Alex Preston (born Alexander Preston Philbrick on May 6, 1993) is an American indie rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Mont Vernon, New Hampshire who finished in 3rd place on Season 13 of American Idol.

Background[edit | edit source]

Alex, who is from Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, became interested in music when he was 4 and started out playing the violin. He can now play up to 12 instruments including guitar, bass, drums, and piano. He wrote his first song, "Fish Food", when he was just 12. He graduated from Souhegan High School, where he had played guitar in a jazz band and had been a member of the school marching band, in nearby Amherst, New Hampshire in 2011 and studied at the University of New Hampshire. He released a single called "The Light Was Already Here" in September 2013.

Alex is a cousin of country music star Jo Dee Messina.

American Idol[edit | edit source]

Alex auditioned for the show in Salt Lake City, Utah where he impressed the judges with his original song, "Fairytales". Impressed by the tone of his voice and his artistic abiltiy, the judges put him through to Hollywood where he made an even greater impression when he put his own touch on the Spears song "Scream & Shout". He continued to impress and made it to the top 30 where his take on the Damien Rice song "Volcano", previously covered by season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, was very impressive. He made the top 13 as a result and began cementing his status as a frontrunner.

Top 13[edit | edit source]

For "This Is Me" week, Alex took on the Jason Mraz song "A Beautiful Mess". Despite the title, his performance was not a mess. He earned praise from the judges and progressed to the next week.

For "Home" week, Alex sang "I Don't Wanna Be" by Gavin DeGraw, which has been covered many times(the most well-known version for Idol fans is the one done by season 4 runner-up Bo Bice). The judges felt that the song didn't suit him or his vocal style even though Harry Connick, Jr. did give Alex credit for stepping outside of his comfort zone. Despite the critique, the public responded by putting him through to the next week.

For "Songs from the Movies" week, Alex recovered from his minor slip up the week before with the song "Falling Slowly" from the movie Once. The song, previously covered by Kris Allen during season 8 and by Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox during season 9, earned Alex praise and helped earn him his spot on the American Idols Live tour. 

For "Billboard Top 10" week, Alex took a risk and completely rearranged the One Direction hit "Story of My Life". Despite his own fears that he would anger 1D fans by what he did with the song, he gave a great performance of it and received support from not only "Directioners" but also from One DIrection's Niall Horan, who tweeted his appreciation for what Alex did.

For "I'm with the Band Week", Alex took on the No Doubt hit "Don't Speak". It got him a mixed response from the judges with Jennifer Lopez saying that his version "sucked the life out of the song", which got her booed. Despite that, Alex made it to the next week.

For "Back to the Start" week, Alex got to sing his audition song "Fairytales", which earned him praise. He then teamed up with Jena Irene on the Pink/Nate Ruess hit "Just Give Me a Reason".

For "Songs from the 80s" week, Alex rearranged the Police classic "Every Breath You Take". However, this didn't go over well with Jennifer Lopez, who wasn't impressed with his rearrangement of the song, saying that she missed its original, haunting melody. He then teamed up with Sam Woolf on the Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney duet "The Girl is Mine".

For "Competitor's Choice" week, Sam chose "The A Team" by Ed Sheeran for Alex. His performance of it earned him praise. Then he and Sam teamed up for "Let Her Go" by Passenger, which both admitted that their arrangement to was very cheesy, something Harry Connick, Jr. pointed out while criticiting them on it.

For "A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock 'N Roll" week, Alex took on "Animal" by Neon Trees for his rock performance and "Always on My Mind" by Willie Nelson for his country performance. He got mixed reviews from the judges on both songs, and fans of his on social media began worrying that Alex might end up in the bottom 2 or end up eliminated. Those fears went away when Alex was declared safe on the results show.

For "America's Request" week, which featured singer-songwriter Jason Mraz as mentor, Alex sang "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera and "Sweater Weather" by The Neighborhood, which earned him praise from the judges. He them teamed up with Sam and Jena Irene on the song "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors. He made it to the next week.

For "Love: Make-Ups and Break-Ups" week, Alex took on three songs: "Too Close" by Alex Clare, "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, and "Yellow" by Coldplay. While there were people on Twitter who claimed to be impressed by the performances, the judges enjoyed them even though Jennifer Lopez did encourage him to step it up.

