American Idol (season 13)

American Idol
Season 13
Broadcast from January 14, 2014 – May 22, 2014

Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson

Host(s) Ryan Seacrest


Blaine Anderson

Blaine Icon 2
Origin Arlington, Massachusetts
Song "Come so Far"


Pop rock, alternative rock, acoustic rock, a cappella


Jesse St. James
Chronology of Events


The thirteenth season of American Idol premiered on January 14, 2014, and concluded on May 22, 2014. Judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson continued to judge the show's contestants, along with Ryan Seacrest as host. Blaine Anderson, a native of Arlington, Massachusetts, was announced the winner of the competition on May 22, 2014, defeating runner-up Jesse St. James after nearly 200 million votes. Blaine Anderson is the only gay winner of the competition to date. This was the fourth season where both of the final two contestants had been in the bottom 3 or 2 at least once before the finale, the others being seasons 3, 8, and 11.

There were no changes in format between seasons 12 and 13, and the judging staff remained consistent. However, the season was not lacking in controversies, one centering on the Judges' Save, which was not used for the first time since its introduction, and another on the sexuality of two contestants, Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson, both of whom acknowledged that they are gay over the course of the season.

The winner, Blaine Anderson, was then signed to 19 Entertainment/Jive Records. In addition to Anderson, Jesse St. James, Rachel Berry, Kurt Hummel, and Quinn Fabray all signed record deals. Kristin Hammond and Maria Estolano both signed independent record deals.


The top 36 were announced in a special two-hour broadcast on Thursday, March 06, 2014. All 36 contestants, performing in three groups of twelve, sang songs that were Billboard Hot 100 Hits.

Below are the three semi-final groups with contestants listed in their performance order. In each group, three people advanced to the next round, based on votes by the viewers. The top male and female recipient advanced, along with the next highest vote recipient of the remaining ten contestants in each group. Following those nine singers advancing, eight of the remaining 27 semi-finalists were selected by the judges to compete in the Wild Card round. Following another performance by each Wild Card contender, the judges selected four contestants to advance to the final group of 13.

Semi-Final Group 1 – Billboard Hot 100 hits

Order Contestant Song (original artist) Result
1 Nell DeRosa All I Have to Do is Dream (Everly Brothers) Eliminated
2 Dianna Jones Turning Tables (Adele) Eliminated
3 Rachel Berry Taking Chances (Celine Dion) Advanced
4 Wesley Gamlie Mack the Knife (Bobby Darin) Eliminated
5 Dustin Foque Save the Last Dance for Me (The Drifters) Eliminated
6 Elixabeth Disturbia (Rihanna) Wild Card
7 Gordon Levato Duke of Earl (Gene Chandler) Eliminated
8 Kurt Hummel A House Is Not a Home (Dionne Warwick) Advanced
9 Pedro Mana Against All Odds (Phil Collins Eliminated
10 Glen Bancroft Ice, Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice) Eliminated
11 Tina Cohen-Chang True Colors (Cyndi Lauper) Wild Card
12 Deb Smith King of Anything (Sara Bareilles) Advanced

Semi-Final Group 2 – Billboard Hot 100 hits

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Result
1 Alex Ferguson I Think We're Alone Now (Tiffany) Wild Card
2 Kristin Hammond Revolution (The Beatles) Wild Card
3 Lorna Crebsbaque Firework (Katy Perry) Eliminated
4 Dustin Tosh I Honestly Love You (Olivia Newton-John) Eliminated
5 Joshua Contreras Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Wham!) Advanced
6 Blaine Anderson Misery (Maroon 5) Advanced
7 Isabel Berol Take a Chance on Me (ABBA) Wild Card
8 Carrie Pflum Unbreak My Heart (Toni Braxton) Eliminated
9 Peter Strauss Oh Darling (The Beatles) Wild Card
10 Keisha Fante Single Ladies (Beyonce) Eliminated
11 Brent Cambra Kung-Fu Fighting (Carl Douglas) Eliminated
12 Maria Estolano This is Me (Demi Lovato) Advanced

