03:46 PM EDT 05/19/2015
Harry Connick Jr.
Originally posted 08/06/2014 11:30AM
The young singers auditioning for the 14th season of American Idol in Nashville this week weren't the only ones feeling the heat: Keith Urban admitted he was pulling for the people of Music City to wow fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.
Originally posted 05/21/2014 02:30PM
Finalists Jena Irene Asciutto and Caleb Johnson may have put on quite a show Tuesday night but the American Idol producers are pulling out all the stops for Wednesday night's finale.
Originally posted 05/20/2014 09:35PM
After 75,000 auditions, hundreds of Golden Tickets and countless performances, it came down to two – Caleb Johnson vs. Jena Irene – and a single song on Tuesday's American Idol.
The performance finale at the Nokia Theatre featured major contrasts – the old-school rocker with mega pipes against the teen powerhouse and first female wild-card pick to make it this far – as well as more drama than usual, as Johnson battled not only Irene but also an injured vocal cord.
Originally posted 05/15/2014 06:30AM
There was no place like home on Wednesday's American Idol, which celebrated its 500th episode with well wishes from former winners, as the final three visited their hometowns and had memorable performances in the lead-up to Tuesday's finale.
Powerhouse teen Jena Irene, hard rocker Caleb Johnson and indie artist Alex Preston each sang three songs, the first one selected by Randy Jackson, the second one by the judges and the final one picked by their hometowns.
It was not an easy night for Johnson, who was forced to sing with a small vocal cord hemorrhage that a doctor compared to "a runner running with a badly bruised ankle."
Originally posted 05/09/2014 09:30AM
The American Idol judges may be staying together as a team, but the Top 4 still had to lose a member Thursday night.
After performing three songs each on Wednesday, the Top 4 appeared exhausted after the show. Still, the contestants were tentatively confident they had done all they could to win the hearts – and votes – of America.
Originally posted 05/08/2014 08:30PM
Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. will return to the American Idol judges table next season, a source confirms to PEOPLE.
Dubbed "the New Dream Team" last fall, the trio have had a "fantastic" experience on the reality competition, says the source.
"They like and respect each other a lot. What you see on camera is exactly what you get when they're off – fun, playful but they all take this job very seriously."
Originally posted 05/08/2014 06:30AM
After a week filled with drama – including a surprising elimination and contestant chaos – Wednesday's American Idol was filled with love and a spellbinding performance.
With a visit to their hometowns on the line, the Final Four sang three love songs, one about a breakup, a make-up and a dedication.
But Jena Irene had the memorable moment of the night (and likely the season) when she improbably channeled Elvis Presley, playing the piano and singing "Can't Help Falling in Love," a stunning, "spellbinding" performance that had Jennifer Lopez sprinting onto the stage to kiss the 17-year-old.
Originally posted 05/01/2014 07:45AM
America will eventually pick the winner of American Idol, but – at least for Wednesday night – viewers got the chance to pick the songs.
With Jason Mraz mentoring, each Final Five contestant sang two songs chosen by viewers.
Alex Preston started the show with "Sweater Weather," which earned nice reviews but requests for more oomph.
"You could've made it more exciting to kick off the show," said Jennifer Lopez, although Harry Connick Jr. felt it was a "strong opening."
Originally posted 04/24/2014 07:00AM
Just like Donny and Marie, American Idol's Top 6 were a little bit country and little bit rock 'n' roll Wednesday night.
Each contestant performed two songs, and the results were mixed for most, with judges' comments varying as much as the song selection.
Birthday boy Caleb Johnson had the super save and magical moment of the night while rocking "Sting Me" when he lost his mic before catching it without missing a beat.
Originally posted 04/17/2014 07:35AM
American Idol's Top 7 turned the tables on one another Wednesday night, with each competitor picking a song for another finalist.
Demi Lovato even stopped by to tout her tour and serve as a pseudo-mentor and judge.
Jena Irene (sporting new Lea Michele bangs) stole the night with her emotionally powerful rendition of "Creep" (chosen by Caleb Johnson so she could "turn it into a big, beautiful theatrical rock song"), which she did, earning a standing ovation from Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez (clad in a backless, DayGlo yellow leather dress).
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