that I’ve been following all season. However, after that stunt and even the obvious pimping of Caleb, I think this year will actually be my last. I’ve always kinda rolled my eyes at the conspiracy theories. You get kinda used to it when favs get eliminated or critiqued seemingly more than others. But, that voting thing was pretty blatant. It’s the first time I’ve actually walked away saying to myself, Yep, they really were trying to manipulate the votes.

        Additionally, I don’t think the whole cutting to the judges thing would bother me if they really did cut to the judges. It just seems like they always cut to JLo, and I don’t know why. Perhaps she is just more dramatic about the way she responds, more so than the others, which is why they keep going back to her. Of course, actors/singers tend to be at least somewhat egotistical. So, it’s likely that JLo, has noticed that her swaying/ dancing/ other reactions are getting her more face time, so she is playing them up, of course to GET that face time.

        It wouldn’t annoy me if they cut to the full table, because yeah, it is good to see how the judges are reacting, but they seem to do it WAY too much and they are wayyyy too focused on only one judge. So, yeah, that gets old really quick.

        That said, I still don’t like Caleb, but despite the fact that Jena sang circles around him, IMO…I still get the feeling the pimped one will win. I really hope that Jena takes the crown. I think she deserves it. She is the most versatile of the 2. But, alas, I think I’m done after this season.

  3. Kaba says:

    I just knew that Caleb wouldn’t get an A for that Dream On.
    I’m sorry, but that was much better than I was expecting. I’d give it an A and certainly wouldn’t give either of them an A for their winners single.
    Looooved the Voice Shade though

    • Danny says:

      For a 90 second performance he did pretty well. It would have been nice if 1) he could have sang longer and 2) the camera wasn’t focuses squarely on Lopez during his scream. Amanda Brown on the Voice a few years ago blew his away. While Caleb sang it better than Danny Gokey, because of the production aspect of it, I’m not sure which version I’d take. Again, that’s not just Caleb vs Gokey singing, but add in the way the 2 songs were presented and I think I just might go with Gokey since Caleb’s version included 20-30 seconds of Lopez.

      • HTGR says:

        Yeah I bet the Amanda Brown is why he rated it down. Putting her aside, I think he was clearly much better than Jena on the first song though (and he should have marked Jena down by rememering Vicci Maritnez’ Dog Days if he was gonna mark Caleb down because of Amanda Brown, especially since Caleb as least did a more solid job of his version.)

    • Angus says:

      Caleb had exactly one line of the song that was slightly off. One line. No one cared. That performance sealed his win.

    • Mary says:

      Go back and listen again his first verse was off. He did handle the scream but all I thought of the whole time was Gokey and farm equipment.

      • Kaba says:

        Lol, I’m aware of what I heard. That still deserves an A especially if Jena got an A

      • Danny says:

        Gokey and Farm Equipment. Mary, thank you for the laugh.

        • Renee says:

          tm Kristen Baldwin who led the ‘Put the Go in Gokey’ campaign, coined Ghoulish Widower, and was so angry she coulda punched a puppy when he smirked through Allison’s being voted out. #neverforgetKB

          • NedPepper says:

            Eh, Kristen Baldwin is the boss over EW and I would assume the person responsible for a lot of great writers getting fired or let go. She and Slezak had great chemistry, though. Wonder if they are still close…

          • Renee says:

            No, those staff calls were down to prev editor Jess Cagle or current ed Matt Bean.

          • Tahoe Mike says:

            “#neverforgetKB” Never will !! I beg every year for a Kristen With Glasses guest appearance on Reality Check.

      • Kelly says:

        This! I couldn’t get the Gokey horror-movie scream out of my mind and wondered the whole song how Caleb was gonna handle it! Ha.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Just listened to Dream On. Beginning was not bad but he kicked it into high gear. I’d give that an A as well. I guess it depends on how Amanda Brown’s Dream On is graded. If hers is an A+, then his was an A and if hers was an A, his was an A-.

      • Kaba says:

        He rated Brown’s as the top performance in voice history so that def got an A+
        So this was an A.

      • HTGR says:

        I think he is just miffed over the comments and still not quite fully 100% able to let them go and not influence his grades. So he marks Caleb way down for not managing to Amanda Brown it but doesn’t mark Jena down for not remotely managing to Vicci Martinez it with Dog Days.

        • marie says:

          Totally! Vicci Martinez slated that song. Jena, not really. I thought it was a rather uncharacteristically low key performance, in fact, and the sound mixing was horrible: I could hardly hear the vocal.

        • Ben says:

          I agree that Michael’s grades are, well, just not right this time. He has let his want to see Jena win influence his grades. I want Jena to win too, but I feel as though Caleb won round 1 hands down and won round 3 marginally as well. I still think Jena will win, but I think Caleb had the better night.

    • S. says:

      So predictable that Jena gets such a high grade for Dog Days. Her lower range is a serious problem and her breath support (as Keith pointed) out, was an issue on that song. She couldn’t hold any of the notes in the verses. Her air gave out. How can it seriously be ranked above Caleb’s Dream On? The Jena bias was obvious and predictable before she even sang a note. I knew how the rankings would go before I even read a word here. A little aghast that she was given a higher ranked first song. Caleb obviously won that round. Jena’s studio version of her single was better but Caleb’s was better live. Not sure how that’s gonna work out. With “Home” it was a harbinger of a P2 victory, but he had the better live/studio song. What happens when there’s a split? Her decision to sing “Falling In Love With You” again so soon was a mistake. Loved that song, loved the first version more just for the emotional connection. Frankly based on all season I could see either contestant winning. I think in terms of musicianship and consistency Alex should’ve probably won.

    • JM says:

      Absolutely, he deserved an A for Dream On. And yes, both originals were bad. For the life of me, I can’t understand why this show can’t get a well-written song for the winner????

  4. Name That Tune says:

    It’s a tie for me. Voted 50 times for both.

    • Davey says:

      Well that’s like throwing your votes away.

      • Name That Tune says:

        And who says we need a “winner”. It’s not a football game.

        I would be pleased with a tie.
        • OhMy says:

          Why would you vote for either 50 times?

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Man, do you like anyone? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single positive comment about any one contestant from you. Just a constant stream of negativity.

        • Ben says:

          I would be pleased if I knew how you wrote in Courier.

          • Name This Tune says:

            @Ben
            To get courier font, you do some in line HTML. Use the less than symbol on your keyboard, then type pre. Then type the greater than symbol. I noticed the allowed tags on my smartphone and I was playing around with it.

            Hoping to find a way to do paragraphs

      • Danny says:

        It’s not like the votes cost him anything. He got to participate and at least gets to be among the total when Ryan announces 80 million or how many ever votes there were.

    • tealeaves says:

      @Name That Tune I almost did the same thing. I almost voted 50 times for each. I like them both. I think they both have had some excellent performances. I think they have both been good contestants all season and have fought to get where they are. At the same time, neither was in my top 2 (or maybe even top 3) for the season.
      I had to replay tonight’s episode before I voted. I had to weigh my favorite elements of this episode and consider the whole season. Then I chose.
      I didn’t go all out and vote by phone and by text and by facebook and by any other means possible… but I also did not sit back in silence like I did for the Scotty/Lauren finale.

    • AprilD says:

      I almost end 50 times for each too. But since I felt that their performances were evenly matched I went with the better coronation song- Jena’s. Caleb’s song isn’t going to do anything for Idol’s brand but Jena’s might. Hopefully they’re still letting 2nd place make a record so he’ll get to do that anyway if she wins.

  5. Bud says:

    Come on Michael, you’re really jumping the shark with that grade for Dream On. I don’t know anyone else who has ever hit that high note like Steven Tyler besides Caleb tonight. You might not like him, but he killed that. A worthy at least.

    • Mike says:

      Yes! Agree! A worthy! Really well I enjoyed the finale!

    • Owen says:

      I gotta agree. It was pretty stellar. Remember Gokey? lol

    • sg54 says:

      I understand that it was amazing but I also understand Michael in that the beginning wasn’t good. Also, wanna see someone else hit that high note? go look up Amanda Brown. Do it. You won’t regret it.

      • Danny says:

        Sg- yea, after she nailed it they should stop doing that song on these types of shows. They’re almost always going to fall short of what she did.

      • But, it’s much more difficult for a grown man to hit a high note like that than a woman, let’s be real

        • C says:

          Absolutely right. I was thinking the same thing when I was reading the earlier posts about her. You have to compare apples to apples. Geez!

    • NedPepper says:

      Caleb’s got nothing on Amanda Brown’s Dream On from the Voice awhile back. One of my favorite singing competition performances ever. Caleb’s was mediocre and the choice to do that song was low hanging fruit. Everyone loves Dream On. All he had to do was just show up and sing it, and the crowd will go bananas. (Except Gokey’s version. Dear God, that was awful….)

    • Shaun says:

      You can’t jump the shark on grading….go read the wiki page about the term.

    • karen says:

      Definitely!

  6. Chablis says:

    Spot on Michael

  7. Owen says:

    Slezak, I don’t think your preference of Jena’s “Can’t Help” over Christina’s is at all controversial, because duh.

    • Danny says:

      That was the only song I watched in full last night on the Voice. I FF through every other song. I’d give the edge to Jena for singing, but the Voice for production. Grimmie got to sing twice as long and The Voice didn’t try and ruin her version like Idol tried to for Jena.

      • Mary says:

        Danny the glip in Jena first version was because JLo swore and they had to bleep it out. If you look at the Film on AI you can clearing see that JLo said the F word. I am just hoping Jena version will be on iTunes.

      • Shel says:

        I didn’t watch The Voice this season. Last season, I tuned in for the last few weeks. I was going to do the same this year and then it just didn’t feel worth the time. lol Anyway, when I heard Keith’s shade, I had to find out what was up. So, Christina’s version of the Elvis song was the only Voice performance I have watched from start to finish this year.
        .
        I think Jena “won” it hands down. Not only did it seem too much a copy, especially coming just a few weeks after Jena’s, but I felt the emotion more from Jena. Also, I felt Christina’s version was dragging. Slow is good, ,dragging is not. It was weird to have the middle/almost end seem to follow the Elvis model, then go back to whatever she was doing.
        .
        Christina has a nice voice – sometimes great, sometimes not so much. But I know that may be just because I didn’t watch all year.
        .
        Go Keith! lol JLo – seriously – you couldn’t stand up for Jena’s performance on a song that moved you to kiss her the last time?? Production-wise tonight – I could not believe they went to and held the camera on JLo right at the emotional peak of Jena’s performance. Then the camera was sweeping from behind the stage, over the orchestra, before finally finding Jena again. Lucky she even got her face on camera for the last notes. Sheeesh!

  8. Idolhead Ed says:

    This was the best final ever in my opinion. The was no disasters whatsoever. I can”t wait to go back and watch the whole thing again. I think Jena is the best Idol has ever had. When I think of the Carrie/Bo matchup Carrie did not have one decent performance on that night. Bo had only one but it was a big one. Go down the list of ever final and you will agree. Diana’s way off key “Don’t Cry Out Loud”…the list goes on. This was a great final.

    • Danny says:

      I don’t remember the Bo/Carrie matchup except to say I recall thinking I gave Bo a slight edge that year. Both of them (over the season) were outstanding. I’m not recalling the Final 2 though. Over the years I’m thinking when the contestants go to 3 songs they tend to lose something. The Final 3 and Final 2 usually aren’t barnburners. The best shows seem to come in top 5 to top 8 territory.

    • tealeaves says:

      IMHO it is going a bit far to suggest this was the best finale ever. The David/David finale was great from beginning to end. The Kris/Adam finale was saddled with the coronation song, but other than that… How about the Phillip/Jessica finale?

      • Ben says:

        For me, the thing that was difficult about the Phil Jess finale was the disparity in the coronation song. It was so blatantly obvious Phil had it in the bag because his was so awesome and Jessica’s was so not. But otherwise it was a pretty good finale.

  9. Bria says:

    The grades are a little bias, right Michael. Even though I want Jena to win, Caleb did have a solid night. His first performance deserved at least a A.

    • Owen says:

      It evens out, as I think Dream On was an A and Maybe I’m Amazed was a solid B as opposed to Slezak’s A- grade; it was not as good as Caleb’s first try at it.

    • Shel says:

      Ii really like Caleb’s version of Maybe I’m Amazed – the first time and this time. I did feel a little less emotional connection from him but was surprised when the judges decided to comment on it too.

  10. Amanda says:

    Where was MK when the rest of the Idols came out on stage at the end? Did I just miss her or was she not there?

  11. Genesis says:

    I’m afraid Caleb is going to win, but Jena has the best chance of a successful career after the show.

  12. Diz says:

    What a great finale. I don’t think I’ve cared about anyone in the finale since Kris/Adam & I will welcome either Jena or Caleb to take the crown.

  13. Khs says:

    Ahh great finale! Six performances in one hour and both contestants revceived great and fair “singles!” My heart tells me Jena deserves this. But I can’t lie, I kind of think Caleb performed a wee bit better–especially in the lower register arena. Ugh but Jena could possibly see some post-idol success and I’m not sure I can picture that for Caleb. Either way, very entertaining finale. PS loving Phillips second album !

    • Krista says:

      Me too!

    • I was just telling someone else that this is very close and reminds me of Phil Phillips and Jessica. I wanted Phil, but jessica sanchez seemed to be more popular. (or so j-lo and Randy thought). I was a wreck. But Phil ended up winning! Phil from louisiana, Jessica from California. Southern vote seems to always take it. Only 2 winners not from the south. Hopefully, it works that way for my fav caleb.

    • akdar says:

      Too bad I missed it because they didn’t stick to the regular schedule.

  14. Cheek I says:

    You are absolutely crazy if you think Jena was better than Caleb TONIGHT. His performance of Dream On was enough to win it.

  15. Mary says:

    I will say one of the best final shows on Idol, It actually went by fast. I Think Jena song is more radio friendly than Caleb. Both contestants are talented but I still say Jena is more marketable than Caleb. I could hear Jena song on the top 40 but to be honest not sure where Caleb would fit in. I am hoping for a Jena win but with the demographics Caleb might take it. Tell you the truth if Interscope is still responsible for the winner it might benefit Jena more if she doesn’t win, I don’t have much faith in them.

    • karl says:

      Caleb will be a front man for a band much like Chris Daughtry is now.

      • JJ says:

        I think it’s more likely Caleb will end up either in country/southern rock – or back in his hometown bar hanging with his “squeal like a pig” buddies

      • AlyB says:

        There’s no doubt that Caleb is a showman but he doesn’t have Daughtry’s emotional depth, creativity or musical skills. He also lacks visual appeal.

        • Timmah says:

          Well said. Caleb is really good karaoke, that’s about it though.

        • I still don’t understand why it matters if Caleb looks like Adonis or a troll doll. Should it matter? Everyone was so impressed by “The Voice” because the judges turned their chairs around for the sound of the contestant’s voices and were not manipulated by their looks, but somehow now that doesn’t matter. “Visual appeal” means NOTHING to me if I’m LISTENING to a CD. The emphasis on looks is one of the main problems with music today.
          And, with Caleb’s voice (and his appearance) he would have fit in perfectly among those 70s AOR-Progressive rockers.

          • Stormy says:

            The Buggles : “Video Killed the Radio Star” Just like talkies ruined the careers of a number of silent film stars, TV and video turned music upside down. Fabian sounded like crap, but he was cute. No matter how good a singer someone is, if they look like a bushel of elbows they’re going nowhere. It’s wrong, but it’s irreversible.

          • The Other Leah, I agree with you. Calebs videos are already blasted all over, “that metal Show” web page. Eddie trunk owns that cable show and he put together the band “The Winery dogs”, which is very good current rock band. I dont see ozzy, or zack wilde, or rob zombie as “Good Looking” who cares what they look like as long as they rock. Right? You could name any rock band these days and none of them are cute. Doesnt matter. Here is another example. Looks dont matter cause Will Champlin came in top 2 on the voice, and now josh won. They are not exactly hot or handsome in any way and people voted for them.

          • Stormy says:

            Then how come Adam Levine was declared the sexiest man alive by People Magazine? How come Jon Bon Jovi is still fronting a band that is always in the top grossing tours every time? And none of the examples you mention has a barn burner career. Do you think Rihanna or Katy Perry would be this successful if they looked like Chelsea Clinton? Would JLo have a career if she looked like Eleanor Roosevelt?

          • Mary says:

            @The Other Leah – the voice initially turns around because of the voice not looks, but you can’t tell me that they don’t take it into consideration when choosing their final teams. I agree it shouldn’t matter but unfortunately in today’s world it does.

          • AlyB says:

            I agree that it should not be the sole criteria for evaluating a performer. That would be silly. It’s important in today’s music industry but I wouldn’t disqualify Caleb as a contender based solely on his looks. My comment used that as one factor among many that I definitely consider more important and listed first. Those are emotional depth, creativity and musical skill. These are things that I take into consideration beyond just the technical vocal.

        • Lacks visual appeal? Can we say Clay Aiken, Will Champlin, Josh,(that just won the voice), Reubin Stoddard, Taylor Hicks, Casey Abrahms just to name a few. None of these guys had visual appeal either!

