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!

FINAL THOUGHTS
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 TVLine.com 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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809 Comments
  1. IMHO says:

    Please let me vote for Scotty. Neither of the other two are worthy successors IMHO.

  2. Princess Adora says:

    Michael, your “aging eyes” at 8:59 made my day!! LMAO

  3. Chrys says:

    If Jessica doesn’t win, I’m going to adopt a kitten.

  4. Rocky says:

    Sounds as though the music director sabotaged Jessica. She’ll be fine once she gets away from this dumb show, gets a good producer, and makes a real record. And apparently, this last one better not be it. I don’t get to hear it for 2 hours, but at least now I know what to expect.
    Memo to Iovine or Fuller, or whoever made her sing shmaltzy ballads. Whitney Houston sang pop songs, too, remember ? I Wanna Dance with Somebody. She needs a Clive Davis, and she gets a Jimmy Iovine. oy vay

    • deedee says:

      season’s not over – why are you crying foul and admitting defeat? Is that how much better you thought Phillip was?
      .
      Chin up, Jessica fans, I agree with Slezak: she will win, despite Phillip clearly winning the night.

      • Rocky says:

        Not admitting anything. Just reacting to how the song has been described. I’m still 2 hours away from hearing it myself. Haven’t heard either of them yet.

        • deedee says:

          Rocky, to be honest, Phil’s song was a million times better. But each song definitely suited the singer, and even though Phil took the night, Jessica can (and will) still take the competition. Not that I care one way or the other, really.

          • Rocky says:

            She’ll have a fine career.
            In a finale, I would like to hear them both singing great songs, that’s all I’m saying.

      • VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!!!

      • DRD says:

        If she wins, then it will confirm AI is fixed..

  5. Jessica wins says:

    Song choice is the only kryptonite for Jessica and Jimmy was Lex Luther.

  6. shelbybb says:

    Let’s STOP trying to re-name Phillip’s sound. It’s called PHILLIP PHILLIPS – period.
    Win or lose, his career began tonight. You’re a classy, REAL artist and Georgia’s so proud of you and how you’ve handled this journey!

  7. tewence says:

    your comment at 8:23 and jessica FTW!!!!! they screwed her over with that one…although the ripoff of mumford & sons “awake my soul” for phillip didn’t do that much more of a solid for him. still i was WAY more impressed with jessica this evening as phillip flopped with the first two bits.

    • tarc says:

      I thought he won all three rounds, the last by miles.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        I think he definitely won the third round, which is an important one since it shows how good the singers are at choosing material, but I thought Jessica edged him out on the first two. The Prayer was especially fantastic.

        • tarc says:

          I didn’t care for her The Prayer at all. The song is quite operetic, and she didn’t quite make the style and went ‘off’ a couple times bad enough I winced. Again, it’s an extremely difficult song that she just couldn’t quite manage. I think jessica will be brilliant in a few years, but she’s just not experienced enough to pull of her selections. I give her props for ambitious choices, but it doesn;t seem to be a contest winning strategy to me.

          • Miscellaneopolan says:

            To each his own, but I was pretty well transfixed by her take on The Prayer. Like, staring at the TV with my mouth absentmindedly handing open transfixed. I agree that Jessica sometimes seems like a young girl trying to sing like a woman, but I thought this really worked. She put some real soul into it.

          • tarc says:

            Oh, I agree that the song choice was really good for her. I had some issues with the technical and stylistic elements. It was unexpected because she is usually technically great (beyond the occasional mumbles and a slip of the vibratto). I think she tried to add a touch of R&B, and it just drove her tonally off a couple times. The Prayer is just so unforgiving of a song to vocalists.

          • givemeglenn says:

            I’m a Phillip fan and thought Jessica did fantastic on her first song; it was a terrific choice for her and she sang it much better than Phillip sang his choice. However, I’m with Jennifer on the second round and gave it to Phillip because of his energy and emotion in the song, as well as the fac0t I thought he sang it well and connected with the audience. I thought Jessica’s arrangement was really bad and it hurt her performance; she couldn’t “control” the song properly and the fans couldn’t get into it.

            I think everyone knows that Jessica got screwed with the “winner’s” song choice and, unfortunately, she doesn’t have the same experience that Phillip does at arranging music, so her song suffered. Phillip, on the other hand, can make almost any song his own, so he was able to take whatever was given and turn it into something current, and, obviously, a song that worked last night.

            So, by my count, last evening, Jessica won round one, and Phillip won rounds two and three. This should mean Phillip should win AI.

      • Davey says:

        He lost the first two rounds and won the third.

      • Cris says:

        Wake up, Tarc. You’re having a nightmare.

  8. chelle says:

    That lost song was very Mumford and Sons which I love so definitely my favorite of the night. my personal winner is Philip but I think Jessica will take it.

  9. NikkiQM says:

    Nice sabotage Jessica with a terrible coronation song and first single and give Phil a perfect first single for his limited range and vocal abilities that was a better fit for him by miles. Why not skip tomorrow and just crown Phil the winner. Ugggh.

    • deedee says:

      Did you expect them to give Jessica a song with limited range? You’d be screaming bloody murder then.

    • tarc says:

      Jessica said after the judges comments that SHE chose the song.

      • lbw says:

        The question is why did they let her choose it. She has been very receptive to the advice given to her up to this point. How could the “powers that be” not know how lopsided that final round would be. That being said…GO PHILLIP!!!

        • tarc says:

          We don’t know what happened. We do know the song was awful, and it was one of a line of bad choices. *shrugs* That’s where her inexperience hampers her. As Iovine said, in a couple years, she’ll be awesome. She’s just not there yet.

