For all of you out there that thought the prom gag “American Idol” kept throwing at the audience was a little cute, especially when they turned it into a gender battle for the performance finale — well, think again. Apparently Jena Irene was serious when she suggested then future “Idol” Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson take her to her high school prom, because earlier this week, he did just that.
The Associated Press reported May 29 that Caleb Johnson escorted Jena Irene to her prom in suburban Detroit Wednesday night. Jena, just 17 years old, says that the duo are “best friends” and that the retro rocker was “awesome.”
The two joined hundreds attending the North Farmington High School prom at Dearborn Inn.
Jena told Fox 2 News Headlines reporters outside the hall, “We’ve been best friends for a couple of months now. To actually bring him to prom [and] meet all of my friends is kind of cool.”
Earlier in the season on “American Idol,” many probably thought the two were just goofing around after they said they were best friends and Jena asked Caleb if he’d take her to the prom. Being the southern gentleman (he’s from North Carolina), Caleb, who is 23, said he would.
Then the producers thought it would be a good idea to make the performance finale and prom-date-gone-wrong grudge match. In a melodramatic precreation of events, Jena looked stunning in her prom gown while Caleb looked dashing (well, if he were going to the prom in the early 80s, that is) in his powder blue tux with gigantic-ruffle shirt. But the bit ended with the two giving each other dirty looks, Jena shoving Caleb, and the pair destroying the arch of balloons that had framed their “prom” picture.
And that wasn’t all. Just before he announced the winner, “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest asked if the prom was still on no matter who won. Caleb and Jena agreed that it was.
But it all seemed liking a running joke…
Except that it wasn’t.
Caleb Johnson went on to become the “American Idol” Season 13 winner, Jena Irene the runner-up.
Right after the final show, Jena told a roomful of reporters, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Caleb is actually coming with me so I am bringing the American Idol as my date.”
As part of the prize package for winning, Caleb will record an album, one that is scheduled for release in August. It is as yet unknown if Jena has a recording contract, but if other seasons of the hit reality singing competition are indicators, it won’t be long before her album deal is announced.