Steven Tyler may not be a judge on American Idol anymore, but he’s still clearly a welcome fixture on the show as the Aerosmith frontman helped third-place finalist Jax bring down the house during the finale.
Jax (Jackie Miskanic) was eliminated a week ago, but returned during the performance-heavy final episode of the season for their rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” Their performance ended in stereotypical rock star fashion, with both Tyler and Jax sprawled out on the judges’ table in front of Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban. The American Idol judges gave the duo a standing ovation along with the rest of the audience.
Tyler even unveiled a new single, a country tune titled “Love Is Your Name,” during the finale for American Idol’s 14th and penultimate season. While the former American Idol judge is traditionally a rock singer, Tyler has been experimenting with a more “organic” songwriting process lately. His upcoming solo album will have a country flair, even going so far as to move to Nashville to work with songwriters and producers there.
“I’ve been working with some f–king epic Nashville songwriters, getting my feet wet with the style and groove.”
American Idol finales have traditionally been filled with performances by industry superstars and former Idol contestants alike. Wednesday night’s finale, which saw Nick Fradiani beat out Clark Beckham, was no different. In addition to Tyler’s appearances, the show also featured performances from Fall Out Boy, Ricky Martin, and Chris Brown and Pitbull.
Jax’s American Idol ride seemed destined for stardom as she wowed judges and viewers alike all season. After she narrowly missed a spot to compete for the title, Lopez expressed her shock at the result.
“It was a surprise to me. Jax is one of the strongest girl contestants we have had in years. I am a little disappointed. I really thought Jax would take the whole thing.”
American Idol has been a powerhouse in the ratings ever since its first season, but those numbers have dipped in recent years. It was recently announced the next season will be the last for American Idol. Fox Networks Group co-chief Gary Newman said the decision to end the show was “not an easy decision,” but “we all felt collectively it was time to bring American Idol to an end.”
The show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, is the only remaining fixture from Idol’s original cast, which included Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul.
[Image via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]