"American Idol XIII" finalists Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson and Host Ryan Seacrest during the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre on Wednesday, May 21, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: Michael Becker, FOX)
LOS ANGELES - Caleb Johnson auditioned for American Idol in two previous years and got cut both times. On Wednesday, the 23-year-old rocker from Asheville, N.C., won the show's 13th season, beating out 17-year-old Jena Irene for the title.
The season's two-hour finale opened with Johnson and Jena Irene together in the tiny booth where singers were held before first auditioning for the judges last fall. They emerged to step on the stage and perform a medley of Queen's We Will Rock You, No Doubt's Just a Girl and Bryan Adams and Tina Turner's It's Only Love, the final one with flame cannons going off behind them.
That performance was met with a standing ovation from the judges, including Harry Connick Jr., who may not have stood once for a performance this season. "The competition is officially over!" he told Ryan Seacrest. "I can stand!"