updated 05/21/2014 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/21/2014 AT 10:10 PM ET
More than 75,000 auditioned, but only one could become the 13th American Idol.
“It’s going to be close, I would imagine,” judge Harry Connick, Jr., told reporters after Tuesday night’s performance finale of the final vote, which came down to Jena Irene Asciutto and Caleb Johnson.
And as he prophesized, it was anyone’s guess who would become the Fox reality singing competition’s latest winner.
So who ultimately took home the title? Caleb Johnson!
“Thank you so much so much,” Johnson said before attempting to sing his coronation song “As Long as You Love Me” before being inundated by hugs from his fellow Top 13 contestants and almost becoming the first contestant in Idol history to not sing his single.
But he eventually rocked out like the American Idol he is.
“My voice is still not anywhere near where it was starting out this season,” Johnson, 23, said of hemorrhaging his vocal cords before the Top 3 performance night.