Judge Jennifer Lopez made a prediction on "American Idol" about halfway through the competition. Of course, by then finalist Jena Irene had been on a roll, collecting memorable performances like an artistic hoarder. So when Jenny from the Block said she thought Jena might win the competition, it wasn't something that just dropped out of the blue. And as the shows passed on the way to the finale, the girl from the Detroit suburbs seemed to solidy her hold, no matter Caleb Johnson's over-the-top rocking and Alex Preston's phenomenally talented rearrangements. But is Jena Irene unstoppable? Where does she stand with the professional oddsmakers?
According to Bovada (which posted final odds for the Top 3 on May 14), the online betting website, Jena took over as the odds-on favorite to win Season 13 of "American Idol" with the naming of the Top 8. That was the week she performed Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" for her Top 9 performance and simply brought the house down -- right after Caleb Johnson wowed the judges with his performance of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused."
To get there, Jena had to sing her way back into the Top 13 as a Wild Card. She then slowly made her way up the ranks before vaulting both Alex Preston, who had been favored after his Top 10 performance of One Direction's "Story Of My Life," and Caleb Johnson, who was running a strong second to Alex after rocking out to Lady Gaga's "Edge Of Glory."
But once she jumped into the top spot, Jena Irene clung to it. According to the professional oddsmakers, she's held the top spot every week since the Top 9 results show (as part of the Top 8).
She moved into the Homecoming episode (the Top 3) as a 2/5 favorite to win the entire competition. Caleb, who has continued nailing rock songs and anthems like Journey's "Faithfully," The Black Crowes' "Sting Me," and Whitesnake's "Still Of The Night," has managed to remain in the runner-up position. Going into the Top 3 sing-off to see who will make the Season 13 finale, he's just behind Jena with 2/1 odds to win.
Alex settled into the third spot after being tied with Caleb for the second position right after the Top 6 results episode. Once the frontrunner, he's now the underdog, pulling down 5/1 odds to win it all.
But if ever there was a season when all of the Top 3 deserved to win, Season 13 is it. And if Jessica Meuse had been able to overcome her stiffness a little sooner, her vocals definitely were winner quality. Alas, it was not to be and she said good-bye on the Top 4 results show, one episode away from a week-long celebration at home with fans, friends, and family before heading back to hopefully get to the finale.
As it stands, and if the oddsmakers odds of winning hold true, Jena Irene will face off against Caleb Johnson. Some will think that only fitting, given that the two have been rocking the show for the past several weeks.
However, Alex Preston brings a Paul Simon-esque artistry to the stage that should not be overlooked or minimized. And if America decided that artistry and creativity should be rewarded, then the season finale just might pit Alex against Jena, who has also amazed the judges with some of her own arrangements (like with her stunning rendition of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love").
As noted, all three are deserving.
But only two will get there.
Only one will win.
And barring Season 13's first real shocker, that winner will likely be Jena Irene.
"American Idol" will reveal its Season 13 finale title contenders on Thursday, May 15, at 9 p.m. (EST).