Semi-Final Group 3 – Billboard Hot 100 hits

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Result
1 Emily LaPelle House of the Rising Sun (The Animals) Wild Card
2 Jocelyn Landau I Gotta Feeling (The Black Eyed Peas) Eliminated
3 Zachary Buentello Light My Fire (The Doors) Eliminated
4 Jannette Bukowski Irreplaceable (Beyonce) Eliminated
5 Shane Holdsworth You're Beautiful (James Blunt) Eliminated
6 Corey Whitesill Top of the Mountain (Scotty McReary) Eliminated
7 Grimm Mmmbop (Hanson) Eliminated
8 Tamika Wynnburne Respect (Aretha Franklin) Eliminated
9 Jesse St. James Hello (Lionel Richie) Advanced
10 Cheri Fukushima Never Again (Kelly Clarkson) Eliminated
11 Quinn Fabray This Kiss (Faith Hill) Advanced
12 Artie Abrams Hey Ya (Outkast) Advanced

Wild Card Round- Billboard Top 100 Hits

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Result
1 Isabelle Berol I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton) Eliminated
2 Kristin Hammond So What (P!nk) Jennifer
3 Emily LaPelle Only Girl in the World (Rihanna) Steven
4 Peter Strauss More Than a Feeling (REO Speedwagon) Eliminated
5 Alex Ferguson How You Remind Me (Nickelback) Randy
6 Dianna Jones Where Did Our Love Go? (The Supremes) Eliminated
7 Elixabeth Genie in a Bottle (Christina Aguilera) Eliminated
8 Tina Cohen-Chang Sweet Child o' Mine Voted