          • Stormy, than if what you say is true about the looks Rhianna, Adam Levine and so fourth(actually rhianna is one of my favorites) than everyone that was on idol better forget a career than. Cause NONE of them look as good as what your talking about. as for adam levine, I dont agree he is the sexiest. The guy that played Sawyer on “The Lost” if you saw that series. I think he is and i dont know his real name.

          • Stormy says:

            i think you mean Josh Holloway from Lost. And yes, he’s cute but what that has to do with a music career escapes me. One of us lost the thread here. My point is that Elvis wouldn’t have been as successful if he looked like Conway Twitty [who sounded like him]. Conway was big in country music, but nothing on Elvis’ scale which he tried to compete with on a song called “It’s Only make Believe”. They played it on pop stations, it became a hit, then people saw what he looked like and it all fell apart. Homely people don’t last in music these days. They have their 15 minutes of fame and fade away. Some can make a living in niche markets [gospel, R&B, etc., but they don’t become superstars anymore unless they’re good looking.

          • Oh Ya I get what you are saying. I was just throwing in there “the sexiest man” thing and that i dont agree about adam being one. Well than if it thats true, about looks going with the big talent, NOBODY from this year on AI will make it in the business!LOL but on another note, all the newer rock bands are not good looking people, so it wont matter about caleb finding a place. In the POP world it might matter more, you are right there. Kanye West and Jay-z are mega stars and Im sorry but I think Jay-z is the ugliest African American I have ever seen. He is no Lenny Kravitz, look wise!

        • Timmah says:

          I thought it was funny that you said Caleb lacked emotional depth, creativity, musical skill and visual appeal and his fans quickly leapt to his defense “He does too have visual appeal!” :).

          • I answered it that way “about visual appeal’, because that is the only part that doesnt matter when somebody is a good singer. Of course the other things matter, depth, creativity and so on, but ok do you think Amy Winehouse was pretty, or that lady Susan Boyle? Looks dont matter! Caleb already has the other qualities. You may have your own opinion and thats fine.

          • HAR HAR HAR YER FUNNY

          • LOL He probably has more visual appeal than you do and that is why you are so angry!

      • I totally agree! I want him to front a band, it’s what he was born to do.

        • The Other Leah, I was just thinking! Here is the difference now.Caleb has made many “ties” being on idol. Believe it or not Ricky Minor knows many musicians and he just loves Caleb. Now he knows Kiss and did you know they put new bands together once in a while? And now that guy on The metal show liking him( he puts together bands also) He WILL get in a very good band.

      • Lisa says:

        But unlike Chris Daughtry, it will probably be an 80’s cover band.

  16. bialko says:

    Fastidious response in return of this question with real arguments and explaining everything
    on the topic of that.

  17. I seldom comment, however i did a few searching and wound
    up here American Idol Top 2 Recap/Poll: Jena
    Irene, Caleb Johnson – Who Should Win? – TVLine. And I actually
    do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind.
    Is it just me or does it look as if like some of the remarks appear like they are left by brain dead visitors?
    :-P And, if you are writing on additional online social sites, I’d
    like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list
    of every one of your communal sites like your Facebook page,
    twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    • Alyce says:

      If you are talking about Michael, you can follow him on twitter and he’ll post a link to everything he writes. Also if you click on his name under title of this article you’ll see other things he has written

  18. rafaelzzz says:

    Jena is the best!

  19. jane says:

    Dream On deserved an A. I know you love Jena, but he killed that song! Jena continues to lose the bottom notes on songs and lost about all of them on The Dog Days Are Over. Go back and listen to it. If she deserves an A- Caleb at least should get one too. Both of the final songs stunk. Jena’s was slightly better. Both did the best they could with lousy songs. First round, Caleb. Second round, Jena. Third, nobody. Don’t know who will win. I really don’t care. Hope next year is better!

    • Stormy says:

      I also hope next year is better. IMO they picked a very poor roster this year. I wish they would let the public vote during Hollywood week because I doubt CJ would have made it and I’m fairly sure Maurice Townsend and several others would have. And if they feel they must show JLo during performances, use a split screen. I want to judge the performance not her reaction to it.

  20. GeorgeR says:

    After the abomination of last years American Idol (not Candace Kree or most of the women contestants) this year I liked the show. Overall the Judges were fine Harry was a breath of Fresh Air, like Simon without the nasty personal comments,keith really shined unlike last year when he was overshadowed by the cat fights and general nasty insanity and JLo was fine I like her on the show yes the constant camera shots of her were comical but still less offensive than last years crew. The order of the contestants leaving might have been a little different but at least they were all fairly talented. I actually am fine with either winning I like Jena better as a package but Caleb does have some pipes he just needs some polish or maybe not and I’m just showing my age but overall it was a good season.

  21. Liz says:

    I so hope Jena wins. Caleb was good but he didn’t seem to be into the last song at all and only sang about two thirds of it. It’s not a very good song either. I just think Jena will have a better shot at parlaying a win into a successful career. She is more like what is being played on the radio right now. Even though radio shouldn’t matter much any more, it still does. GO JENA!!!

  22. Terry says:

    Michael this week’s Reality Check was the first time you ever mentioned Jena’s pitch problems -why don’t your grades ever reflect that? She has had pitch problems all along (tonight too) as well as being COMPLETELY garbled in her lower registers! My votes went to Caleb because when he sings I understand every word!!

    • Christelle says:

      Yep, he penalizes Caleb for every single faulty note but doesn’t penalize Jena when the first halves of her songs are mumbled, inaudible and nearly incomprehensible. I would give Dog Days a C and Dream On an A actually.

