Even though he lost ‘American Idol,’ Alejandro Aranda just changed the game. Forever.

The days of “American Idol” being known as a “karaoke show,” as Katy Perry referred to it, are over. And it’s all thanks to Alejandro Aranda.

Even though this 25-year-old musician from Pomona, California didn’t win Season 17 — he came in second place to country singer Laine Hardy — Alejandro’s lasting impression on ABC’s perennial reality TV show will be felt for years to come. Because he stayed true to himself as an artist week after week, we can all expect to see more original songs, more talented musicians and more singer-songwriters in future seasons. And we can’t wait.

“It’s been such a pleasure to live in the same lifetime as you,” Katy told the humble homie during Sunday’s season finale. “Look, I love being on ‘American Idol.’ But of course, some would say in the past ‘American Idol’ has been a bit of a karaoke show. Not anymore. When people like you come on, you bring original music, you bring artistry, and you make the stakes even higher. Thank you.”

Alejandro sang no less than four original songs during the three-hour finale, a record as Ryan Seacrest noted. “Millennial Love,” “Tonight” and “Out Loud” (watch above) were Alejandro’s official competition songs, while he also performed “10 Years” alongside a full orchestra during the superstar duets portion of the program. In previous episodes Alejandro took on “Cholo Love,” “Poison” and “Blesser,” which means he debuted no less than seven originals on the “American Idol” stage.

Of course, it all began with his viral audition of “Out Loud,” which prompted Ryan to rave it was the “greatest audition ever.” At the time Lionel Richie proclaimed, “You have such a career. And the fact that you don’t know it makes it even more special. There’s nothing like you, my friend.” Luke Bryan chimed in, “I just feel like I’m in the presence of greatness.” And Katy added, “I think you’re really special. I think you’re an absolute genius.”

Yeah, yeah, Alejandro lost “American Idol.” But there’s no denying he’ll still have a future in the music business just like so many other non-winners, including Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Katharine McPhee and Adam Lambert. What was your favorite original song that Alejandro performed on the show? Let us know down in the comments section.

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