American Idol celebrates its 500th Episode!

American Idol 500th episode

Alex Preston, Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson celebrated the 500th episode of “American Idol” (Photo property of FOX, 19 Entertainment & FremantleMedia North America)


By: Jacob Elyachar,

Hundreds of thousands have auditioned for a chance to change their lives forever!

11 of the biggest names in the entertainment industry (Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr.) granted thousands of tickets to Hollywood, California.

156 artists have made it to the Live Shows. There have been some incredible performances and surprising eliminations (Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Elliott Yamin, Melinda Doolittle, Allison Iraheta, Pia Toscano, Haley Reinhart and Joshua Ledet) throughout the years!

Several amazing superstars were born on the Idol stage including winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Phillip Phillips, runner-ups Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert and Jessica Sanchez and fan-favorites Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson.

Tonight, the Final Three (Caleb Johnson, Jena Irene and Alex Preston) hope to honor this legacy as they tackle three songs! Who rose to the occasion? Read on to find out!

Caleb Johnson (who was suffering from strained vocals) kicked off the night! Randy Jackson picked out INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart.” While there were times that Caleb was struggling at times hitting those notes, he was very soulful and rocked it out. Nice work picking out the song, Randy. B

The Dawg picked out Bastille’s “Pompeii” for Alex Preston. While it showcased that the key was too high for the Mont Vernon native too sing. However, I enjoyed that Alex got to show his creative side as he played those massive drums. This was the perfect time to peak and show his creativity. B-

Randy chose David Guetta & Sia’s “Titanium” for Jena to perform. I liked the staging and was happy that Jena was able to channel her inner Florence Welch. But, at times…it was a little screechy! However, Jena was able to recover with that massive high note at the end! If you want to see if “Titanium” is done right, listen to Michelle Chamuel’s cover! C+

The second round of the evening was the Judges’ Picks! They chose Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” for Caleb to perform. I loved that Caleb dug deep and reached into his pain to deliver a solid vocal. After the show, I would love to see Caleb team up with Will Champlin to record this song and “Radioactive.” B+

Harry, Keith and Jennifer threw Alex the biggest curve ball so far this season…singing a Rihanna song! I was worried that they gave Alex the Kiss of Death…but they actually gave him a ticket to the finale at the Nokia Theatre at LA Live. He beautifully arranged the Mikky Ekko and Justin Parker-penned tune and I could hear that song on the radio. A

The judges chose former X Factor USA judge and Idol guest star Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack” for Jena to sing. It was a mess! F

Caleb’s town of Asheville, North Carolina voted for their resident rocker to reprise his cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.” This was a brilliant piece of vocal nirvana and this was show-stopping performance that Caleb needed to stay alive in this competition! I believe Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Paige would be very proud of him! A+

Mont Vernon rallied and gave Alex Preston the task to repeat his cover of One Direction’s “Story of My Life.” This cover gave me chills and I rather listen to this performance any day of the week! I hope we get to see you in the finale, Alex, because you deserve it! A-

Jena’s high school decreed that they wanted their very own Idol finalist to perform an encore of Radiohead’s “Creep.” Something magical happens to Jena every time that she performs this song. I am glad that Jena performed this song and I think this could tip the odds to her favor. A-

In addition to all of the performances, we also got to see Jessica Meuse’s trip to Slapout, Alabama and pre-taped messages from a majority of the “Idol” winners! I really wished the show received wishes from other favorites such as Jennifer Hudson, Bo Bice, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Melinda Doolittle, Adam Lambert, Crystal Bowersox, Haley Reinhart and Jessica Sanchez! Plus, it would also have been nice to have Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Steven Tyler in the building!

Tomorrow night, we will see the Final Three’s hometown visits and learn who will duke it out for the title next week!


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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar