One has been considered a frontrunner since the beginning of the competition. One, dubbed a sleeper by judge Harry Connick, Jr., advanced to the finals as a wildcard before exploding late in the season.

Next week, the two will compete to become the thirteenth “American Idol.”

FOX’s reality competition announced Thursday that Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene will battle on next week’s live finale. The two, both with rock leanings, endless energy and big voices, started at different ends of the odds spectrum but ultimately both distanced themselves from the “Idol” pack.

The finale was made official when “Idol” said goodbye to Alex Preston. Preston, who performed “Pompeii,” “Stay” and “Story of My Life” on Wednesday’s show, settles for third place.

The “American Idol” finale airs next week.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •