American Idol Season 11 Performance Finale: A Play-by-Play of Jessica Vs. Phillip!

jessica sanchez phillip phillipsWe’ve survived 38 episodes, more than 150 live performances from the Top 25, and heaping portions of wilted word salad from Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler. And now, we’ve reached the final two episodes of American Idol‘s eleventh season.

Yep, it’s all come down to the dolphins-vs.-egg beaters matchup that finds pint-sized diva Jessica Sanchez and Her Deadly Heels competing against swampy guitarist Phillip Phillips and His Roguish Flash of Chest Hair, and I’ll be live-blogging the whole blessed hour! So keep hitting that refresh button throughout the telecast to get my up-to-the-minute thoughts on how the duo is faring as they each tackle a song picked by Simon Fuller, a Season 11 encore, and their (hopefully radio-friendly?) debut singles!

RELATED | American Idol: 25 Best Performances of All Time

8:00 Amazing pre-audition footage of Jessica and Phillip FTW! The “poetic” ink spillage (waiting for the strains of “Unwritten”)? Not so much FTW.

8:02 What in the what is J.Lo wearing? It’s like an Olympic skating costume is giving birth to Tour de France pants. (All in “tasteful” black, of course.)

8:03 Phillip, forever true to himself/his thudding lack of style derring-do, in a white v-neck t-shirt and rumpled unbuttoned Oxford. Sigh.

8:05: Shocker! The 137th rendition of “I Have Nothing” in 11 seasons of Idol. Plus Swaybots. I am literally about to punch a puppy.

8:06 Not really making this her own, but that’d be like a McDonald’s worker trying to put a special twist on the Big Mac. Kinda impossible. Jessica certainly hit every note with power and finesse — and that gown is Rated D…for Divine!

8:11 I hope this doesn’t turn out to be the Jessica Sanchez Sabotage Hour.

8:12 Phillip is covering “Stand By Me.” Well, at least the lyrics to “Stand By Me.”

8:13 I appreciate risks generally, but not sure about this one specifically. Why take such a pretty refrain and scoop out its center like an overripe melon?

8:14 “Now let’s gossip.” –Ryan Seacrest, asking for judges’ input

8:15 J.Lo uses up 60 seconds of airtime dodging the idea of critique: “How do you compare?” Jessica has amazing vocal prowess, power, control, grit, and beauty. Phillip has soulfulness, originality, and artistry. How much does she get paid to read these lines?

8:16 Randy, mercifully, calls Round 1 for Jessica.

8:19 Back from commercial, J.Lo seconds Randy’s opinion that Jessica won Round 1. Steven Tyler remains eerily silent, in wicked anticipation of Jason Derulo’s “Undefeated.”

8:21 Wait a second. Coca Cola sponsored this whole Jason Derulo songwriting competition, and all they’re springing for is a metal folding chair as his main set piece?

8:23 Where’s Joshua Ledet to sweep this stage with this foolio?

8:24 Maybe if he’d made this a duet with his girlfriend Jordin Sparks, I’d have liked this better? Or maybe if…uh…I have nothing on this one, sorry.

8:26 I’m gonna need Round 2 to be a LOT better. Maybe with Simon Fuller’s picks out of the picture, there’s hope?

8:27 FLIP YEAH! Jessica is doing an encore of her VEGAS SOLO, “The Prayer.”

8:28 Minute One: SUBLIME!

8:29 SING HEFFA! I think that glory note might’ve won her the competition.

8:30 Jessica finessed that like Eric Ripert treats a rainbow trout: With subtlety, artistry, and perfection.

8:34 Phillip’s encore — another wise choice — Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song).” Just him and his acoustic guitar and not a lot of distraction for the opening verse.

8:35 Sexy saxophonist and the band join in! (He’d better let her share the confetti shower if he wins on Wednesday.) Phillip sounds really great on this, I can’t lie. And there’s a looseness and impish energy this time that wasn’t quite there the first time around. Nice.

8:37 For a quick, nauseating second, I thought it was that kindergarden-age girl holding up half of the “We’ve Got Tonight, Why Don’t We Stay?” poster. Thankfully it was just an illusion.

8:38 Randy calls Round 2 a dead heat. Steven says something about hatching eggs and says Jessica has the edge. J.Lo gives it to Phillip, and then Ryan — in a moment of pure poetry — cuts her off after the word “authentic.” (You know she was hoping to giggle and reduce Phillip to a hot chassis with a guitar, but no dice, Gigli star!)

8:41 Live-blogging always makes the backs of my knees sweat. #BloggerOvershare

8:42 Jessica gets assigned another ballad — a song called “Change Nothing.”

8:43 Hrmmm. I might’ve changed the key. The verse seems pitched just a little low for her, no?

8:44 Er, and the chorus is a little…sharp? But on the plus side, this sounds like an actual real song, not a hideous piece of treacle written specificially for an Idol coronation.

8:45 Randy thought the song was “just okay.” J.Lo wouldn’t have picked a straight pop ballad for Jessica’s lead single, either. “Everything has to be you, Jessica!” Jimmy Iovine looks mildly embarrassed. Steven didn’t feel it was the proper song, either. Ummm…couldn’t Uncle Nigel have let her end her set with “The Prayer”?

8:46 Even Jessica agrees in the real world, she’d prefer to record something a little more “urban.”

8:48 Look, I don’t disagree that “Change Nothing” probably isn’t the best first impression Jessica could make at radio — hey, Iovine, it’s not too late to find her something with a little more edge before June comes around — but it also seems a bit disingenous for the judges to hammer her for a composition that I can pretty much guarantee she had no say in covering. Know what I mean?

8:50 I swear, Ryan emphasizes the “Lee” in Leesburg, Georgia, everytime he introduces Phillip’s hometown.

8:51 Speaking of hometowns, Phillip’s original single is called “Home,” and it’s got a driving beat and a melancholy melody that’s a little reminiscent of…hrmmm…help me out here, Idoloonies.

8:52 Enter marching-band drummers. And cue standing ovation from the judges.

