American Idol Crowns Caleb Johnson Its Winner!

Caleb Johnson Is American Idol Winner
Caleb Johnson (left) and Ryan Seacrest
Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP

updated 05/21/2014 at 02:00 PM EDT

originally published 05/21/2014 10:10PM

More than 75,000 auditioned, but only one could become the 13th American Idol.

"It's going to be close, I would imagine," judge Harry Connick, Jr., told reporters after Tuesday night's performance finale of the final vote, which came down to Jena Irene Asciutto and Caleb Johnson.

And as he prophesized, it was anyone's guess who would become the Fox reality singing competition's latest winner.

So who ultimately took home the title? Caleb Johnson!



"Thank you so much … so much," Johnson said before attempting to sing his coronation song "As Long as You Love Me" before being inundated by hugs from his fellow Top 13 contestants and almost becoming the first contestant in Idol history to not sing his single.

But he eventually rocked out like the American Idol he is.

Johnson was an early standout who wowed the audience and the judges – including Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban – with his powerful rock vocals, even as he battled illness.

"My voice is still not anywhere near where it was starting out this season," Johnson, 23, said of hemorrhaging his vocal cords before the Top 3 performance night.



Asciutto was almost eliminated from the season during Rush Week but steadily improved week to week and became Idol's first female wild card to become a finalist.

"I'm a baby still, so it's cool to just even be in the live shows," Asciutto, 17, said Tuesday.

Ryan Seacrest Sings on American Idol!

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