Sixteen-year-old Lee Jean can now add a new line to his musical resume: “American Idol” Top 10 finalist.
On what was the first live show of the 15th and final season of the reality TV music competition Thursday night, Jean was voted in by the American viewing public.
Four contenders had already been declared “safe” or part of the Top 10 group on Wednesday night’s show, leaving the remaining contenders to fight for their spot.
On Thursday night’s show, in a gut-wrenching moment, five of the contenders’ names were called, but no Jean.
Finally, as the last spot was held for what seemed like agonizing seconds, Jean’s name was called.
The 10 then performed throughout the show, which included a pregnant Kelly Clarkson, season one’s winner, returning as a celebrity judge.
Jean, who is one of the youngest contestants on the show, performed “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver.
Jean, who lost his older brother D.J. in a 2012 car accident, also revealed that he had been inspired by previous contestant Chris Medina. Medina often sung to his wife who suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident and is wheelchair bound.
Jean became visibly moved when host Ryan Seacrest informed the teen Medina was in the audience Thursday night.
Beginning next week, the show airs only one night a week on Thursdays, until the Grand Finale Week, which kicks off Tuesday, April 5.