8:53 Selected Randy-isms: “Everything about that was perfect!” “True artist’s performance!” “Brilliant! Genius!”

8:54 J.Lo already offering congratulations, and given the choice of material, she may be right. That song was a perfect fit for Phillip, and the staging was spectacular, without ever feeling inauthentic. Not even the perfect little pout on the final “home.”

8:57 Scotty McCreery’s “PLease Remember Me,” live, and serbing as a backdrop to Season 11 highlight reel. Plus Swaybots.

8:59 Why is the highlight reel being minimized? Need more semifinalist footage up close for my aging eyes! I swear it’s like a postage stamp on the envelope of my TV screen!

Winner of the Night: Phillip
Should Win the Season (not counting Joshua): Jessica
Will Win the Season (in an upset): Jessica (call me crazy, but I think her fan base is gonna help carry her over that incongruous final ditty.)

What did you think of the Season 11 performance finale? Hit the comments with your thoughts, and come back Thursday to to read my full episode recap!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Let’s hope it’s a good showdown tonight. Jessica has had the most impressive run of the season, but Phillip has had 2 of his best performances the last 2 weeks. Should be interesting.

    • judy says:

      Love Phillip but Jessica has an awesome voice and only 16 they are both winners

      • MariaPompeo says:

        What, she’s 16?!?!?! She looks way older, like 26…

        • Tanini says:

          it’s not the age that’s the voice!

        • and you might look like older than 40 all of us will get old probably you’ll go first

          • Marsaili says:

            what???? Is this supposed to mean something?

          • TinyTim says:

            It’s amazing how much hormones affect the ears with this show, Phillips hit about two notes in Home, sang eight lines, whistles a few notes, had a marching band walk in and take up more time and is getting rave reviews. He is a nice kid but that is the weakest singer ever to be in the finals, and I mean ever. Even Lee had a couple more off notes to his singing, have you guys forgotten this fast?

            Home is a good single for Phillips but is is not a song for an Idol winner. Did anyone notice Scotty at the end of the show? Even he sang circles around Phillips and he has limited range. Anyway should be interesting to see the results tomorrow, I am not surprised that Jimmy couldn’t do a proper song for Jessica. Even at that the two earlier songs were well beyond what Phillips did.

            PS The good news for Phillips is he never has to worry about hurting his vocal chords, I think he could sing for 24 hours straight and never stretch one of them, lol.

          • tarc says:

            Hmmm. And I’d say Phillip’s Home was not only the highest quality song ever for a coronation song (normally they totally blow), it was the best performed.

      • Tanini says:

        yeah…yeah..yeah…our kababayan has a great voice.

    • Leila says:

      I’m on the West Coast so I’ll just read this live blog and forgo the show. Not a big fan of either finalist but I think Jessica should win.

      • Jessica should win, but whoever decided that last song, or whoever didn’t tell Jessica that the song was a bad call needs to be fired immediately.

        • Jeremy says:

          I agree 100%

          • Tiff says:

            I love how the idiot judges blamed Jessica’s song choice on her. Look, she probably chose it from three crappy compositions, and she did the absolute best she could on it. In fact, I was rather impressed with what she did – she really sold it.

            Philip’s song was NOT “distinctly him.” Sam Amidon, Paul Simon, Vampire Weekend, Decemberists..they all have songs that sound like that, but are way better. I must admit that the production of it was pretty great, but honestly, J.Lo, you need to expand your musical knowledge.

          • HudsonRiverside says:

            What the third song told me was that Jimmy Iovine has no clue how to produce Phillip Phillips or Jessica Sanchez. I liked the contestant’s performances, but that’s due to their talent! What it tells me is that Jimmy chose a Mumford and Sons / Paul Simon style for Phillip which is NOT the Phillip I liked all season. He took out the gritty flavor and grind from his performance, the playfulness he literally turned him into a WGWG complete with chorus harmonies….ugh…. Then he took Jessica (kudos to her for turning the bus back at Iovine after his second fail in a row after last week) and gave her a ballad that was neither soulful or bluesy or even powerhouse. What he should have given her was something like the Vegas trio arrangement or her ‘Love You I Do’ song in the top 12. So worried for who ever wins because Idol maybe the last time we actually hear how they might have sounded like before Iovine choked their identities. BOTH of these kids deserved better! :(

          • Jaxguy says:

            I didn’t watch last year’s finale so when did they get to do different songs. I hate the freakin’ judges. they are pimping Phillip so much it’s making me puke. Oh yeah they gave token props to Jessica but in the end they pushed Phillip. I won’t watch next year no matter what.

          • tarc says:


        • kcostell says:

          I’m actually a bit worried for Jessica now. She’s surrounded by people who think that “I Have Nothing” and “Change Nothing” are the sort of music she should be doing. Please tell me neither of them are picking songs for her album…

          • Jeanne says:

            It was all over the internet last night that Tommy Mottola who launched Mariah Carey will be taking on Jessica…don’t care if PP won at this point. Jessica is all set now!

          • Marsaili says:

            Tommy Mottola is an old perv with a penchant for young girls. He also drove Mariah Carey into such a deep depression that it nearly ended her career—I wouldn’t let that man anywhere near my little girl, even if is he good at what he does. I wouldn’t wish that man on Jessica at all!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Marsaili – although there’s not one thing funny about your post it made me crack up. Tommy Mottola could be a great thing for Jessica but her mother needs to be right there, all the time. Does Jessica have siblings or is she an only child?

          • Marsaili says:

            She has little brothers–I think that is it! I meant it tongue-in-cheek but really, it isn’t funny at all. She is an adorable girl–I would hate to see anything happen to her with ANYONE, but especially him!

        • sabotage says:

          I crazily agree…sabotage anyone??

    • Jeanne Biery says:

      This was a BORING finale! These kids are not dynamic entertainers – to say the least! Maybe we need new judges…no…we need new judges.

      • Tiff says:

        I agree. I miss Joshua.