  • Blaine Anderson (born January 20, 1994, in Arlington, Massachusetts, 19 years old at the time of his audition) auditioned in New York, New York, with Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. Anderson was a performer from an early age, both singing and on stage. He performed with several community theater
    Blaine Icon 2
    groups in Arlington as well as with the Dalton Academy Warblers, a nationally-ranked cappella group from Anderson’s high school, with Anderson as their lead singer. Prior to Idol, he was a public policy and business student at Columbia University. Anderson was announced the winner of the thirteenth season of American Idol on May 22, 2014. During the course of the show, he and fellow contestant Kurt Hummel began dating. His first official single, Come So Far, was written by Grammy-winning singer Neal Jameson. As a part of winning Idol, Anderson was signed by Jive Records and 19 Entertainment. Anderson will release his first record, Cityscapes, in mid-November of 2014.
  • Jesse St. James (born December 15, 1991 in Carmel, Ohio, 22 years old at the time of his audition) is from
    Jesse Icon
    Los Angeles, California and auditioned in San Diego, California with Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. St. James attended Carmel High School, where he headlined Vocal Adrenaline, the seven-time winner of the National Show Choir Championship. St. James was announced as the runner-up for the thirteenth season of American Idol on May 22, 2014. He was signed to RCA Records after the show and released his debut album Just Jesse.
  • Rachel Icon
    Rachel Berry
    (born June 18, 1994, in Dayton, Ohio, 19 years old at the time of her audition) is from New York City and auditioned in New York, New York with On My Own from the musical Les Miserables. Berry began singing and dancing competitively at an early age, and attended McHenry Performing Arts High School. At the time of her audition, Berry was a sophomore at The Julliard School, studying vocal performance. She was eliminated from the Top 3 on May 15, 2014.
  • Kurt Icon
    Kurt Hummel
    (born February 27, 1994, 19 years old at the time of his audition) is from Lima, Ohio and auditioned in New York, New York with Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina from the musical Evita. Hummel, a countertenor, received early media attention for his high voice and wide range; Idol judge Randy Jackson mistook him for a woman in his audition due to this. Hummel was the subject of controversy midway through the show when he was outed as gay and refused to deny the allegations; Hummel later began a relationship with winner Blaine Anderson. He was eliminated from the Top 4 on May 5, 2014. His debut album, Glitterati, was released in December 2014.
  • Quinn Icon
    Quinn Fabray
    (born October 20, 1993, in Fairbrook, Ohio, 20 years old at the time of her audition) is from Arlington, Texas, and auditioned in Dallas, Texas, with Dionne Warwick’s ‘I Say a Little Prayer.’ Fabray grew up in Fairbrook, Ohio, and moved to Texas at the age of 13, graduating from Lamar High School. Prior to appearing in Idol, Fabray was a waitress at Nicely's Cafe in Arlington, Texas, where she had worked for four years. At the completion of the American Idol Tour, Fabray began a four-month tour as the opening act for The Dixie Chicks.
    Artie Icon
  • Artie Abrams (Born December 3, 1993, in Lima, Ohio) auditioned in San Diego, California with ‘Dancing With Myself,’ by Billy Idol. Abrams was in a car accident at the age of eight, suffering from a spinal injury that left him paralyzed below the waist. He auditioned with high school classmate Tina Cohen-Chang, who came in seventh on the show.
    Tina Icon
  • Tina Cohen-Chang (born November 17, 1993, in Lima, Ohio) auditioned in San Diego, California with Lykke Li’s ‘I Follow Rivers.’ Prior to joining Idol, Cohen-Chang worked in costume design and construction for Thirteen Moons Theater in Los Angeles. Cohen-Chang was often drew commentary for her fashion, as she frequently dressed in a gothic style. She was eliminated in seventh place.
    Josh Icon
  • Joshua Contreras (born March 1, 1998 on Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany), grew up all over the country, including San Diego, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Arlington, Virginia, where he spent most of high school before auditioning for American Idol. Contreras was the season's youngest contestant. Contreras auditioned in Louisville, Kentucky, with The Ramones’ ‘I Wanna Be Sedated.’
  • Emily Icon
    Emily LaPelle
    (born May 7, 1986 in Natchitoches, Louisiana) grew up in Baton Rouge and auditioned in Dallas, Texas, with Mika’s ‘Elle Me Dit.’ LaPelle, a math teacher at St. Augustine High School, primarily speaks French Creole; her interviews on the show were usually subtitled in English. She is also one of the few contestants to perform a song in a language other than English on Idol (she performed ‘Belleville Rendez-Vous’ from the French film Les Triplettes de Belleville during Top 11 Week).
  • Deb Icon
    Deb Smith
    (born August 31, 1985, Manchester, United Kingdom) is only the fourth Idol contestant from outside the States to ever make it into the Idol Top 12 or 13. She auditioned in New York City with Idol Winner Kris Allen’s ‘Red Guitar.’ An accountant in Manhattan, Smith also spent much of her time pre-Idol playing open mic nights in Greenwich Village. She has returned to her day job since leaving Idol, though she is reportedly in talks with Decaydance Records for a potential record deal.
  • Kristin Icon
    Kristin Hammond
    (born April 10, 1990, in Towaoc, Colorado) has been performing since she was a child. She auditioned with Bruno Mars’ ‘The Lazy Song.’ Hammond, who grew up on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation in the Mesa Verde region of Colorado, was a professional beadwork artist before auditioning for Idol. Since being eliminated from Idol, she has been openly critical of the show’s treatment of minority artists.
  • Maria Icon
    Maria Estolano
    (born July 4, 1996, in San Jose, California) auditioned with Gershwin's 'Someone to Watch Over Me.' Estolano was the season's youngest female contestant. Her father stayed with her in the Idol Mansion until her elimination during the second week of the show. Estolano was apparently the instigator of the opposing-team jerseys worn by several fellow contestants during their traditional visit to a Los Angeles Dodgers game [citation needed]. Estolano was a senior at Notre Dame High School at the time of her audition.
  • Alex Icon
    Alex Ferguson
    (born September 18, 1989) was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and auditioned in Portland with Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire.' Ferguson was a Starbucks Coffee manager prior to Idol and returned to Seattle after being the first contestant eliminated.


