American Idol

Did the Idol Judges Save a Contestant from Elimination?

Originally posted 03/27/2014 09:30 PM

Did the American Idol Judges Save a Contestant from Elimination? | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

The attention may have been on gummy bears and host Ryan Seacrest's feet on Wednesday, but Thursday's American Idol was all about the contestants.

Following a night of strong performances, most of the contestants likely felt positive about their chances of making it through to next week, with the judges giving a big shout-out to the likes of Caleb Johnson (who rocked Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused") and Jena Irene (who wowed with her rendition of Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life").

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5 Secrets From Behind the Scenes at American Idol

Originally posted 03/27/2014 07:15 PM

Go Behind the Scenes at American Idol

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

American Idol has been on the air for 13 seasons, but somehow there are still plenty of behind-the-scenes tidbits you can't see from home.

"There is a lot of stuff that I did not know," contestant Dexter Roberts tells PEOPLE.

So what are these unearthed gems? Here are five secrets about the FOX reality show.

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American Idol's Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene Rock It Out

Originally posted 03/27/2014 08:15 AM

American Idol: Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene Rock It Out

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (2)

American Idol's Top 9 unleashed their inner rock star Wednesday, tackling songs that fit into the theme "I'm with the Band."

While most of the performers hit some high notes in their performances, the theme was a perfect fit for a few singers who have already drawn comparisons to lead singers from legendary bands.

Leading the pack was Caleb Johnson, 22, who rocked the stage, going toe-to-toe with the band as they jammed "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin.

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American Idol: Malaya Watson and Alex Preston Shine

Originally posted 03/20/2014 07:00 AM

American Idol: Malaya Watson and Alex Preston Shine

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (2)

American Idol's Top 10 took on Top 10 songs, but only a couple of performers soared to the top of the judges' charts.

Perhaps the best performance of the night, however, belonged to Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., who switched seats in the middle of the show and did spot-on impressions of one other, with Connick nailing Urban's Australian accent, and Urban mimicking Harsh Harry's often high-brow criticism, spouting phrases like "the monotone pentatonic" and "genomial parallax."

Malaya Watson's rendition of "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars not only earned her raves but also flowers: The song includes the lyrics "I should've bought you flowers," but the 16-year-old admitted no one ever had, so Idol did (although it was charged to Connick's credit card).

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Go Inside the American Idol Contestants' Lounge

Originally posted 03/19/2014 10:20 AM

PEOPLE Takes You Inside the American Idol Contestants' Lounge

American Idol's Top 13 are just as excited to watch the show as couch potatoes as the viewers are at home. It's just a different couch.

"You get to watch a free concert right in front of you and also feel a part of the TV show. It's fun," contestant C.J. Harris, 23, tells PEOPLE of spending the performance shows watching from the blue couches in the stageside contestants' lounge.

In seasons past, the contestants have spent the performance shows backstage until it's their turn to grab the mic. But the season 13 singers are unanimously excited to watch their fellow competitors.

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Jason Aldean Is Dating Kissing-Scandal Partner Brittany Kerr

Originally posted 03/18/2014 12:20 PM

Jason Aldean Is Dating Kissing-Scandal Partner Brittany Kerr

Credit: Curtis Hilbun/AFF-USA; Chuck Burton/AP

Jason Aldean once claimed his fling with Brittany Kerr was in the past. Well, now it's firmly in the present.

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What Harry Connick Jr. Thinks About His American Idol Nickname | Harry Connick Jr.

Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Harry Connick, Jr. has plenty of fans, but his thorough critiques as a judge on American Idol have earned him a memorable nickname on the show: "Harsh Harry."

Not that he minds.

"I hear that I have the reputation more than people actually say it," the singer told reporters after last Thursday's results show.

"No one has ever come up to me and said, 'You're harsh.' I do think some people may be taken aback by some of the things I choose to say, but I don't interpret telling somebody, 'This is what you could work on' as harsh."

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Did American Idol Lose Another Contestant?

Originally posted 03/14/2014 07:55 AM

Did American Idol Lose Another Contestant? | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

With a spot on the American Idol tour bus on the line, tension was high as the Top 11 were told their fate Thursday after America's vote.

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American Idol: Jena Irene, C.J. Harris and Alex Preston Stand Out from the Pack | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

American Idol's Top 11 sang songs from the cinema on Wednesday, but who possessed the Gravity to impress the judges and which contestants are destined to be Gone with the Wind?

Jena Irene, 17, who was in the Bottom 3 last week, earned a standing ovation from Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, and a prolonged ovation from the crowd, following her electrifying performance of "Decode" at the piano.

Urban said there was a "ferocity" about the way she performed the Twilight song, comparing it to "hurtling along the edge of a cliff," while Lopez called it the best performance of the night and yelled, "America, get on board!"

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American Idol Sends Home a Top 12 Contestant

Originally posted 03/06/2014 09:05 PM

American Idol Sends Home a Top 12 Contestant | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

"Harsh Harry" has been out in full force, but it was the fans who made the important decision of who was going home on American Idol Thursday.

"I just want them to get better," Harry Connick Jr. said to fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban after a particularly negative critique on Wednesday night's performance show that left at least one contestant in tears.

While no contestants received universal praise from the judges Wednesday, Urban had guaranteed finalists Sam Woolf and Emily Piriz that they would be safe despite the tough criticism.

But who did America deem worthy of another week in the competition?

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