      • are you a great singer am afraid not you have nothing to show so shut up i like joshua but i might just audition and shout

        • just saying says:

          i hate idiotic posts like this. it sounds like it was written by a five year old. let me educate you a bit. 1. you don’t need to be great at something to be able to thoughtfully critique it. 2. you don’t know this person, so yes, they very well could be a great singer. this is an anonymous board, you have no idea who you’re truly talking to. 3. bc i know you’re going to say something about being jealous or not being famous meaning that you must not be a good singer: FYI, there are plenty of talented people in the world who do not make money doing what they are talented at. How much money one makes is not the arbiter of one’s abilities. One can be super smart or talented or a really good person and broke as a joke. Conversly, one can be an idiot with no talents, morals, or empathy and rich as crap. See: Jersey Shore or the Kardashians. This is not a fair world. Not by a stretch.

      • ben says:

        Err, we need new judges because Joshua isn’t there? I’m not sure that was the judges decision…

      • john says:

        I haven’t read beyond this point but did anyone else notice that Phillip yawned after his 3rd song when Ryan was going through his numbers? My appreciation for him notched upwards when he did that. Here he is in the finale, having just sung his final song, and even he can’t contain how boring the whole thing is.

      • 5talentgirl says:

        Soooo boring. Jessica had songs that didn’t show off her voice and Phillip – did NOT sing well yesterday. Proves to me that Joshua WAS the missing link. What a shame.

    • baimun says:

      Haley Reinhart’s Album comes out TODAY!…. I just remembered it after the Idol Finale. Downloading from Amazon now!!!….

      • Joline says:

        Yay! I previewed online and it’s AWESOME.

      • Jaxguy says:

        i bought it today.

      • Cheryl says:

        I remembered right after work! It’s awesome!!!! She co-wrote all of the songs!

        • tarc says:

          It is awesome. I can’t stop playing the first track. Even Phillip haters can’t harsh that buzz.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Really impressed with what I’ve heard so far! Totally digging it! Just please let it get some major radio station play. Adele and Winehouse did so this should too.

          • FreeHaley says:

            A relief, I had confidence, but you never know. I actually thought McPhee had an awesome voice and was a fan of hers on Idol but right from the first two tracks on her release I was like uh-oh.

          • tarc says:

            Yeah, they misled McPhee as badly as the misled Hicks and DeWyze. As we’ve seen on SMASH, McPhee is phenomenal.

          • professor1453 says:

            @FreeHaley: Check out Katherine’s second CD, Unbroken. So much better!!!

          • Tiff says:

            Previewing right now. It’s REALLY good. What a voice. Great songs, catchy, fun and original. FreeHaley, I’m also relieved – Haley clearly had a big hand in writing and deciding on the material.

            Hey, judges, look here – this is a REAL artist!

      • TheBeach says:

        I guess AI and it’s alums are having a pretty great time right now on itunes…albums tracking now:
        #4 Carrie Underwood
        #6 Kris Allen
        #7 Adam Lambert
        #8 Haley Reinhart
        #9 AI Final 3

        • x says:

          You must’ve checked early. It’s Kris Allen #4, Haley Reinhart #6, Carrie Underwood #7, Adam Lambert #19.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Yeah it’s Kris #4, Haley (Deluxe) #6, Carrie #7, AI Top 3 #15, Adam (Deluxe) #19, Haley (Regular) #34, not sure if Adam has Deluxe only or if everyone went Deluxe with him and the regular is not charting at all or something.

          • TheBeach says:

            What makes for a “deluxe” album on itunes? Does it contain more songs?

          • FreeHaley says:

            I dunno but the price is higher ;)

            Hah actually I’m not sure, hopefully more than just that otherwise we’ve all been had haha (dam@ you Haley, why you little….).

            I think maybe an extra song or two or maybe the PDF liner booklet?? Actually I think Haley explained it on her interview with Didi Benami and The Hollywood Reporter’s main Idol reporter, but I guess I was too distracted by Haley and Didi to have the details of the explanation register hah (plus I knew I was getting deluxe anyway, where Haley is involved, so why bother storing away what you know is irrelevant hah).

            I think their is only one version of the CD though, for whatever reason. But at least the bulk of it will be on the CD for full quality to make Benchmark DAC1 headphone amp + Sennheiser HD650s really sing.

        • Jeanne says:

          Adam Lambert is due to come in #1 on Billboard today it was mentioned yesterday :)

          • FreeHaley says:

            Doesn’t seem like it, he’s not #1 in iTunes, then again Billboard is a different beast and the power of the label putting on radio play and so on can help a ton regarding that.
            Latest iTunes charts though:

            #3 Idol Current Season Finale Songs

            then three idols in a row:
            #7 Carrie
            #8 Kris (deluxe)
            #9 Haley (deluxe)

            #19 Adam (deluxe)

            then the only charting regular version (the regular versions from the others must be below 200 I guess):
            #32 Haley (regular)

            (Only Kris got mentioned in the featured new releases from iTunes email letter, no love for Haley or Adam, so they got no helping boost from that :( so yeah winning your season does get you the most promotion. Carrie probably didn’t get the mention since maybe she is different label now or maybe it already came out a week ago???)

    • The recap makes it so clear that Jessica is a star and PP, while doing his best, has talent comparable to the level you can easily find at your local university or country fair. It will be laughable when he goes down as beating both Jessica and Joshua and ends up less commercially successful than Lee Dewyze.

      Hope we get a new slate of judges next season. They are as bad as PP’s singing.

      • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

        Your comment makes it clear that you’ve been bashing Philllip for weeks now, so don’t pretend you are objective about the finale. You don’t like him. We get it. But he is a great perfomer. Your opinion is not the end all be all, I don’t care what your mother tells you.

      • Tess says:

        The recap only makes it clear that Slezak is not a P2 fan and would rather see Jessica win.

        Frankly, the whole sucked…but based solely on who had the less crappy corronation song, I think P2 should win. By the way, Slezak, it sounded very much like a Mumford & Sons song. Might be why I preferred it – it sounded more current.

        • Peter says:

          I thought it sounded like a mix of Mumford&sons and Coldplay. Reminded me of a song From x&y called “til kingdom come.” I liked it a lot — sounded so much more current and credible than any “winning” song since a moment like this. Hope Phillip wins.