Top 13- Elvis Presley

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Jesse St. James Blue Suede Shoes Safe
2 Tina Cohen-Chang Jailhouse Rock Safe
3 Artie Abrams Shake, Rattle, and Roll Safe
4 Quinn Fabray Love Me Tender Safe
5 Joshua Contreras Return to Sender Safe
6 Blaine Anderson Can't Help Falling in Love Safe
7 Emily LaPelle Hound Dog Safe
8 Maria Estolano Teddy Bear Safe
9 Alex Ferguson I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone Eliminated
10 Deb Smith All Shook Up Safe
11 Kristin Hammond Little Less Conversation Safe
12 Kurt Hummel Always on My Mind Safe
13 Rachel Berry Blue Moon Safe

Top 12- Year They Were Born

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Result
1 Rachel Berry Endless Love (Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey) (1994) Safe
2 Artie Abrams That's the Way Love Goes (Janet Jackson) (1993) Safe
3 Kristin Hammond Vision of Love (Mariah Carey) (1990) Bottom 3
4 Quinn Fabray Fields of Gold (Sting) (1993) Safe
5 Kurt Hummel Power of Love (Celine Dion) (1994) Safe
6 Deb Smith Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears) (1985) Safe
7 Maria Estolano I Love You Always Forever (Donna Lewis) (1996) Eliminated
8 Joshua Contreras One Week (Barenaked Ladies) (1998) Safe
9 Blaine Anderson All I Wanna Do (Sheryl Crow) (1994) Safe
10 Tina Cohen-Chang I Have Nothing (Whitney Houston) (1993) Safe
11 Emily LaPelle Papa Don't Preach (Madonna) (1986) Bottom 2
12 Jesse St. James Losing My Religion (REM) (1991) Safe

Top 11- Songs from the Movies

Order Contestant Song (Film) Result
1 Blaine Anderson It Takes Two (Hairspray) Safe
2 Kurt Hummel Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid) Safe
3 Jesse St. James Hallelujah (Watchmen) Safe
4 Joshua Contreras Accidentally in Love (Shrek) Bottom 3
5 Tina Cohen-Chang One Day I'll Fly Away (Moulin Rouge) Safe
6 Kristin Hammond A Well-Respected Man Eliminated
7 Deb Smith Wicked Little Town (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) Safe
8 Emily LaPelle Belleville Rendez-Vous (Les Triplettes de Belleville) Bottom 2
9 Artie Abrams Storybook Story (The Princess Bride) Safe
10 Rachel Berry Holding out for a Hero (Footloose) Safe
11 Quinn Fabray Down to the River to Pray (O Brother Where Art Thou) Safe

Top 10- Contemporary Country

Mentor: The Dixie Chicks

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Result
1 Quinn Fabray That Don't Impress Me Much (Shania Twain) Safe
2 Artie Abrams Stupid Boy (Keith Urban) Safe
3 Rachel Berry Breathe (Faith Hill) Safe
4 Kurt Hummel Let Me Touch You for a While (Allison Krauss) Safe
5 Tina Cohen-Chang Before He Cheats (Carrie Underwood) Safe
6 Jesse St. James Our Song (Taylor Swift) Safe
7 Blaine Anderson Landslide (Fleetwood Mac/Dixie Chicks) Bottom 3
8 Emily LaPelle Hurt (Nine Inch Nails/Johnny Cash) Safe
9 Joshua Contreras When in Rome (Nickel Creek) Bottom 2
10 Deb Smith Devil Went Down to Georgia (Charlie Daniels Band) Eliminated

Top 9- Disco

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Result
1 Rachel Berry Rock the Boat (Hues Corporation) Safe
2 Tina Cohen-Chang It's Raining Men (The Weather Girls) Safe
3 Joshua Contreras Turn the Beat Around (Gloria Estefan) Bottom 2
4 Artie Abrams Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) Safe
5 Emily LaPelle Stayin' Alive (Bee Gees) Eliminated
6 Blaine Anderson Da Ya Think I'm Sexy (Rod Stewart) Safe
7 Quinn Fabray Love to Love You Baby (Donna Summer) Safe
8 Kurt Hummel I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor) Safe
9 Jesse St. James Superfreak (Rick James) Bottom 3