      • Tamara says:

        Totally agree, nice to see a tiny minority on here that at least acknowledges Calebs great voice and Jena’s barely audible lower register. Michael always has his Chosen One but it’s really annoying when he is so explicitly biased towards that person and against another. He has given Jena inflated grades so many times this season, with explanations like “yes the opening verse was a little shaky, but once she hit the chorus/changed it up and made it
        SO original, it was totally worth the grade”. Caleb can sing a song pitch perfectly and get a “karaoke” and when he does dare to go slightly off pitch, rarely, he is given a bad review and slips down a couple grades! It’s sad because many people read this website and might be influenced by it and I know this is an opinion blog but given that it’s such a popular website you’d think the writer could at least try and manage his biases subtly. His bias for Jena is no secret, several comments on here start with “Michael I know you love Jena but…”
        I’m just annoyed lol. I’ve only watched the first performances not the rest but after reading this if Michael semi-admits its a close race then I know Caleb must’ve actually done pretty well and threatened his Chosen One!

        Also, really sick of people saying how Caleb is not marketable and Jena is more “current”. Honestly back in the day it was just about good singing, let the shows producers and record labels and I don’t know, the actual artist, worry about whether they will get radio airtime and how about we just support good singing. Clearly rock is a really underrated genre the way people talk about Caleb being a rock n roll singer you’d think he was singing in a doo wop band lol. As a rock fan I’m delighted by Calebs voice and would love for him to get an album deal because it would be a good classic rock voice as opposed to all the auto tuned “current” voices out there now. Just my two cents.

        • marie says:

          Agree completely with you, Tamara.

        • Terry says:

          Tamara, he does have his favorites we all do and most of the time I agree with him but don’t be so biased that your credibility becomes questionable. We don’t need anymore biased judging!!!! Pitch problems are NEVER ok for ANY contestant and neither is garbled mumbled lower registers. Jena has had that problem from day one yet TPTB, the judges, and Michael refuse to address it. Ugh!! Fair unbiased judging is all I’m asking for.

        • Mary says:

          The thing is he won’t get a classic rock album as demonstrated by his single. I wish them both luck because we all know it is a crap shoot out there on what will catch on or not.

        • Tamara, you hit the nail on the head!!!

        • Tamara! There are tons of good rock bands that are current right now. Rival Sons (which Caleb covered doing “pressure and Time”), Scorpion Child, The Winery Dogs, Black Label Society and on and on! They all have a hard rock but yet 70s 80s, acidy rock feel. Thats kind of the new rock sound out there. I watch “That Metal Show” on cable and they always have the newest up and coming rock bands. Eddie Trunk has that show and now Calebs performances are blasted all over his website. If you like rock you should check out” that metal show” on channel 475 on cable.
          So Yes he is current! And what you said about doo wop band! Hilarious! There are a lot more people here that dislike caleb than the other sites I have been to.

          • Tamara says:

            Haha I love Rival Sons and BLS, will definitely check out the show, thanks! Did you ever watch the Rockstar INXS and Supernova series because they were so great, basically the less vanilla Idol but no judges bias/manipulation, just pure good rock singing with amazing song lists

            I’m pleasantly surprised by the responses to my rant, I thought id get eaten alive by Jena fans/Caleb haters, i.e 99 percent of people on here lol. I hope Caleb ends up with a good album or joins a band and does well, just to show all the people who fancy themselves record producers that he can do well. Jena can become another electronic/pop vocalist (have I forgotten to mention for the 536th time how CURRENT and ORIGINAL and MARKETABLE she is?!) and they’ll both be fine hopefully!

          • Yes Tamara, The rockstar INXS. That was great. Loved it! Yah this site is very Jena Friendly. There are a slight few caleb fans here. Now I went to other sites today and exactly the opposite. More people for caleb on a couple of other ones. Yah oh! and if rock is so dead than why are all the rock concerts 4-600 dollars a ticket? That doesnt sound like rock is dead. Motley Crue is 400 dollars for way in the back and front row is 600. If rock is dead than these bands would not be able to charge this amount! Nobody would go! And that is an 80s band so what is all the crap about 80s bands are the only thing caleb can do?

          • Sara says:

            Except that Motley and other 80s bands have already made their name and have their fan base established. They’re playing the Nostalgia circuit to older fans. Caleb hasn’t made his bones in music and new rock bands don’t reach the popularity level that hair bands did back in the day. Even Daughtry’s popularity is waning and they will need to change their sound to remain viable.

          • Well and the deal is, most of their big shows are across the pond, like Donnington Festival. But there are still newer bands coming out that are actually doing alright and they too are going across the pond. I guess they love hard rock in Europe Duh! LOL So that is how even the newer rock bands are making it and trying to make a name for themselves like Rival sons, Scorpion child and so forth. There is always a place for a good singer. they have shows going on this summer across the pond that have 15 to 20 bands at a time Its crazy. I think Daughtry is doing fine and lambert is with Queen.

          • HTGR says:

            @Sara – if earning $4million last year means his popularity has faded and he will soon need to change up his sound, then I’m thinking a lot of people wish they had such faded popularity that they had to change up their sound hah

      • Terry says:

        I agree!!

  23. grandma Jane says:

    I hated Caleb’s last song. It was really poor. No tune to remember. Jena’s wasn’t great either, but better than his. Disappointing. Otherwise an ok night. Remember what Melinda has said about those last weeks. They are stressful and tiring. I thought both contestants looked very “done in”. A little like a deer in the headlights!!

    • Shel says:

      Pretty much agree with your evaluation. I remember thinking I liked Jena’s little preview of her song last week much better than tonight. Watching Caleb, I thought – well, at least they wrote him a song that fits. But of all 6 performances, that was the one where I found my attention wandering by the end. Not good for a 90 second blip! lol And, yes, they looked so so tired. Hope they can somehow get some sleep tonight.