      • Jay says:

        I have a feeling that both Jessica and Joshua will both end up being less commercially successful than Lee Dewyze..Whoever wins this year has a lot to live up to with the success of Scotty McCreery

        • HudsonRiverside says:

          I might actually agree because if Iovine is doing the producing he won’t have an idea that he has a powerhouse R&B urban singer in Jessica. I also think turning Phillip into Mumford and Sons is horrible, not only are they VERY current but that is their established sound. Phillip already established a more salty uptempo vibe and his slower song covers were much closer to his default style. Why give them songs that are different from what they do when it is supposed to be their hit song?

        • tarc says:

          Let Lee DeWyze actually get an post-Idol album out in his own type of music before you make any judgments.

      • givemeglenn says:

        Virtually every recap by every reporter has come back saying that Jessica won the first round but Phillip won the last two, especially the last one by a mile, and that he easily won the night; and there’s a pretty clear consensus that Philip will end up winning AI. All of the negative comments won’t change the facts or the reporting…

      • Laur says:

        Judging by his huge fan base and the fact that he was never in the bottom 3 all season, I would say regardless of how good his voice is, he’s going to be more successful than Lee Dewyze.

        • tarc says:

          What’s up with the DeWyze bashing? The guy was a modern bluegrass singer that got suckered into a making a pop album. He’s made 3 albums, he makes a living at music, and I’m sure he’ll be back to form on his next album. Jeesh… the guy was already on his way before Idol. If you’re not pop or country, you’re never going to see the same numbers.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            You know, you have to wonder how things would have turned out for Lee had he not gone on Idol. Better or worse? Hard to say. I loved Lee’s “Simple Man” that he sang for the finale during Season 9 and so did my husband, who was a huge Skynard fan and switched to country when Skynard died in the plane crash and disco became popular. I also really liked Lee’s “A Little Less Conversation”.

          • tarc says:

            DeWyze had quite a few nice songs that he did for Idol, but unlike Phillip, it seemed like he wasn’t as good at resisting the ‘machine’. To be honest, it hasn’t even been two years since his Idol tour ended! What do people expect?

      • C says:

        My understanding is that JLo will not be back next year, so you get at least 1/3 of your wish.

      • Jeanne says:

        It’s okay he will be dropped like the others from the label. It was all over the internet last night..Tommy Mottola who launched Mariah Carey will be taking on Jessica she was signed last night! All is good :)

        • Marsaili says:

          Well, gee, Jeanne knows everything so I guess we don’t even have to bother to watch tonight because Jeanne knows what will happen—cause the internet sez so! Dearie, didn’t anyone ever tell you not to believe everything you read on the internet? Sheesh. Tommy Mottola also drove Mariah Carey into a severe depression and it nearly destroyed her—I wouldn’t let my little girl anywhere near that wolf—I don’t care how good he is!

    • i have picked the winner every season befoe but not this time i dont think jessica should win she was voted off once. or was she???

    • Jessica is hands down a much better singer , BUT , the girl is 16 and it would be a disaster for her not to complete her education , go to University , study acting and performance , because in my opinion she has all the making to be an amazing Broadway Star.
      As for Philip , I am not crazy about him, BUT , the guy does have talent , just do not see him ready to be an opening act yet , the kid really has a lot to learn 1st.

    • dee says:

      Come on! One swallow doesn’t make a summer. But one angelic voice can take you to heaven.

  2. Callum says:


    • jen says:

      umm right. This show needs a winner who can’t sing a melody to save his life…

      • Callum says:

        Umm right.. this show needs a winner who is a copycat and doesn’t know how to do anything herself…

        • PAIGE says:

          Amen to that! Phillip deserves to win!!

        • jen says:

          welllll, considering all Philip has managed to do this season is copy Dave Matthews…

        • I heard Dave Matthews called Phillip. He wanted his shtick back.

        • Dana says:

          That’s right! If I hear another Whitney Houston song I’m gonna vomit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • JSF says:

          correction: HIMself. the Dave Matthews carbon copy is a guys, not a girl.

          • IdolFan11 says:

            This really pisses me off He’s never claimed to be like Dave Matthews, everyone else made that comparison for him..and he only sang 1 Dave Matthews song after everyone repeatedly shoved the idea down his throat that he reminds them of Dave Matthews…if you’ve paid attention at all this season you notice that Jessica sounds like whoever the artist of the song she is singing, never changes the style or melody..*copy cat*..

          • tarc says:

            Since Phillip sounds almost nothing like DM, I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

          • Jaxguy says:

            His last song sounded like Dave Matthews to me. Oh well.

          • tarc says:

            We know, jax. You’re extended run of hundreds of Phillip hate posts continues unabated. Oh, and I’ve still got 27 minutes… I’ll vote a few times just for you.

          • HudsonRiverside says:

            Jessica changed several songs. Just look up her Billy Joel, Buddy Holly, for starters. She sounds exactly like Jessica to me, her tone is distinct; she just hits the high notes and runs that others fear to try. Phillip sounds like Phillip. He got saddled with the Dave Matthews because he said he was his idol. Basically, I win either way on this finale even though I am worried for the winner’s future if handed over to Jimmy.

        • 5talentgirl says:

          Except sing beautifully…a lot of singers would sell their mothers to have voice like hers – the source material others can provide. That’s how isn’t very often done, isn’t it???

      • MariaPompeo says:

        don’t use words you don’t understand

      • M&M says:

        umm right, this show needs a winner who wasn’t already voted off by america…

        • Suggestor says:

          Watch the clip where Phillip Phillips mocks the people who have problems with the legitimate by the rulebook save. :D

    • shelbybb says:

      He’s already won for me! Can’t wait for his first concert tour and album so tonight is just the jam on the roll!

    • the real wendy says:

      Michael… it sounded like Mumford & Sons. I really liked it and I think he is SO CUTE… but he always reminds me of someone else!