Top 8- Singles from Previous Idol Contestants

Mentor: Kris Allen

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Result
1 Jesse St. James Battlefield (Jordin Sparks) Safe
2 Joshua Contreras Miss Independent (Kelly Clarkson) Eliminated
3 Tina Cohen-Chang Come Back to Me (David Cook) Bottom 3
4 Blaine Anderson Because of You (Kelly Clarkson) Safe
5 Quinn Fabray Farmer's Daughter (Crystal Bowersox) Safe
6 Kurt Hummel Friday I'll be Over U (Allison Iraheta) Safe
7 Artie Abrams The Truth (Kris Allen) Bottom 2
8 Rachel Berry Whataya Want From Me (Adam Lambert) Safe

Top 7- Musical Theater

Mentor: John Barrowman

Order Contestant Song (Show) Result
1 Artie Abrams Wilkomen (Cabaret) Bottom 2
2 Blaine Anderson Still Hurting (The Last Five Years) Safe
3 Quinn Fabray I'm Not That Girl (Wicked) Bottom 3
4 Tina Cohen-Chang Tonight (West Side Story) Eliminated
5 Jesse St. James One Song Glory (RENT) Safe
6 Kurt Hummel As If We Never Said Goodbye (Sunset Boulevard) Safe
7 Rachel Berry Don't Rain on My Parade (Funny Girl) Safe

Top 6- Billy Joel

Each contestant sang one solo and one duet with a fellow contestant.

Order Contestant(s) Song Result
1 Quinn Fabray Lullabye Safe
2 Artie Abrams You May Be Right Eliminated
3 Jesse St. James and Rachel Berry Scenes from an Italian Restaurant N/A
4 Blaine Anderson For the Longest Time Bottom 3
5 Kurt Hummel It's Still Rock and Roll to Me Bottom 2
6 Quinn Fabray and Artie Abrams Uptown Girl N/A
7 Rachel Berry New York State of Mind Safe
8 Jesse St. James Only the Good Die Young Safe
9 Blaine Anderson and Kurt Hummel Piano Man N/A

Top 5- Lennon/McCartney Songbook

Each contestant sang two songs

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Quinn Fabray Let it Be Eliminated
2 Kurt Hummel Blackbird Safe
3 Jesse St. James Across the Universe Safe
4 Rachel Berry Hello Goodbye Bottom 2
5 Blaine Anderson I WIll Safe
6 Quinn Fabray Things We Said Today Eliminated
7 Kurt Hummel I Want to Hold Your Hand Safe
8 Jesse St. James Come Together Safe
9 Rachel Berry Imagine Bottom 2
10 Blaine Anderson Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight Safe

Top 4- Metal/Motown

Each contestant sang one song from each genre

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Result
1 Jesse St. James Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N' Roses) Safe
2 Rachel Berry Nothing Else Matters (Metallica) Safe
3 Blaine Anderson We're Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister) Bottom 2
4 Kurt Hummel 2 Minutes to Midnight (Iron Maiden) Eliminated
5 Jesse St. James Papa was a Rollin' Stone (The Temptations) Safe
6 Rachel Berry Stop! In the Name of Love (The Supremes) Safe
7 Blaine Anderson You Can't Hurry Love (The Supremes) Bottom 2
8 Kurt Hummel Son of a Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield) Eliminated

Top 3- Contestant's Choice, Judges' Choice, Jimmy Iovene's Choice

Each contestant sang three songs.

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist)- Choice Result
1 Blaine Anderson Waiting on the World to Change (John Mayer)- Steven Tyler Safe
2 Rachel Berry Gives You Hell (All-American Rejects)- Jennifer Lopez Eliminated
3 Jesse St. James Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler)- Randy Jackson Safe
4 Blaine Anderson Raise Your Glass (P!nk)- self Safe
5 Rachel Berry The Way We Were (Barbara Streissand)- self Eliminated
6 Jesse St. James Another One Bites the Dust (Queen)- self Safe
7 Blaine Anderson Somewhere Only We Know (Keane)- Iovene Safe
8 Rachel Berry Unpretty (TLC)- Iovene Eliminated
9 Jesse St. James Welcome to the Black Parade (My Chemical Romance)- Iovene Safe