  24. Jenna says:

    Both of their lower registers require SERIOUS work. Caleb did struggle slightly at the beginning of Dream On, and I was worried about him tackling another Aerosmith song after Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, arguably his weakest performance of the season. I was so looking forward to Jena’s We Are One because I enjoy the song. But, I was disappointed to realize that the song does not suit her range as well as I thought it did! She kept trailing off in her phrases during the verses because it was too low. But, both Caleb and Jena did find their niches eventually. That scream in Dream On? Nailed it.

  25. Mark says:

    I would give Caleb decisive wins in the first two rounds, it he was saddled with a dog of song in the third round. Jena’s original song was hands down better. Overall, I give the night to Caleb.

  26. Logan Krum Movie Reviews says:

    Slezak, you’ve made some biased calls in the past and I love that about you because we usually agree on favs, but I don’t know if I can fully stomach you saying Dream On was worse than Dog Days Are Over, and that’s coming from a Jena fan

    • Logan Krum, I just dont think Slezak likes Caleb at all. Back at top 13, he predicted Caleb to go home by top 8. Its a very “Jena Friendly” site here. Small percentage are Caleb fans! Im one of them. LOL I dont think Slezak is a “rock” lover at all.

      • Trouty Mouth says:

        Not true. Slezak likes David Cook. The problem most of us have with Caleb is the lack of creativity. Karaoke is karaoke, no matter how well it’s done.

        • David cook is kind of pop rock. The harder stuff, James Durbin, Caleb,etc I dont think Slezak likes it

        • Then I guess What Jena Did copying Ingrid Michaelsons Version EXACTLY, Isnt karaoke? Karaoke means to copy. That version was played on piano, just like Ingrids and she absolutely copied the whole version and then acted like she changed up the song herself. Karma! and that is why grimmys version is number 14 on i tunes and jenas isnt anywhere.

        • I guess Americas wrong and you are right! LOL

  27. Jenna says:

    The drums in Dog Days Are Over swallowed Jena whole. Couldn’t even enjoy her performance because I could barely hear her.

    • Ella says:

      Jena has had that problem nearly all season. When she sings the verses it is way too soft and slurred to where you can hardly ever understand the lyrics. She seriously needs help on that pronto.

  28. CK from DC says:

    I don’t see what everybody’s so mad about. I loved Caleb and JLo’s duet on Dream On.

    Prediction: Jena to win, Caleb outsells her when he fronts his band.

    • Jenna says:

      Haha, the J Lo crack made me laugh. At first I was like, “What?” But then I got it.

    • Angela says:

      I suspect your prediction will come true, mostly because so often the runners-up tend to have more success than the winners do :p.

      • tealeaves says:

        “so often the runners-up tend to have more success than the winners”?
        By “so often” I guess you mean twice.

        • Angela says:

          No, I mean that Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson are about the only Idols I can recall who won and actually had successful, big careers afterward. The other winners might still be out there making music and have their passionate fanbases, sure, but they’re not getting the kind of mainstream attention Kelly or Carrie still get to this day. I hear way more about the runners-ups in the media than I do the winners-there are many latter seasons I can barely remember who did win..

          • tealeaves says:

            Huh? You “hear more” about DiGuarmo than Fantasia? Blake than Sparks? Archuleta than Cook? Bowersox than DeWyze? Alaina than McCreery? Sanchez than Phillips? Kree than Candice? You already admit you hear more about Kelly than Justin and Carrie than Bo.
            .

          • tealeaves says:

            I am not saying a non-winner cannot be successful. Of course they can be. Why wouldn’t they be? But historically the winners are usually also the most successful in the music business.

          • Danny says:

            I think she might mean other finishers than the winner, not necessarily the 2nd place person. I’d add Jordan, David C, and Phillip to her list, but then it kind of changes what she’s referring too. I actually get what she means though.
            ..
            After Carrie, Kelly, and to a lesser extent Phillip, we don’t really hear a whole lot about the winners. I guess Scott’s doing pretty well, but being country means he’s getting played on stations I don’t listen to that much.
            ..
            This post got me thinking though. Do we really hear a lot about the other people either? I haven’t heard much from Daughtry lately. Awhile back he was doing well. I guess he’s got a new album out, but I haven’t heard much about it.
            ..
            In regards to any band though, not just AI, very few bands have more than 2-3 good albums. A great career might be 7-10 years. There’s exceptions of course, but if a band/singer has a 10 year career they’re doing better than 99% of the groups out there. Things change fast in this industry.

            The Beatles were around for what, 7 years? Guns and Roses was short lived in terms of years. Van Halen was around for about 7 in their original formation. John Mellencamp has had 2 or 3 good albums and pretty much lived off of those. The Rolling Stones have been around forever, but they were only good the first dozen or so years. Since then they’ve been living on their past songs. Didn’t Lady Ga Ga come out with a new album? Her first 2 did real well. Her 3rd one I guess is doing ok, but nothing like the first 2. Might she be on her way out?
            ..
            While I don’t think every single person is going to agree on all points of the above paragraph (someone might like all of John Mellencamp’s albums for instance) I think it fits the general listening audience. The point is not many acts have a real long career. Those that do generally live off of the success of a few albums rather than have 20+ year of chart topping albums.

          • Stormy says:

            @Danny There are exceptions. Generally, country artists have longer careers than pop or rock artists [George Strait for instance]. But Bon Jovi has had platinum albums 20+ years in and still is in the top grossing tours after 30 years at it.

      • Mary says:

        I guess that depends on how you define success. Not everyone is going to be a “Superstar”. My idea of success is there are doing what they love and can support themselves. I’m not so sure Carrie or Kelly would be as successful if say they won in season 7-10. AI has always been a stepping stone not the end all. There are a lot of successful musicians that aren’t “Superstars”.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          ^this. I’ve been saying that for years. There are plenty of former contestants that aren’t “Superstars” but they’re making a living doing what they love. My friends that saw Syesha Mercado in “Book of Mormon” and “Dreamgirls” said she was wonderful. Same for Constantine Maroulis in “Rock of Ages”.