      • tarc says:

        LOL! Phillip’s vocal didn’t sound anything like Marcus, but the song sounded like their body of work. Marcus sounds closer to Lee DeWyze, but with that lovely Celtic lilt and better pitch.

    • Jeanne says:

      He can have the win :) Jessica was signed last night by Tommy Mottola who launched Mariah Carey guess he didn’t want to wait! It was all over the internet last night his wife tweeted it.

      • Marsaili says:

        LOL, ok Jeanne! Jessica CAN’T be signed yet—because she is under contract to IDOL and if she wins she will be under contract to JIMMY IOVINE, NOT Tommy Mottola! But, gee, if you heard it on the internet, it must be true, right?

        • mackybaca says:

          Not signed. Motolla has confirmed though that he will be involved in Sanchez’s first album. Jessica’s part-Mexican and Motolla’s wife is Mexican, so…

  3. Callum says:


    • Lee says:


      • idared says:


      • Princess Adora says:

        I was thinking that exactly! Although I’m not sure if you meant it as a compliment for both of them as I do…
        I was also thinking that Joshua = Melinda, as they were both the best singers of their season and deserved to win.

      • tarc says:

        Phillip = winner
        jessica = runner-up

        • Tanini says:

          let’s just see…

        • Jeanne says:

          LOL Jessica WON already she was signed by Tommy Mottola who launched Mariah Carey. So it’s a done deal she doesn’t need the stupid AI crown. It’s over!

          • Marsaili says:

            Ok, how many times are you going to post this lie?

          • mackybaca says:

            Marsaili: Actually, it’s not a lie. Thalia, the Mexican singer aka Motolla’s wife herself tweeted that her husband will be involved in jessica’s first album. Really, among Akon, Iovine and Motolla, Jessica has her pick.

          • tarc says:

            And how does that mean that she WON American Idol? It’s not like Iovine hasn;t already made abundantly clear he’d like to sign the Top 3 (and then some) – he said before the results of Top 13 week that he was going to sign Phillip the minute he was available right on the show.

      • Jaxguy says:


    • Ringo says:

      P2=Bo Bice

    • Tiff says:

      Please do NOT compare Philip to Casey. Casey was AWESOME. He could sing. He sang the melody, and he did interesting things with his voice. Every performance was different.

      Philip is good at one style, and one style only: Dave Matthews.

      • tarc says:

        You do know that Casey is a big fan of Phillip and wants him to win, right? And I agree that Casey is probably the most musically talented Idol contestant ever (though not necessarily vocally, though he’s pretty great).

      • Marsaili says:

        Casey is also Phillip’s biggest fan so put that in your pipe and—well, you know!

        • Tiff says:

          That’s totally fine. Casey can like whoever he wants to like. I just think they have totally different styles, and I really don’t think you can compare them. In musicianship and vocal ability, Casey WAY outranks Philip.

          • tarc says:

            In musicianship, I think Casey outranks pretty muc everyone that’s ever been on Idol, but the rest is apples and oranges. I think Casey and Phillip are both awesome in their own rights.

  4. bamabunny says:

    Welp…she’s no Kurt Hummel. ;P

  5. googlecat says:

    keeping my fingers crossed for Jessica

  6. Christina says:

    Has “I Have Nothing” been sung on Idol every season?

    • Sha says:

      twice this season in fact. Fortunately, Jessica’s version made me forget Shannon’s awful cover from a few weeks ago

      • Suggestor says:

        Yes, it showed exactly how rare it is to find someone who can sing it at that level. Shannon was no slouch but Jessica is a beast!

  7. jrtr says:

    Saddling Jessica with Whitney, sigh, heard this before.

  8. even simon fuller is throwing jessica under the bus!!!

  9. g. simpson says:

    Is America tone deaf???? Phillip stinks!!

    • Musicizlife says:

      Apparently they are, they put Jessica through to the final 2 after she butchered her top 3 songs..ESPECIALLY “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” off key my ears were bleeding..

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      STAND BY ME was as awful and flat as THE LETTER and so dated, the chorus of MOVIN’ OUT was atrocious and HOME was folksinger 101 (and that corny marching band out of place)…gave them a respective D, C and B…Jessica sang rings around him though she had bad song choices…she will probably lose…..FYI there is an amazing collection of 70 or so short interviews of previous Idol contestants on where they are now in their careers and lives…lots of backstage dish and a real eye-opener…look up THE DAILY BEAST/SEXY BEAST ENTERTAINMENT AND FASHION/AMERICAN IDOL: WHERE THEY ARE NOW

  10. stacy says:

    She’s not going to do I Have Nothing and repeat I Will Always Love You… Right?

  11. McFudge says:

    Somehow Jessica’s performance seemed kind of flat….and I’ve never been a”Jessica’s a robot” believer.

  12. Deb says:

    Nigel is either stupid or has an agenda. They tell contestants to avoid Ms Huston and then pick one for Jessica. {pulling my hair} Then again, his choice for Phillip isn’t any better.:|

    • deedee says:

      Well, but that’s what she DOES. Whitney is her wheelhouse.

      • Jessica can do Whitney when in fact all she wants is to be as edgy and urban as Jazmine Sullivan or India Arie. But the only way she can win this thing is if she screams her lungs out week to week. Still think she should have sung Everybody has a dream for her second song. She should have been given a Jessie J song for the Producer’s pick. Oh well. AI needs to clear more songs.

  13. g. simpson says:

    to think that Joshua was voted off to keep Phillip..unbelieveable!!

  14. Doniel says:

    What the heck is he doing to Stand By Me?!?! Where is the melody Phillip!!

    • Melody shmelody! He Phillip Phillips’d it dawg! Which means its worthy of a voracious tip-licking from the judges, as we have seen all season.

    • Sha says:

      I agree, that song is so smooth and melodic and he completely stripped it of that :/

      • tarc says:

        The rearrangement was pretty genius. Since I’ve heard the Ben E King version about a billion times in auditions, it was really interesting and refreshing.

        • Suggestor says:

          No the ORIGINAL song was genius. This is okay but the genius of that song was the melody since the words are minimal. It would be better if he took it to a different genre and made it work ala DC’s version of ‘Billie Jean’. Or if he just sang the melody and made us love it better than the billion others who tried.

