It's not the finale yet, but Wednesday, May 14 was a big night for "American Idol" as it celebrated its 500th episode. The show opened with a look back to past contestants and judges before Ryan Seacrest revealed some health issues experienced by two of the three finalists.
Alex Preston was sick over the weekend and Caleb Johnson lost his voice. The show's physician, Dr. Shaun Nasseri, explained that Caleb was suffering from bronchitis and sinusitis and had a minor vocal-cord hemorrhage. "He's like a runner who's running with a badly bruised ankle," the doctor said, but both Alex and Caleb would still perform.
As announced before, this week the Top 3 would sing three songs: one song was picked by mentor Randy Jackson, another was picked by one of the judges, and the third song was a reprise of a song they had already sung chosen by fans in their hometowns.
In the first segment, Randy picked INXS' "Never Tears Us Apart" for Caleb. Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. liked Randy's choice. The former added that Caleb's "such a pro" and Jennifer Lopez said, "You on your worst night are better than people on their best night."
Next, Alex did "Pompeii" by Bastille which Randy thought "is the kind of band song you might do." In the middle of his performance, Alex tossed his guitar and played a drum next to him. Keith thought that was "the coolest moment" in his performance, but noticed that "there were a few shaky bits."
Randy wanted Jena Irene to sing Titanium by David Guetta feat. Sia Furler which Jena considered performing last week. Harry once again praised Randy's song choice and Keith said Jena "killed" the high notes. J.Lo commented, "You've got such a great balance of being a killer stealth singer and performer," but added that "it felt a little shaky" in the beginning.
Caleb sang Imagine Dragons' "Demons" which was picked by the judges for his second performance. He was clearly struggling to carry on amid his voice problem and Keith was "so feeling" for him because he has had vocal-cord surgery. J.Lo said he would recover and advised him to rely on other things besides his voice to get through.
The judges picked "Stay" by Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko for Alex Preston and he nailed it. "I knew that you would sing the heck out of that song. Oh, my God. It was beautiful," J.Lo said, adding, "It was yours."
Jena also delivered a solid performance with a cover of Demi Lovato's "Heart Attack". Harry thought she found a way to be original and J.Lo liked that Jena looked loose and free. She added, "That was a great song for you, if we do say so ourselves."
Fans' choice for Caleb was "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin. Caleb did better than his first two performances as Keith gushed, "If ever there was, like, a complete moment of miraculous healing, that would have been it." Harry also praised the way Caleb managed to overcome the voice issue, saying, "That was absolutely fantastic."
Alex redid "Story of My Life" by One Direction and J.Lo thought he did a great job. Harry agreed, saying it was "very strong," but Keith thought Alex's previous performance of "Stay" was better.
Jena did an encore of "Creep" by Radiohead which Harry dubbed "a great way to end the show." Keith said, "You so belong here," and J.Lo believed she's "going to be so hard to beat."
In other "Idol" news, Harry confirmed during his appearance on "Live! With Kelly and Michael" earlier Wednesday that he would return for the 14th season of the singing competition series.