  29. wingsstef says:

    Yay! Go Jena! I really hope she wins. I like Caleb too, but I still hope Jena wins. Jena is who I voted for tonight.

  30. Jenna says:

    Caleb’s last performance was so underwhelming. I feel like he was just yelling and trying to push through it by the end. Nothing memorable about it. I couldn’t understand him that well, either.

  31. dre says:

    Has there ever been a finale poll so lopsided on here? Serious question…

  32. Shaun says:

    I was kinda shocked Jena chose Elvis again instead of My Body.Maybe for a change of pace?

    • Mary says:

      I think she wanted to show her versatility. She can do Uptempo and also slow it down. Personally I think they should only do two full songs during the finals and maybe no reprisal. It is tough, and I think only a couple have managed it, that the reprisal is better than the first time.

    • Yah, if I was her, i would not have done that song because she just did it 2 weeks ago, and then Grimmy had to do it just mon night, and then we hear it again with Jena, Its too much of the same song. And I think a lot of us watch the voice too! I thought Calebs “Maybe Im amazed was done too recently also. I wish he did Skyfall!

  33. Tammy says:

    I like Jena because I can hear her voice on the radio and I can see where she might go with a cd. Caleb seems to sing mostly Classic Rock songs and we already have lots of Classic Rock singers out there. My point is he should have picked a more current song as his choice (or Simon should have done it) to prove he could make in today’s music. You need to take an older song and make it new again…. like Jena did. Plus the look on Caleb’s face when Harry said Jena won one of the rounds. He gave him a smirk like “what the heck are you talking about!”

    Anyway…. I think is more relevant in today’s music than Caleb. He has a great voice but I think he needs to listen to some experts to figure out where he belongs.

  34. darcy's evil twin says:

    I was gone this evening and hopefully U-verse didn’t let me down and I got the program recorded. Glad to hear the performances were good and I’m looking forward to watching!

  35. Jenna says:

    The reprisals were redundant and just extremely unnecessary, imo. They could have just kept it at two songs and I would have been more than okay with it. I guess it was nice to revel in the beauty of Jena’s Can’t Help Falling in Love performance. You appreciate it more the second time around. I got goosebumps this time.

  36. Nedsdag says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is saying that Caleb cannot be current. Did anyone remember when he sang “Family Tree” by Kings of Leon, which last I checked was a current band? No, Caleb is not a solo artist, but if he finds the right band, I think he’ll be fine.

    • tvlover44 says:

      yes, i was thinking the same thing! i downloaded that song and love it. unfortunately the coronation single for caleb was nowhere near as good (though i did enjoy its late 70s rock vibe and i liked the bridge especially).

  37. LAP says:

    Round 1: Caleb A-; Jena B
    Round 2: Caleb A-; Jena A
    Round 3: Caleb B-; Jena B

    It is biased to the extreme saying that Jena won Round 1. Caleb does not get an A just because of the beginning, and more than a B for Jena being swallowed by the percussion will be an illusion.

    Round 2 went to Jena; it wasn’t as good as her previous performance of this song, but it was very good; same with Caleb.

    Round 3 is also Jena’s round just by default. Not very good performances.

    Funny that Michael did not give Jena even a B+!

  38. Christelle says:

    So the opening of “Dream On” was a little wobbly… but what about the first half of Jena’s “Dog Days” that was impossible to hear? The girl has ZERO lower register. Absolutely horrible. So if you’re going to nitpick at Caleb, you need to do it to Jena as well Just saying. Both original songs were terrible but Jena’s was slightly better.

    • S. says:

      He’s got Jena blinders on, this is impossible to take seriously. On MJ’s Big Blog the comment consensus was that Jena was in trouble after rounds 1 and 2 while people liked her single more but preferred Caleb’s performance of his. From the beginning (not of the ep, of the top 13) I spotted a Caleb bias from Slezak that was confusing and went ‘uh oh, so that’s how this season’s gonna go eh?’ I think we’d have gotten less of an obvious mis-ranking with Alex, but Michael didn’t get his “Every Breath You Take” either. That version was far superior to The Voice and frankly a little disappointed that whenever that song gets mentioned when discussion The Voice, he refuses to acknowledge Alex the way he does Jena vs. Grimmie on their mutual song. To me, it’d be one of the ranking Idol vocals.

      • Tamara says:

        Jena blinders sounds about right and yeah, I noticed he just didn’t seem to like Caleb very much right from the start, any rare words of praise were given very grudgingly. Good to hear that other sites aren’t as biased as this one, someone else mentioned how “Jena friendly” this site was and it’s so true. Just like Michael has read comments by Jena detractors and immediately jumped to her defence in his write up of Dog Days, I hope he reads these too and acknowledges just how biased he’s been all season, both towards Jena and against Caleb (which are two different things. I’m a Caleb fan and I want a fair fight. That doesn’t mean I am automatically a Jena hater)

    • Bonnie A. says:

      I thought that was just me, but I also couldn’t hear her on “Dog Days” until quite a bit into the performance. I wasn’t picking up very many of the words.

  39. Spitey Spice says:

    I notice the joint butchering of “Breakaway” at the end of the show was left out of the list. So bad!

  40. Amber says:

    Jena’s first song was awful! Caleb definitely won round 1. I thought they both were underwhelming round 2. Round 3, those songs are bad, but Caleb’s is a tiny bit better and her performed his 1000x better than Jena did hers.
    It should be Caleb to win

  41. GuitarBlue says:

    Didn’t Michael Johns and Gokey and some of the contestants on other talent shows as well; ———- get eliminated right after singing “Dream-On”.?? Not sayin’ Caleb didn’t do well, but doesn’t that song have a history on talent shows?? Just asking, for those who have followed various singing talent shows.