          • tarc says:

            I don’t think singing it as written would cut it with anybody – we have the unbeaten classic – and certainly no one at Idol would have allowed that for the finale. And, to me, Phillip did take it to a different genre, and in an interesting way.

  15. Taylor says:

    i know that’s his thing and all, but it really won’t hurt to have a little bit of the melody.

  16. McFudge says:

    Was Phillip trying to be off-key at the beginning of that, our was that on purpose? That was awful.

  17. RAEsin says:

    Lovee you michael , but hate that you hate on PP so much .. that song was captivating.

  18. Steph says:

    If Jessica doesn’t win it will be a real shame. Phillip is great and all but there are many people like him already. The only singer we really have is Beyonce.

    • Elle Dee says:

      Jessia like singers are a dime a dozen, we need performers like Phillip to keep music evolving, nobody likes stagnet water. L

      • Leila says:

        A dime a dozen? How many singers, even on the charts, have her vocal range? Certainly not Rihanna, Katy Perry, Madonna, Lady Gaga…

        • tarc says:

          I dunno, the Voice UK and AU auditions were stuffed with them. Lea Michelle just murdered every song she touched. And all of them were doing chartable material.

    • Elle Dee says:

      Oh my dea, dear Steph there is a Jessica every where u look! She’s like a little Disney princess! Originality is what we need, like Phillip, he is compared to Dave Mathews yet, he named to made the one Dave song he did, amazingly his own. L

      • Name That Tune says:

        Oh my. There is a P2 in every bar, club, & local band auditorium.

        • larkwoodgirl says:

          I’d rather be at a bar than a beauty pageant

          • Ash says:

            Agreed! That’s a great way to sum it all up. I’d also much rather be at a bar listening to a laid-back acoustic set than at a frilly beauty pageant listening to a wannabe diva.

          • NedPepper says:

            I would just preferred Joshua winning….

        • tarc says:

          Hardly, though I’ll tell you, there are a dozen girls on the Voice UK and AU right now that sing circles around Jessica.

          • Suggestor says:

            If they sing circles around Jessica imagine how talented their version of Phillip Phillips are complete with Celtic roots and Brit/Oz accents!

          • tarc says:

            Apples and oranges with the US finalists, of course. But there are certainly people on those shows more talented than Phillip, though not in his genre. The talent level there is really very surprising – both the UK and AU Voice have better judges, better attitudes, and better contestants overall. Plus, the people outside the US can duet and sing in groups well. I’m a fan of Phillip, but he’s just the best on this season of Idol at this moment in time – and his sound is there and *now*. There is a LOT of amazing talent out there.

    • Sha says:

      there have been 3 winners VERY similar to Phillip. How many were similar to Jessica? exactly, it’s time for a change.

      • reddirtblues says:

        I understand the reluctance to crown yet another WGWG winner but it is not clear to me that Jessica has anything really original to offer us. Like him or hate him P2 knows who he is musically and genuinely LOVES the music and the musicians who play with him. His SbyM was his interpretation — he knows who he is as an artist (I know, I know — overused words by our judges but true!). Sink or swim, he will dictate the terms of his album. She will follow the lead of her producers. That is the basic difference between them. Will she be more successful? Possibly – but only if her producers and writers are top quality.

      • tarc says:

        I’m not sure who you are referring to, but I haven’t seen much similarity between the last set of winners. Scotty = classic country; Lee – bluegrass-pop-rock; Kris = pop/R&B; David – pop; Jordan – R&B; Taylor – blues; Carrie – country-pop; Fantasia – R&B/soul; ruben – R&B; and Kelly – pop. Other than R&B falling out of favor, how are three of these similar?

  19. Jessica wins says:

    Simon, followed “my advice” and chose I Have Nothing for Jessica. I like Stand By Me as song choice for Phillip but not that arrangment. Round one to Jessica.

  20. Lauren says:

    Simon Fuller’s picks = Simon Fuller doesn’t want to spend any more money on clearance fees.

  21. deedee says:

    No way did round 1 go to Jessica. She did Whitney, but Whitney did it better. Round 1 goes to Phillip and his almost menacing version for SBM.

    • Connie says:

      How can you even compare Jessica or anybody for that matter to Whitney …that’s just stupid! IMO she sounded better than Phillip.

      • deedee says:

        I’m comparing her to Whitney because she is trying so hard to sing it exactly like her. What value did she add to the song?

        • Mary says:

          You honestly think PP added value to his performance. Sorry that was not a very good version
          Of the song.

          • deedee says:

            At least it was trying to be original. And Hey, I’m not a Phillip fan, so I am totally impartial. Jessica takes round 2 for me, if that makes you feel better.

          • tarc says:

            *waves* I did!

          • reddirtblues says:

            It was HIS version of the song — like it or leave it. Hers was NOT ORIGINAL ( well, except for the nice growl – which I did like).

          • Cris says:

            Deedee I read a previous blog of yours saying that after Joshua’s elimination, you were now a Phillip fan since Jessica was one of your least favorites. So kind of hard to swallow your claim of impartiality, total at that.

          • deedee says:

            Cris, seriously. I didn’t ‘become a Phillip fan’ after Joshua was eliminated! I have always been consistent in my favourites this season, which were: Josh, Elise and Skylar. Phillip has always been ho-hum ‘just-ok’ for me, and Jessica has always been one of my least favourites. So, I have no horse in this race and am able to be impartial when judging each performance on its own merits. This is why I was able to give round 2 to Jessica with no hesitation. Why does it even matter what I think? lol.

          • Cris says:

            Because, I value your opinion… how about that…lol

          • deedee says:

            Somehow, I doubt it, Cris – but it sounds nice, anyway! ;)

        • ben says:

          I’m less worried by what is added to a song than how good it is. If Jessica sand the song as well as Whitney (thats a big if, I don’t think she did) then I’d say she won the round, even if it was objectively true that she brought nothing of her own to it.