Each contestant sang three songs

Order Contestant Song (Original Artist) Chosen By Result
1 Blaine Anderson Still Hurting (The Last Five Years) Self Winner
2 Jesse St. James Come Together (The Beatles) Self Runner Up
3 Blaine Anderson Say My Name (Destiny's Child) Kris Allen Winner
4 Jesse St. James Paparazzi Justin Timberlake Runner Up
5 Blaine Anderson Come So Far Winner
6 Jesse St. James Come So Far Runner Up


Blaine Anderson

Anderson, the season’s winner, was at the center of two controversies:

  1. Parents: Blaine Anderson’s parents (Dr. Paul Anderson and Dr. Theresa Anderson, both professors at Tufts University) were the first to never appear on the show; they did not consent to filming for his introductory video, attend any of the live performances, or appear at Anderson’s hometown concert. Anderson’s sister, Dr. Ashley Thoms, stated that their parents are “very conservative” [1] which, according to her, led to their being uninvolved with the show. Anderson has said that they have not contacted him since he made it through the audition. [2]
  2. Relationship with Kurt Hummel: At some point fairly early in the season, Anderson began a romantic relationship with contestant Kurt Hummel. Tensions between the two were said to affect the entire group [citation needed] during ‘Songs by Previous Idol Contestants’ and ‘Musical Theater.’ The relationship became public knowledge moments before Hummel was eliminated, when the two kissed on stage. The kiss itself caused controversy when some Fox affiliates edited it out of later broadcasts of the show (see Top Four Editing Controversy). Fox News commentator Michelle Bachmann furthered the debate when she called for a boycott of the show until Anderson was eliminated [3].

Kurt Hummel Outing Controversy

The day after the results show for the Top 11 contestants, an article was published in the online edition of the Lima Times alleging that contestant Kurt Hummel is gay. Unlike other gay contestants (such as Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken), Hummel refused to deny or ignore the allegations, instead choosing to confirm them. Hummel became the only openly gay contestant to move into and beyond the Top 13, until co-contestant (and eventual winner) Blaine Anderson outed himself during the Top 4 results show.

Judges’ Save

For the first time since the introduction of the Judges’ Save, no contestant was saved from elimination. This led to allegations of sexism on the part of American Idol’s producers and judges, as five of the season’s female contestants (as compared to three of the male contestants) were sent home during the time the Judges’ Save was available for use. Contestant Emily LaPelle was nearly saved, but the vote was not unanimous (it is rumored that judge Randy Jackson was the dissenting vote [citation needed]), and she was sent home.


Out of the top 13 contestants, seven (Artie Abrams, Blaine Anderson, Rachel Berry, Tina Cohen-Chang, Quinn Fabray, Kurt Hummel, and Jesse St. James) were either born in or spent significant time in Ohio. Three contestants (Abrams, Cohen-Chang, and Hummel) lived in Lima, Ohio, and graduated from McKinley High School. These seven contestants also made up the top seven on the show; Blaine Anderson, the season’s eventual winner, is the only one not born in Ohio (he was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, but attended Dalton Academy, a private boarding school in Ohio).

Top Four Editing Controversy

Contestants Blaine Anderson and Kurt Hummel kissed on stage during the results show for the top four, just before Hummel was eliminated. Although the East Coast broadcast was live, later broadcasts are delayed several hours, leading to several stations (in Utah, South Dakota, and Idaho [4]) editing out the kiss. In response, Idol judge Steven Tyler tweeted “NOT LIKE THEY WERE FUCKING ON STAGE. CHILL.” [5]. Several groups, including Focus on the Family and the American Family Association, expressed their displeasure with Fox Broadcasting for not having a longer tape delay that would allow channels airing the show live to edit out what they call “objectionable content” [6]. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe commented that the seven-second delay (instituted when notoriously foul-mouthed judge Steven Tyler joined the show) should be plenty of time to edit out all objectionable language-- “which is really what it’s for” [7].