  42. Tahoe Mike says:

    My votes went to Caleb.
    ~
    I do hope that Simon Fuller picking “The Dawg Days Are Over,” was a promise of things to come! That is all I could think while she sang.
    ~
    I thought that Jena sounded small on that stage tonight. I don’t know if it was the bigger room, or nerves, but she just got swallowed up tonight. I really didn’t think her performance of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was nearly as good as it was a few weeks ago.
    ~
    Caleb’s voice is still noticeably hurtin’, but I like that “Old Time Rock and Roll,” and he is just much more my kind of singer. It’s about time that a rocker won this thing! (D. Cook doesn’t count! He is not a rocker, he’s a musical theater geek who plays a rocker on TV.)

    • tealeaves says:

      Dude, what about Bar-ba-sol?

      • Tahoe Mike says:

        ?-?-?

        • tealeaves says:

          I was reacting to the suggestion Cook is not a rocker. There is Bar-ba-sol, Mr Sensitive, Declaration, Kiss On the Neck, Circadian, Rapid Eye Movement… and plenty more. Just because he nailed Music of the Night, that does not mean that is his wheelhouse.

          • Tahoe Mike says:

            I choose not to get into a rant-fest about how much I despise the guy, the less said about him the better. I realize that there are people who like him; I ain’t one of them.

    • Spitey Spice says:

      “Musical theater geek who plays a rocker on TV”

      Hahahaha, that’s funny! Feel free to hate on Cook, but at least categorize him correctly. He’s no musical theater geek – music geek maybe, but I hope serious musicians are! And he can rock out plenty (see tealeaves’ excellent list – Bar-ba-sol is one of my fave songs).

  43. Catniss says:

    Competition over after round one. Caleb’s got this. He was not flawless, but nether was Jena. I hear Caleb was not 100% yet.

  44. Big Al says:

    That was a very solid Idol finale! I agree that Caleb’s start on Dream On was wobbly, but he ended well. For me, while Caleb is good he really hasn’t “grown” or changed much through the season. He is what he is, and does what he does, and it’s good. Not great, and not really unique – but very solid.

    Jena on the other hand has grown into an amazing performer. I’ve seen incredible growth in her and we all got to see her become an “Idol”. That to me is what makes AI so great – seeing these young upstarts become true musicians/performers.

    I’d love to see Jena win it – she would definitely be a great Idol. The only downside of her winning though is that on tour she wouldn’t do all the group numbers, duets etc. as the winner typically only comes on at the end (unless of course Uncle Per changes that up).

    Despite the flack that AI got this year (then again, doesn’t it always?) I really enjoyed this season. Can’t wait to see where these “kids” go with their careers (especially Jess and Jena).

    Thanks Michael (and Melinda) for providing great reviews/content this season!!

  45. HTGR says:

    Man this is close. Not sure what to say.
    .
    And the voting I think will be close too. I, for the first time in ages on Idol, have no clue who will win the votes.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      If Jena wins, it will be no surprise to the odds-makers. Caleb is actually a slight underdog in this one, even though the guy is usually favored over a girl in a guy/girl finale. Jena is the favorite right now.

  46. Michael Johns says:

    I have to go with Jena. That’s how you sell an unknown and average song: kill it with energy and pretend as if people are so in love with it.

    • HTGR says:

      She does have that ability to work the stage and say stuff that might seem over the top for her stage in career (all the come on America [you are with me yeahhhh!!!]) and own a decent, but not the best, ever single too and act like it is a hit, you are a hit, you do rule America and make it seem believable (if maybe it actually shouldn’t be).

  47. Lking says:

    I really don’t think anyone can predict what this years Idol will do in his/her future career. I don’t think Caleb will get radio play with rock, but it could surprise you. I’m not as high as others on Jena since I cannot understand most of what she is singing. She needs diction lesson on how to sing words one can understand. Both can belt the big notes, but get lost on lower notes. After the big success of P2, which I could not imagine, anything is possible. I wish them both great good luck tomorrow night.

  48. HTGR says:

    “Jena Irene: “The Dog Days Are Over” — Grade: A-
    Caleb Johnson: “Dream On” — Grade: B+ (sorry, judges, that opening verse was wobbly!)”
    .
    Hmm I gotta disagree. Also “Dream On” was a bit better than his second one too (although it was given a higher grade here).
    .
    If you want a crazy good “The Dog Days Are Over”, go to youtube and enter “dog days vicci martinez” (speaking of which, that might be a good suggestion for The Voice top 30 list, that or her “Jolene” instead of the one on the list, way down there, which I don’t even remember).
    .
    Anyway point is, whatever you think of him, Caleb absolutely took that first round even if he didn’t quite hit it hard enough for the start (not saying loud, that is totally different than hitting it hard, I think Keith misunderstood, perhaps, what Harry was actually trying to get at).

  49. Dan says:

    I know “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was a moment for Jena but I was hoping she would picked that song from Twilight. It was her first breakthrough performance this season. She was in bottom 3 the week prior.

    • my krav is bettah says:

      I felt the same but I think she got more mileage out of doing the Elvis song again… Since someone on the voice jumped in her wake by doing this song as well. Harry ( or was it Keith?…cant remember) did her a favor by mentioning this after she did the song- therefore I think it was a smart cunning choice. this girl is impressive for a 17 year old.

  50. Bud says:

    Something else I’d like to mention really fast. If they’re going to force the contestants to sing a god awful “first single” song during the Finale, then they should let them decide the order in which they sing their songs. That way they don’t have to end on such a low note. I’m serious when I say that only ONE TIME did I ever like the song given to a contestant, and obviously that was Home.

    • Mary says:

      I am not sure about that. This is there single and hopefully it will be played on the radio. It helps to keep it fresh in the audience mind and prompts them to go download it. It is the start of their careers so do your best to sell it.

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