Judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez greet American Idol fans on Tuesday night's performance show. "It's a tough job for America tonight," said Lopez of the choice between top two contenders Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene.
Ryan Seacrest, Caleb Johnson, Jena Irene
"It's the wild card vs. the wild child," said host Ryan Seacrest of Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene, before the top two performed three songs each on Tuesday night's performance show.
Jena Irene kicked things off with producer Simon Fuller's song pick of "The Dog Days Are Over" by Florence + the Machine. "The way you own that stage is so good," said judge Keith Urban. In a press conference after the show, Irene said she was "stoked" to go first in the competition.
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban
Judge Harry Connick Jr., looking dashing in a tux, said America had their work cut out for them after the show. "I do not envy the voters," he said.
Jena Irene, seated behind the piano, reprised her cover of Elvis Presley's "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You," prompting judge Keith Urban to take a shot at The Voice. "You inspired someone else," he said.
Harry Connick Jr.
Harry Connick Jr. continues his reign as the people's judge, posing with fans in the front row for selfies.
Caleb Johnson showed off his softer side with Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" and brought down the house with Simon Fuller's pick of Aerosmith's "Dream On." Johnson said Tuesday night's show at the Nokia Theatre was an adrenaline rush. "That is the biggest crowd I've ever performed in front of," he said.
Said Caleb Johnson of producer Simon Fuller's song choice of Aerosmith's "Dream On." "He nailed the song choices."
During her performance of "We Are One," co-written by Felicia Barton, Anne Preven and Mitch Allan, Jena Irene, the first female wild card pick to make the top two, worked the crowd and shouted out a "thank you!" to America.
Caleb Johnson rocks out to "As Long As You Love Me," his coronation song written by Justin Hawkins of The Darkness.
Caleb Johnson Jena Irene
Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene team up for a duet of Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" on American Idol.
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest works the crowd at the Nokia Theatre.
American Idol winner Caleb Johnson celebrates his victory singing his new single, "As Long As You Love Me," written by Justin Hawkins of The Darkness. Johnson's record, due Aug. 12, will be a mix of "bad ass songs...soulful, with a lot of depth to it," he told reporters after his win.
Randy Jackson, Caleb Johnson, Ryan Seacrest
Caleb Johnson is showered in confetti as Randy Jackson looks on after his win on American Idol. "This is absolutely insane right now," said Johnson of his win.
Jennifer Lopez took to the American Idol stage to perform her new single, "First Love." The video, filmed on May 10 in the California desert, will premiere on May 29.
Season 11 American Idol winner Phillip Phillips teamed up with Sam Woolf for a fun duet of his new single, "Raging Fire." Said Phillips of Woolf on the red carpet: "He's the nicest kid in the world. He's shy, but I'm shy. He's a great guy and he has an awesome voice, too."
Judge Jam: Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson
All four judges took to the stage for a mashup of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" and Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." "It was a blast," said Connick of the jam.
Aloe Blacc sings his hit, "The Man" with the American Idol top 13 boys.
American Idol Girls, Keith Urban
Girl Power! The American Idol Top 13 girls (minus MK Nobilette, who missed the finale due to an unspecified illness) perform as judge Keith Urban looks on.
KISS, Caleb Johson
Caleb Johnson goes to the "School of Rock" with KISS for a mashup of "Love Gun" and "Shout it Out Loud." Asked on the red carpet which KISS member he would be if he had the choice, Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter: "Paul Stanley. Or Ace Frehley. And Gene."
Former X Factor judge Demi Lovato took to the American Idol stage to perform her new single, "Really Don't Care."
Paramore, Jena Irene
American Idol runner-up Jena Irene performs with her favorite band, Paramore, for a rocking version of "Aint it Fun." I was freaking out the whole time," she said the next day. "To share the stage was a dream come true."
Malaya Watson, John Legen
John Legend and American Idol finalist Malaya Watson teamed up for a duet of his hit, "All of Me," for the finale.
Jason Mraz, Alex Preston
Top three finalist Alex Preston performs with Jason Mraz for a duet of Mraz's new single, "Love Someone." Said Mraz of writing with Preston: "I think it will work out."
Ryan Seacrest, Richard Marx
Ryan Seacrest croons "Right Here Waiting" to his American Idol, Richard Marx, at the Nokia Theatre. "Nobody expects you to be good," Marx told Seacrest in a pep talk before the performance.
Lady Antebellum debuted their new single, "Bartender," at the American Idol finale.
Season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez is a vision in green on the American Idol red carpet.
Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips poses on the red carpet before the American Idol finale. "Idol is a great platform, but it's what you do after," he said of the show. "You have to work for what you want." His advice for Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene, he said, is "keep doing what you love, and know what you want out of your career as an artist, and don't worry about what anyone else says or thinks."
Season 10 American Idol finalist Casey Abrams wore red to match the carpet. Said Abrams of Alex Preston: "We actually hung out and chilled out and played music together. We are going to do a lot more of it."
Hollywood Game Night and Glee star Jane Lynch came out for the American Idol finale festivities. When asked if she watched the season, she said: "I have not, so shame on me, but I love the finale...I'm not up on it at all, I have to admit, but I'm not watching The Voice, either. But I love this part of it. I love the excitement and you have two left and that is so so exciting." On the last season of Glee, she said: "we are going to try to wrap up the story in a way that is satisfying and does homage to the characters and their desires...put a little bow on it."
Season 10 top three finalist Haley Reinhart schmoozed with mentor Randy Jackson on the red carpet, who said "I'm happy you're here." Reinhart told The Hollywood Reporter she has written new songs for an album, and will be shooting a new video next week. "I'm coming from another planet to earth and challenging people to show me their inner talents and passions," she said of the plot. "It's going to be really out there."
Jennifer Nettles, in a Philip Armstrong dress and Jimmy Choo shoes, teamed up with American Idol finalist Jess Meuse for a duet of "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus.
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