Season 13 of American Idol premiered on January 15, 2014 on FOX and concluded on May 21, 2014. The season was won by North Carolina rocker Caleb JohnsonRyan Seacrest returned as the host with the judging panel consisting of Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. Rickey Minor returned to the show as musical director after leaving the show after season 9 to join The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

On June 8, 2013, Nigel Lythgoe confirmed on Twitter that he had been fired from the show, and Ken Warwick was later fired as well. 

The judges

They were replaced by Swedish Idol executive producer Per Blankens and Den of Thieves producers Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager. David Hill, former head of Fox Sports, oversaw the show.

Former longtime Idol judge Randy Jackson was confirmed as the show's in-house mentor, replacing Jimmy Iovine. Idol alums Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry assisted Jackson in mentoring the contestants during "Rush Week".

This season also marks the first time since season 11 that the "judges' save" was used when it was used on contestant Sam Woolf on April 3, 2014.

Contents

Season 14 reveal[edit | edit source]

During the results of the Top 3 for Season 13, they announced the audition cities and bus tour stops for Season 14. With this, it revealed that they would be doing another season.

Auditions[edit | edit source]

During the results show for the Top 3 on Season 12 of the show, a commercial was broadcast advertising singers to come and audition for Season 13 of American Idol. Because of this commercial, it was officially confirmed that there would be another season of the show. The audition cities were also revealed during the broadcast. On August 15, the bus tour cities were announced including the cities of Little Rock, Arkansas and Knoxville, Tennessee among others. By the time the auditions ended, the grand total of tickets given was 212.

The following cities hosted auditions for Season 13, the date of the auditions are also shown.

  • Salt Lake City, Utah - July 11, 2013
  • San Francisco, California - July 16, 2013
  • Detroit, Michigan - July 21, 2013
  • Atlanta, Georgia - July 26, 2013
  • Boston, Massachusetts - August 2, 2013
  • Austin, Texas - August 7, 2013
  • Omaha, Nebraska - August 11, 2013

Rule change[edit | edit source]

For the first time ever, semi finalists from season 12 will be able to try out for the show again. Only Aubrey Cleland, who won the sing-off to be a part of the 2013 American Idols Live Tour, as well as Tenna Torres and Vincent Powell, due to the age limit, are ineligible.

New Additions[edit | edit source]

For Season 13, American Idol has added a room called a "chamber", for contestants to make last minute preparations. Once the big light flashes green, it's time for them to audition.

This season has also changed the design of Golden Tickets. Golden Tickets in past seasons were a large yellow piece of paper with the contestant's number written on it. For this season, the design is now a small golden-yellow strip of paper that says "Congratulations!" and is handed out by the judges.

Hollywood Week[edit | edit source]

During Hollywood Week, the contestants who made it past auditions will undergo brutal rounds of singing, cooperation, and stamina. Only 30 will move past these rounds.

The Contestants during the Knock Out Round

Knock-out Round[edit | edit source]

A new addition to American Idol, the surprise "knock out round", took place in an airline hanger at the LAX airport. 50 contestants that the judges weren't confident about, sang in order to remain in the competition. They were then broken up into two different groups and were placed on two buses. One of the buses drove the passing contestants to Hollywood, while the other drove the eliminated contestants to the airport to return home. Yet none of the contestants were sure where their bus would take them.

Judgement Round 1[edit | edit source]

Just like in past seasons, the judgement round proves to the judges what contestants are good enough to reach the group rounds. Contestants would move out onto the stage in lines at a time to try and sing their best. If the judges weren't impressed, they would be sent home, while those who did impress would be sent through to the Group Rounds.

Group Rounds[edit | edit source]

The Group Rounds, considered the most dramatic part of almost every season (Season 7 being an exception), makes the contestants form groups to impress the judges. For the first time, contestants were allowed to pick partners of opposite gender to sing with; unlike past seasons where it was male and female groups only. Once they've found their group they must figure out the song choice, who sings what, and choreography. Those who were successful moved on to the final Judgement Round to earn as spot in the Top 30.