For Top 3 week, Alex took on three songs: "Pompeli" by Bastile, chosen for him by Randy Jackson, during which Alex showcased his drum skills, "Stay" by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko, and a reprisal of "Story of My Life" by One Direction, chosen for Alex by his hometown of Mont Vernon, New Hampshire. He got priase on two of his performances and a mixed reaction on one. They ended up being his last as he was eliminated on May 15, 2014, finishing in 3rd place.

Performances[edit | edit source]

Episode Theme Song Choice Original Artist Result
Audition Choice "Fairytales" Alex Preston Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 1 A Capella "Scream & Shout" ft. Britney Spears Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 2 Group - - Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 3 Choice "Fairytales" Alex Preston Advanced
Top 10 Guys Choice "Volcano" Damien Rice Advanced
Top 13 This is Me "A Beautiful Mess" Jason Mraz Advanced
Top 12 Home "I Don't Want to Be" Gavin DeGraw Advanced
Top 11 Songs from the Cinemas "Falling Slowly" Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova Advanced
Top 10 Billboard Top 10 Charts "Story of My Life" One Direction Advanced
Top 9 Im with the Band! "Don't Speak" No Doubt Advanced
Top 8 Back to the Start "Fairytales" Alex Preston Advanced
Top 7 Competitor's Choice "The A Team" Ed Sheeran Advanced
Top 6 A Little bit Country, A Little Bit Rock 'n Roll "Animal" and "Always on My Mind" Neon Trees and Willie Nelson Advanced

Personal Life[edit | edit source]

Alex and Jillian Jensen

Alex dated fellow singer-songwriter Jillian Jensen, who also competed on Idol, when the two met during Hollywood week. He even dedicated his top 4 performance of "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz to her. The couple, however, broke up sometime in 2015 after a little over a year together.

Post Idol[edit | edit source]

Alex was a part of the American Idols Live tour, which kicked off on June 24, 2014 in Binghamton, New York. He later launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record his debut album, which will have all original music. He reached his target goal of $5,000 by raising $11,000. The campaign ended on January 19, 2015. 

Alex's self-titled debut album was released on July 21, 2015.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Alex's girlfriend Jillian Jensen.
  • Alex's celebrity crush is singer and actress Zooey Deschanel.
  • If Alex had made the finale, his debut single, "I Love This Feeling", would've been released.

Discography[edit | edit source]


  • Alex Preston (2015)


  • "The Light Was Already Here" (2013)
Season 13
Caleb Johnson ·Jena Irene ·Alex Preston ·Jessica Meuse ·Sam Woolf ·CJ Harris ·Dexter Roberts ·Malaya Watson ·Majesty Rose ·MK Nobilette ·Ben Briley ·Emily Piriz ·Kristen O'Connor
Bria Anai ·Spencer Lloyd ·Malcolm Allen ·George Lovett ·Briana Oakley ·Marrialle Sellars ·Emmanuel Zidor
Jordan Brisbane ·Andrina Brogden ·Kenzie Hall ·Ethan Harris ·Jillian Jensen ·Briston Maroney ·Brandy Neelly ·Casey Thrasher ·Maurice Townsend ·Austin Wolfe
American Idol
1  · 2  · 3  · 4 · 5  · 6  · 7  · 8  · 9  · 10  · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19
Simon Cowell (Seasons 1-9)  · Paula Abdul (Seasons 1-8) · Randy Jackson (Seasons 1-12) · Kara DioGuardi (Seasons 8-9) · Ellen DeGeneres (Season 9) · Steven Tyler (Seasons 10-11)  · Nicki Minaj (Season 12)  · Mariah Carey (Season 12) · Jennifer Lopez (Seasons 10-11,13-15)  · Keith Urban (Seasons 12-15)  · Harry Connick, Jr. (Seasons 13-15)  · Katy Perry (Seasons 16-)  · Luke Bryan (Seasons 16-)  · Lionel Richie (Seasons 16-)
Ryan Seacrest (Seasons 1-16) · Brian Dunkleman (Season 1)
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Coronation Songs
"A Moment Like This" · "Flying Without Wings" · "I Believe" · "Inside Your Heaven" · "Do I Make You Proud" · "This Is My Now" · "The Time of My Life" · "No Boundaries" · "Beautiful Day" · "I Love You This Big" · "Home" · "I Am Beautiful" · "As Long As You Love Me" · "Beautiful Life" · "Falling" · "Going Going Gone" · "Flame"
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