        • me says:


          • Marsaili says:

            And the nasty ole’ troll “me” is back to follow Deedee all over the boards and stalk her like a Tommy Motolla around young girls who can sing. Get a life, “me”.

          • deedee says:

            Oh, it’s the knuckle-dragging mouth-breather again! *waves* Why don’t you come back after you’ve finished evolving.

      • tarc says:

        Eh, not to me. phillip took all three rounds, and truly slayed the last song for a big win overall.

        • Leila says:

          P2’s last song was totally mediocre. I can’t believe people are saying it’s so amazing, artistic, etc. The marching band cameo was laughable. The lyrics were pedestrian. He did not sang well. The only good thing about the song was the guitar strumming. Not enough to compare him to Paul Simon and Mumford & Sons.

          • tarc says:

            It was really great, Leila. I know you don’t ‘get’ that kind of music and I sincerely wish you did.

        • Cris says:

          Of course, you are a true follower of Phillip. Should I even wonder?

          • tarc says:

            No, you shouldn’t – anybody who says phrases like ‘true follower’ isn’t bright enought (or honest enough) to wonder much about anything.

  22. shelbybb says:

    Adam Lambert said it best on his season’s finale night – “we’re both winners! We wanted to stand here for as long as we possible could and sing…and we did that!”
    Congratulations y’all

    (and congratulations Adam on your new album!)

    • cimi says:

      finally someone mentions Adam….Go Adam! To quote Kara–Yes! Yes! Yes!
      And to put in my two cents on the who will take the crown this yr. I think it will be Philip but, Jess can saaaannnnnnng!

  23. DebD says:

    Jessica does not have the passion and experience of Whitney Houston!

  24. Steph says:

    Nobody is Whitney. Instead of thinking how Whitney sang it look at how Jessica sang it. Phillip was boring.

    • deedee says:

      She sang it like Whitney, only not quite.

    • idared says:

      Word and Word!! They gave Whitney to Jessica because besides JHud, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken’s, she’s the only other one on AI who could handle it. Perhaps they should have given Phillip one of Lee DeWyze’s gems? Oh sorry. There aren’t any. ‘Nuf said.

      • tarc says:

        Jessica did poorly. And yes, there are Lee DeWyze Gems. Annabelle sounds a great deal like Phillip’s final song, in fact.

      • seattlejohn449 says:

        maybe they shoud’ve given Jessica STAND BY ME and PP the Whitney or Celine songs to see how PP and his marching band soldiered through

    • Jennifer W says:

      Jessica was boring….

  25. DebD says:

    Something is missing in Jessica…

    • Yo' says:

      Life. She needs to go home, go to a real school, date, go to prom. She needs something to relate her songs to.

      • Lili says:

        EXACTLY..she’s way too young to be singing the songs she’s been singing and I’m afraid she’s gonna be a flop

        • tarc says:

          And that’s not to take away from her massive potential… but it’s really, really evident that she’s a homeschooled 16 year old. Give her a few years, and she’ll be amazing.

          • Marsaili says:

            Being homeschooled has nothing to do with it—I homeschool my kids and they are not stuck in the house away from life or life experiences. Jessica was very sheltered, yes, but that is NOT a typical homeschool scenario (unless it’s a family of Christian fundamentalists homeschooling their kids to keep them away from society—which Jessica is CLEARLY not–and neither are MOST homeschooled kids)

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Most people I know that homeschooled their children didn’t do it to “protect” their children from the world and the rest of society. They did it because (1) they were in a sub-standard school district and couldn’t afford to move or didn’t want to move due to proximity to grandparents, church, etc., or (2) they were tired of the liberal crap the schools were spoon-feeding their children. (Not that this is a political message board, nor do I intend to turn it into one – I’m only stating fact based on people I know). It also gives them more flexibility on vacations and day trips.

          • Marsaili says:

            I am a homeschooling mother—and you are correct about some of the reasons why many people homeschool—but I live in a good school district (now) and we choose to continue because the kids don’t have to be sheeple, they can learn at their own pace, they get to hang out with tons of other kids who are interested in the same things and there are rarely problems with bullying and nasty behavior because all the parents are involved. All my kids have homeschooled up until highschool and when they went back to school they were all honor roll students all 4 years and they had no problems fitting in and were very involved in many activities, as they were as homeschoolers. BUT, having said that, there is a HUGE fundamental Christian homeschooling movement that IS about keeping the kids away from general society and teaching them through religion, rather than they typical curriculum. Many of those kids are more sequestered than regular homeschoolers and the groups they have do not allow anyone that isn’t Christian into the groups.

          • macy says:

            @DET: If you don’t want to turn this into a political message board, THEN DON’T. Why is “liberal crap” in the schools even mentioned by you in a discussion about Idol? Did they just do a story about that on Fox News?

          • tarc says:

            There are plenty of studies that indicate that homeschooled students predominantly don’t have the same levels of social interaction and diverse experiences that non-homeschooled students do. Personally, I have no opinion on the subject, and certainly am aware that there are places and reasons why homeschooling would be vastly preferable to the alternatives. Jessica clearly was very sheltered, and her music will only improve as she gains the experience that will help her connect with more mature subjects and more adult situations.

          • Marsaili says:

            Tarc, I don’t know where you heard those studies but they are crap—all the homeschooling groups I have had my kids in were very active, the kids all had interaction with kids of ALL ages all the time, they all do community service all the time, are active in their churches and youth groups/scouts. Those studies are bunk—I don’t know who they are interviewing for them—but they don’t speak for the general homeschool population!

  26. McFudge says:

    If a contestant can’t make me stop playing Angry Birds on my phone when he’s singing, it was not good enough.

  27. Liz says:

    I wonder if Jessica will be in the Ford music video by herself this week? How can Phillip be the American Idol with all the responsibilities if he can’t even appear in a video? GO JESSICA!!!

    • My2Pennies says:

      Wow, you’re going to attack someones health issues as a means to boost your personal choice? Some people just suck at life. Gotta love karma, cause it’s going to bite you hard for being so hateful.

