‘American Idol’ Recap: The Caleb Johnson/Jena Irene Express Won’t Be Derailed

A Caleb/Jena finish is practically foregone.

By Adam Graham

“American Idol” continued toward its inevitable Caleb Johnson/Jena Irene finale on Wednesday, with each coming off a successful hometown visit and performing three songs apiece. Oh, and not that it mattered, but Alex Preston performed three songs too.

Preston actually scrapped together what was likely his best performance of the season, with a strong-if-unexpected version of Rihanna’s ballad “Stay.” But the Caleb/Jena finish is practically foregone, and is how this “Idol” season has been headed for weeks. Sorry, Alex.

Here’s how Wednesday’s show — “Idol’s” 500th episode — unfolded:

Caleb Battles Voice Troubles
The biggest hurdle Caleb Johnson had to overcome in his road to the finale was his own voice, which he lost after going back to Asheville, North Carolina, over the weekend for his hometown visit. At the open of Wednesday’s show, viewers were told Johnson didn’t sing at all during the show’s rehearsal, and a doctor was trotted out onstage to explain Johnson was battling a bruised vocal chord. The doc compared his performing to a runner racing with a badly bruised ankle.

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