Farmington Hills’ Jena Irene Asciutto has been living in a storybook – or is that a songbook? – since earning a ticket to Hollywood in the “American Idol” auditions in Detroit last January.
It was certainly a storybook finish Wednesday, and there was no shame in the North Farmington High School 17-year-old senior’s second-place finish.
She held her own Monday during the first of a two-night season finale, making for a white-knuckle finish to a season that started last January when she wowed judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban during the auditions with her version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep".
"This is what I like, when we hear a song that we know so well, and you don't sing it anything like the singer," Lopez said at the time. "That to me is always a good sign."
Those good signs kept coming throughout the season as Asciutto, who performs as Jena Irene, wowed the judges with her vocal range and improved her stage presence. Her rise to the Final 2 was considered unlikely. She wasn’t a fan favorite, but won a chance to continue as Urban chose her as his wild card pick, the E! network reports.
The winner’s coronation song – Asciutto performed “We Are One,” which she co-wrote with “Idol” alum Felicia Barton, and Johnson performed a rocker, “As Long as You Love Me” – will be released as a single. The winner also gets deal to produce one record and headlines the “American Idol: Season XIII” tour.
When Asciutto made the Final 2 last week, we asked Patch readers to leave her a note of congratulations. Here’s what you had to say:
“ ...You make all of us in Michigan and your Farmington Hills homies so proud! You are a winner no matter how the final ends.” – Terri Hanpeter
“Jena's performance of Elvis Presley's ‘Can't Help Falling In Love’ a couple weeks ago was the best performance of the season, and quite possibly of any season. Rooting for her!” – Bryan Bentley
“Congratulations to Jena! We have really enjoyed watching her and think she is awesome! Good luck! Rooting for Jena!” – Marci Berlin
“Jena, you are the most original contestant yet. Win Idol or not, I am looking forward to hearing more wonderful music from you in the years to come!” – Rachel Smith
Al Moore May 17, 2014 at 08:21 AM
“Congrats Jena. I've been a fan since I saw Infinity Hour on Fox 2. No matter what comes in the final, you'll do well in whatever you want to do.” – Al Moore
“Jena singing her way to stardom – and while living in Hollywood, she avoided the past 5 months of one of the worst winter seasons here in SE Michigan!” – James Acciaioli