  28. DebD says:

    Not saying PP was great either!

  29. Michael says:

    Um…is Derulo lip syncing the premier of a new song?!

  30. DebD says:

    I think this is the first “FIXED” idol I have ever seen!

  31. DebD says:

    J.Lo (with the top of power rated by Forbes) is biased towards Jessica – she did not have to sing for her save — J.Lo ran right up and saved her!

  32. laker says:

    Missing Joshua for sure! Jessica seems like she expects the win.

  33. idared says:

    Loving the blog. It’s going to make the show much more interesting when I’m watching it in 2.5 hours. (PST).

  34. DebD says:

    when I placed my call for Joshua the phone numbers did not match the confirmation when I voted

  35. DebD says:

    that was the first time that happened when I voted

  36. Mary says:

    Round one was definitely Jessica, but Simon Fuller picks suck. I can’t believe he could not come up with more current better songs.

  37. Steph says:

    I don’t understand this “attitude” people say they see in Jessica. She doesn’t expect anything. She’s always humble. I don’t get it.

  38. deedee says:

    The Prayer was probably her best and only memorable performance (for me) of the whole season.

    • tarc says:

      Really? It wasn’t good, and she went ugly a couple times. She did a much better Whitney in the first round (and really, no one could save that third round travesty of a song they gave her).

  39. DebD says:

    okay, that was a better performance for JS

  40. Taylor says:


  41. Steph says:

    That was amazing. Definitely better than her first song.

  42. ashley says:

    even my parents think Jess is the boringest ever.

  43. Doniel says:


  44. McFudge says:

    The Prayer was MILES better than her first round. Lovely. Just lovely.

  45. DebD says:

    She has the goods….she needs more stage presence and experience — but then again she is just 16.

  46. marcy says:

    whatever happened to that Taio Cruz song that Idol watchers helped write and then was performed on the Idol finale last year? Didn’t it bomb? Why did Coke decide to do this again? DeRulo isn’t going to have a hit with that

  47. Bobbi says:

    I can’t remember ever being less enthused about an AI finale. Jessica has a beautiful voice but she just leaves me cold. Phillip may be an “artist” but he can barely sing. This season had such promise and I’m incredibly disappointed that it has come down to these two.

    • baimun says:

      Oh I can… Scotty McDreary and Lauren Whateverhername was… with no Haley Reinhart. THAT was the worst finale ever.

      • FreeHaley says:


      • Tiff says:

        +1. I remember skipping the performance show entirely.

      • JayKay says:

        Funny it was the most boring finale yet both Lauren and Scotty have proven to be a few of the more successful idol alums opening for major headliner tours and Scotty’s album went platinum in less than 3 months…

        • FreeHaley says:

          Yeah they also sing country. And the audience effectively (i t wasn’t lower than for top 3 just lower than the degree of huge boost top2 show usually gets over top 3 show) dropped like 25% for it, I think unprecedented, if you compare ratings for top 3 vs top 2 that season vs. what happened to the numbers other seasons.

          Anyway it was boring since it left out the most dynamic singer of the season and the top 2 had, maybe at most one, if even, performance of the night between them (I mean Lauren had a pretty solid voice and if you like Scotty’s country country I guess it is ok but every single song he sang the entire year was the same, can anyone even point to one vs another) and it was 100% country = boring for anyone not into country.

    • Spot on criticisms for those that must make them: ‘Jessica has a beautiful voice but she just leaves me cold’ – subjective to the listener. ‘Phillip may be an “artist” but he can barely sing.’ – A big ‘tru dat!’ from anyone who can hear!

      • Marsaili says:

        you do realize you are a hypocrite to your own words? Jessica’s criticisms are subjective but Phillips are true? That is just idiotic. But then, consider the source…..

      • tarc says:

        Ouai, tru dat Phillip rocks! :D

    • D says:

      I had no enthusiasm for Idol after last year…..P2 revived it for me!

  48. RO says:

    How did the judges not stand for that prayer performance?

    • jen says:

      Nigel doesn’t want her to win, that is how.

    • Tiff says:

      Honestly, I’m really not that much of a Jessica fan, and I HATE that song. But she seriously killed it. Best performance of the night. The judges refuse to give her a standing O.

      • imho says:

        It was amazing! And I’m a P2 for the win kinda gal! But I so completely loved Phillips last song, it trumped her amazing job on The Prayer (for me)

    • tarc says:

      Because it wasn’t that good; she fell off pitch twice and that song is very, very unforgiving.

      • Suggestor says:

        Jessica sounded better on the Prayer live tonight than in Vegas. What a high note!

        • tarc says:

          Yeah, but she fell off pitch on two of her extended notes. I thought she’d absolutely murder it 9and hoped that she would – I was excited when she started), and she didn’t at all. It just wasn’t comparable to the various people we’ve seen do it live before (Celine, Bocelli, Charlotte Church, Josh Grobin).

    • Jessica T. says:

      It was a snooze for me. Just because something is sung well doesn’t mean it is engaging. I started talking to my friend next to me. I honestly have a hard time hearing the words she sings, too.

  49. Connie says:

    Jessica was amazing on that song!

  50. laker says:

    seriously…….I may forget American Idol after this. Jessica also just blew, The Prayer. she needs a few more years. Please surprise us with a Joshua return performance. Idol is losing credibility. J’Lo does not help either since she has long made it know she wants Jessica Fixd???????? starting to feel like it.

    • filmstr says:

      do you think so? why did she go for philip? jessica did amazing tonight. although i cannot but praise philip either. Great Job for both of them.

    • Yankee says:

      yea that whole dramatic “save” ruined the shows credibility and made me question whether it’s fixed for Jessica to win? I believe it feels like it as well

      • sam says:

        Geez either way you have set yourself up where you can’t win — if jessica wins, you say it’s fixed, if she doesn’t win, it’s not fixed. Do you really think that idol would take the chance of having a scandal that would undermine the whole show???? Whatever, believe that it’s fixed then…

    • D says:

      I’m a P2 fan, and although I think she likes Jessica, she WANTS Phillip to win!