Top 30[edit | edit source]

By the end of Hollywood week, 29 contestants were chosen to move on to the Semifinals. The other two contestants, Ben Briley and Neco Starr, weren't able to be decided by the judges, so the decision went to America. Ben Briley was chosen to claim the final Top 30 spot.

Males:

Alex Preston Ben Briley Briston Maroney CJ Harris Caleb Johnson Casey Thrasher Dexter Roberts Ethan Harris
Emmanuel Zidor George Lovett Jordan Brisbane Malcolm Allen Maurice Townsend Spencer Lloyd Sam Woolf

Females:

Andrina Brogden Austin Wolfe Brandy Neelly Bria Anai Briana Oakley Emily Piriz Jena Irene Jessica Meuse
Jillian Jensen Kenzie Hall Kristen O'Connor MK Nobilette Majesty Rose Malaya Watson Marrialle Sellars

Semifinals[edit | edit source]

During Season 13's Semifinals, the contestants had to endure a "Rush Week" round. Only ten contestants from each gender group were able to be chosen by the judges to sing for America's vote. If they weren't picked, they were eliminated from the competition. Past contestants Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, as well as past veteran judge Randy Jackson, accompanied the contestants as mentors. America's vote ultimately determined the Top 13 by the end of the Semifinals.

Top 20[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were Season 13's Top 20:

Females

Males

Wild Card Round[edit | edit source]

After the ten contestants America put through were announced, five contestants were chosen by the judges to hopefully win a spot in the Top 13. The judges chose contestants CJ Harris, Jena Irene, Spencer Lloyd, Bria Anai, and Kristen O'Connor to sing for the last three spots. The judges in the end chose CJ, Jena, and Kristen to advance on to the Top 13.

Top 13[edit | edit source]

The following were Season 13's Top 13.

Females

The Finalists; Back Row: Caleb Johnson, Emily Piriz, Sam Woolf, Kristen O'Connor, Ben Briley, Jessica Meuse, Majesty Rose & Dexter Roberts; Front Row: Alex Preston, Malaya Watson, MK Nobilette, CJ Harris & Jena Irene

Males

Finals[edit | edit source]

Top 13 perform[edit | edit source]


During the first round of the Finals, the Top 13 performed a song showing who they are as an artist for a spot in the Top 12.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Kristen O'Connor.png

Kristen O'Connor was the first eliminated contestant, bringing the total down to 12 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on February 27, 2014.

Top 12[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 12.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Group Performance:

  • "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic, "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons

Top 12 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the Top 12 performed a song that reminds them of their home for a spot in the Top 11.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Emily Piriz.png

Emily Piriz was the eliminated contestant, bringing the total down to 11 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 6, 2014.

Top 11[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 11.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Top 11 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, the Top 11 performed a song from the cinema for a spot in the Top 10.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Ben Briley.png

Ben Briley was the eliminated contestant, bringing the total down to 10 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on March 13, 2014.

Top 10[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the summer tour and the Top 10.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Top 10 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed a Billboard Top 10 song from the 2010s for a spot in the Top 9.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

MK Nobilette.png

MK Nobilette was the eliminated contestant, bringing the total down to 9 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 20, 2014.

Top 9[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 9.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Top 9 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed a song leading the band for a spot in the Top 8.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Majesty Rose.png

Majesty Rose was the eliminated contestant, bringing the total down to 8 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on March 27, 2014.

Top 8[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 8.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Top 8 perform (first week)[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed the song they sang for their audition for a spot in the Top 7.

Saved Contestant[edit | edit source]

Sam Woolf.png

Sam Woolf was supposed to be the eliminated contestant on April 3, 2014; but with the Judges' save, he was safe, keeping the total at 8 remaining contestants.

Top 8[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and remained in the Top 8.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Group Performances on performance night:

Top 8 perform (second week)[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed a song from the 80s for a spot in the Top 7.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Malaya Watson.png

Malaya Watson was the eliminated contestant, bringing the total down to 7 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on April 10, 2014.

Top 7[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 7.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Group performances:

Top 7 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the finals, the contestants performed a song of their choice for a spot in the Top 6.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Dexter Roberts.png

Dexter Roberts was the eliminated contestant, bringing the total down to 6 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on April 17, 2014.

