It came down to Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene on “American Idol” on Wednesday, and before naming a winner of the thirteenth season, the two enjoyed a slew of performances.
Johnson and Irene first opened the show with a head-banging medley of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” No Doubt’s “Just a Girl,” and Tina Turner and Bryan Adams’ “It’s Only Love.” Johnson also took the stage with Kiss for a pyrotechnic-filled performance of “Love Gun” and “Shout It Out Loud,” and Irene sat down at the piano for Paramore’s “Decode,” and was joined by the band for “Aint It Fun,” complete with a slew of massive yellow balloons.
The season’s finalists also took the stage with chart-toppers: Sam Woolf returned with Phillip Phillips’ “Home,” only to be interrupted with Phillips himself performing his latest single, “Raging Fire.” Jennifer Nettles then took the stage for “That Girl,” and was joined by Jessica Meuse for Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” John Legend stopped by to sing “You and I,” and then duet with Malaya Watsonon “All of Me.” Alex Preston and Jason Mraz shared “Love Someone,” and Darius Rucker reunited best friends Dexter Roberts and C.J. Harris for “Alright.”
Aloe Blacc also sang “The Man” with the season’s male finalists, and Demi Lovato shared “Don’t Really Care” and “Neon Lights” with the female singers. And even host Ryan Seacrest got his own duet moment, joining Richard Marx for a chorus of “Right Here Waiting,” followed by Lady Antebellum performing their new single “Bartender.”
The episode also featured performances by the judges: Jennifer Lopez performed her latest release “First Love,” and for the first time in Idol history, the show’s judges and mentor joined onstage for a performance: Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr. and Randy Jackson sang a mash-up of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.”
And finally, the winner was revealed: Johnson was named the champion of “American Idol'”s season 13, and hugged his family, friends and fellow contestants on the confetti-filled stage while performing his coronation song.
- This article first appeared on THR.com