Caleb Johnson Wins ‘American Idol’ As Judges — And Even Ryan Seacrest — Perform on Finale

When Candice Glover won season 12 of American Idol, she did so on her third try, having previously auditioned for the show twice before her lucky break.

Turns out third time’s the charm for her successor, Caleb Johnson, too.

The 23-year-old Johnson, whose higher register made him all the rage with classic rock aficionados, won the 13th season of American Idol Wednesday night (May 21). He had previously auditioned for the show twice but, like Glover, had been unable to make it to the live shows.

The Asheville, North Carolina native beat out 17-year-old Jena Irene, who also slotted comfortably into the rock genre. Had she won, it would have been the first time Idol had turned out back-to-back female winners since Fantasia Barrino and Carrie Underwood won in seasons three and four, respectively.

Related: Porter Robinson Blasts the Chainsmokers for ‘American Idol’ Appearance

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOF1trA1H74&w=620&h=349]

The previous night, Johnson had stuck to his roots — as he often did — with a performance of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” plus a callback performance to an earlier rendition of “Maybe I’m Amazed” from Paul McCartney. He had closed out the show with his coronation song and first single if he proved victorious, “As Long As You Love Me.”

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