Top 6[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 6.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Group performances:

Top 6 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed a song from country and rock 'n' roll for a spot in the Top 5.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

CJ Harris.png

CJ Harris was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 5 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on April 24, 2014.

Top 5[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 5.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Top 5 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed a songs of America's choice for a spot in the Top 4.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Sam Woolf.png

Sam Woolf was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 4 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on May 1, 2014. With a special twist on results, the finalists were able to chose unanimously to rather have no one eliminated this week but have 2 eliminated next week, or have someone eliminated at that moment. With a 3 - 2 non-unanimous vote, the finalists chose a single elimination at that moment which resulted in Sam's elimination.

Top 4[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 4.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Group performances:

Top 4 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed a songs about love for a spot in the Top 3.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Jessica Meuse.png

Jessica Meuse was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 3 remaining contestants. She was eliminated on May 8, 2014.

Top 3[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 3.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Top 3 perform[edit | edit source]


During this round of the Finals, the contestants performed songs of Randy Jackson's choice, the Judges' choice, and their Hometown's choice for a spot in the Top 2.

Eliminated Contestant[edit | edit source]

Alex Preston.png

Alex Preston was the eliminated contestant bringing the total down to 2 remaining contestants. He was eliminated on May 15, 2014.

Top 2[edit | edit source]

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 2.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Top 2 perform[edit | edit source]


During the final round of the Finals, the contestants performed songs of Simon Fuller's choice, a reprise of a previously performed song, and their winner single for a spot as Season 13's American Idol.

Runner-Up[edit | edit source]

Jena Irene.png

Jena Irene was announced the runner-up of the season on May 21, 2014.

Performances[edit | edit source]

The contestants performed in the following order.

Winner[edit | edit source]

Caleb Johnson.png

Caleb Johnson was announced the winner of the season on May 21, 2014.

Notable Contestants[edit | edit source]

  • Jillian Jensen, who was cut during the Semifinals, also tried out for Season 2 of the X-Factor. She was cut during that show as well.
  • Dexter Roberts, who finished in 7th place, later tried out for season 16 of The Voice in 2019. This time, he was on Team Blake and came in 3rd place.
  • Zach Day, who was cut in the Hollywood Rounds, later tried out for season 18 of The Voice in 2020. This time, he was on Team Legend and was eliminated in the Battle Rounds.

Results Show Performances[edit | edit source]

Tour[edit | edit source]

10450780 10202528443584885 302214347895292456 n.jpg

The 2014 American Idols Live tour, which featured the top 10, kicked off in Binghamton, New York on June 24, 2014. Unlike past tours, which were played at large venues, this tour was played at smaller venues.

Tour cancellations and issues[edit | edit source]

Like the season 12 tour before it, this tour was faced with slow ticket sales and one concert, the June 25, 2014 show in Albany, New York, being cancelled. Another show, being held on June 29 in Syracuse, New York, was moved to another venue.

Departure of Dexter Roberts[edit | edit source]

Since July 1, 2014, fans began noticing that finalist Dexter Roberts seemed to no longer be a part of the tour. MJs BIg Blog reported that Dexter had left the tour due to illness while Yahoo! Music's Lyndsey Parker reported that both Dexter and the show had mutally agreed to part ways. On August 4, 2014, Dexter released a statement saying that he had left the tour after being diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever, which he had contracted after having gone on a turkey hunt in Kentucky after the Idol finale.

Controversy[edit | edit source]

Elimination of Malaya Watson[edit | edit source]

Malaya Watson's elimination caused a stir amongst many fans with some stating that the judges use of the "Judges' Save" on Sam Woolf on April 3, 2014 should have been used on her. Some said that Malaya deserved to win while others announced that they would no longer watch the show as they were outraged by her elimination. Judge Jennifer Lopez revealed in an interview that she was outraged and disappointed with the result and believed that Malaya did not deserve to be eliminated from the show; then added that she wished she could've done something about it.

Caleb Johnson's Reaction to his Fans[edit | edit source]

During his interview with AfterBuzz TV following the Top 5 elimination show, Caleb Johnson made offensive remarks about his fans who tweet him song suggestions.

"[Twitter] gives access to a bunch of retards to talk to me," Caleb said. "I don't really enjoy having to see somebody telling me what song I have to sing. I think at this point of the competition, I can pick and choose my own songs and represent me. I don't need 10,000 people saying, 'You should sing this, you should sing that. Listen to me!' Fortunately, guys, I'm going to listen to myself, whether you like it or not."

After his fans expressed outrage on Twitter, Caleb issued an apology on his Facebook page.

"For the record that juvenile comment I made in the interview was not directed towards my fans but to the wackos that send hundreds of hate messages a day to me! You guys are amazing and I cannot thank you enough for your support. Sorry if it offended anybody it was the wrong choice of words. Also I greatly appreciate it when you guys give me song suggestions but it gets really overwhelming at the volume it comes in so please understand ! Rock on !:)"

Idol elimination "twist"[edit | edit source]

On the May 1, 2014 results show, host Ryan Seacrest announced that instead of doing the show the way it's usually done, it would be put in the hands of the remaining contestants, who were given two options: send someone home or keep the top 5 together and have a double elimination the following week. The decision had to be unanimous. However, it wasn't. The vote was 3-2. Sam Woolf ended up elimiinated as a result.

The "twist" caused an outrage among fans, critics, and even the contestants themselves, who all claimed that it was cruel and mean-spirited. The revealation that Jena Irene and Alex Preston had been the ones to vote "No" caused them to be harshly criticized by Sam's fans even though Sam himself later took to Twitter to tell his fans that he respected both Jena and Alex and understood why they voted the way they each did.

Notable past Idol contestants[edit | edit source]

  • Garrett Nichols, who made it to Hollywood week, later joined the country trio Restless Road, who were formed on season 3 of The X Factor. He replaced original member Andrew Scholz, who left the group to pursue a solo career.
  • LB Crew, who had tried for season 13, is now a contestant on season 16 of the NBC show The Voice. His mentor is Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, and he was eliminated during the quarter-finals.
  • Dexter Roberts, who finished in 7th place, is now a contestant on season 16 of the NBC show The Voice. His mentor is country music superstar Blake Shelton, and during the finale, he came in 3rd place.
  • Zach Day, who had tried for season 13, is now a contestant on season 18 of the NBC show The Voice. His mentor is R&B/EGOT singer John Legend, and he was eliminated in the Battle Rounds.
Season 13
Finalists
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
Semifinalists
Bria Anai ·Spencer Lloyd ·Malcolm Allen ·George Lovett ·Briana Oakley ·Marrialle Sellars ·Emmanuel Zidor
Quarterfinalists
Jordan Brisbane ·Andrina Brogden ·Kenzie Hall ·Ethan Harris ·Jillian Jensen ·Briston Maroney ·Brandy Neelly ·Casey Thrasher ·Maurice Townsend ·Austin Wolfe
American Idol
Seasons
1  · 2  · 3  · 4 · 5  · 6  · 7  · 8  · 9  · 10  · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19
Judges
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-)
Hosts
Ryan Seacrest (Seasons 1-16) · Brian Dunkleman (Season 1)
Winners
Kelly Clarkson · Ruben Studdard · Fantasia Barrino · Carrie Underwood · Taylor Hicks · Jordin Sparks · David Cook · Kris Allen · Lee DeWyze · Scotty McCreery · Phillip Phillips · Candice Glover · Caleb Johnson · Nick Fradiani · Trent Harmon · Maddie Poppe · Laine Hardy · Just Sam
Runners-up
Justin Guarini · Clay Aiken · Diana DeGarmo · Bo Bice · Katharine McPhee · Blake Lewis · David Archuleta · Adam Lambert · Crystal Bowersox · Lauren Alaina · Jessica Sanchez · Kree Harrison · Jena Irene · Clark Beckham · La'Porsha Renae · Caleb Lee Hutchinson · Alejandro Aranda · Arthur Gunn
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"
Spin-offs
From Justin to Kelly · Juniors · Christmas
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.