          • FreeHaley says:

            To be fair it’s not like every one of Phillip’s choices is perfect either. I know you like Phillip and you complain that everyone bashes him and all the Jessica fans hate on him, etc. but step back and see what all the Phillip fans say about Jessica, I think she’s getting more knocks than Phillip by the Phillip fans than, or at least as many, as the other way around.

  10. Andre says:

    I think it’s so unfair that they didn’t give Jessica a strong enough single!

    • that is so trueeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    • deedee says:

      What did all you Jessica fans scream at the Joshua fans last week? Oh yeah, something like “Don’t make excuses!!! Get over it!!! He lost!! Move on!” … or something along those lines.

      [/immature] :D

      If Jessica is really that epically move-mountains great, she’ll overcome one song. Have faith in your own idol, Jess-folk.

    • Marsaili says:

      Jessica CHOSE that song herself—there is no one to blame but her for that one—just like she chose Don’t Want to Miss a Thing last week–the girl clearly can’t pick songs that are good for her–and that is ONLY because she is still too young. Phillip has a few years on her, a lot of experience playing out, playing with bands, writing his own music—he knows what fits him—all the things that people bitch about concerning WGWG (musician, writer, multi-talented, singer) are exactly the differences between Jessica and Phillip and the reason why he SHOULD win. But, he probably won’t—and if that is the case, it’s better for him—then he’ll have control over his songs!

  11. deedee says:

    Gawd, Slezak, you took the thoughts right out of my brain:
    .
    Winner of the night: Phillip
    .
    Winner of the season: Joshua
    .
    Winner of the title: Jessica

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Can’t argue with that, even though the judges gave P2 two snaps, a twist, and a kiss for his original song, and Jessica? “Hated it!”.

  12. darcy's evil twin says:

    didn’t realize you were live-blogging the program!

    .

    So, I’ll probably repeat some stuff. I’ll just comment on the original songs.
    I’ve been quite honest about not being a fan of Jessica’s; however, I thought her original song was not bad and pretty much what you’d hear on the radio. I’m a bit lost as to why the judges were so hard on her. She sang the same thing she’s been singing for the last 37 weeks or whatever and they say, “Eh – didn’t like it”. REALLY? They didn’t like the ballad and they want more “urban soul”? Have we been watching the same program? Did she break into “Crazy in Love” at some point during this season and I freakin’ missed it?
    .
    And now for P2. He got mad praise for singing what sounded like a Simon and Garfunkel song. Not saying I didn’t like it – but I noticed Steven commented he heard some Paul Simon in there after Jennifer said it didn’t sound like anyone else. So, I brought in another Old Music Expert (the husband), backed up the DVR, and asked him to listen to the song and tell me who it reminded him of. After about eight bars he said, “Simon and Garfunkel”. When the band marched out he rolled his eyes at me. Reminded him of Paul Simon from his “Graceland” days.

    • deedee says:

      LOL, DET, tell your Hubby I thought of Graceland within the first 20 seconds, too.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Okay, so we’re not crazy. Granted, we’re both old, but not crazy.

        • deedee says:

          Neither old, nor crazy. It was so obviously Graceland, and I happened to love it! Talk about peaking at the right time!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I find it interesting the younger people (I assume they’re younger) said it reminded them of Mumford and Sons, and us old folks? Simon and Garfunkel.

          • deedee says:

            Yeah, I noticed that, too. I’ll have to check out Mumford and Sons (even though all I think of when I see that is Redd Fox and his junk dealership. ;) )
            .
            P.S. not so much Simon & Garfunkel as much as Paul Simon solo. For me, for you.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Both! Simon and Garfunkel at the beginning and Paul Simon once the marching band came out. There was a high-part harmony singing with P2 near the beginning of the song.

          • deedee says:

            I’ll give you that, DET. It was good, though. As much as I’m sentimental over Cook’s “Magic Rainbow”, this might be the best victory song ever. Even if he loses, they should release this to radio.

  13. Amy says:

    The show is fixed. The final song for Jessica was all wrong while Phillips song was perfect for him. I will not be watching idol next season as the wrong singer has won for the last three years. ITunes sales speak for themselves and I predict that Jessica will outsell Phillips regardless of who wins. If Phillips wins, I will no watch again.

    • Amy talking nonsense says:

      Amy, of course you will watch again. Let’s stop with this nonsense. After you simmer down and watch the two hour finale tomorrow, you will be clicking on American Idol in January and follow the journey all over again.

    • deedee says:

      Yeah, but Jessica (according to you, the judges, and Slezak) thing Jessica won 2 out of 3 rounds. How is the show fixed?

    • jennifer says:

      really? album sales told you that the wrong one won last season? maybe you need to evaluate this comment some more and do some research before you make an idiot of yourself. And really Lee or Crystal didn’t do worth a crap on the charts.

    • tarc says:

      Jessica said herself on the show that she picked her single. If it sucked, it was her fault for picking poorly.

      • FreeHaley says:

        yeah from a choice of two, MAYBE three and i actually didn’t think it that ghastly myself, I don’t mind a little pure pop now and then by any means, it wasn’t a simple song, vocally either, quite the range too, almost too wide, started quite low

    • givemeglenn says:

      If you want to try to claim a “fix” for the show, then I would suggest that the first song choices were definitely a gift FOR Jessica and an attempt to SCREW Phillip. Her song was right in her wheelhouse and a song choice for him that was nothing like he should have sung.They may have well given him a Donny Osmond song to do. Regarding the last songs; they only have a few songs to choose from because they don’t know who the finalists will be coming in and they no longer want them singing the same songs.

      It’s very possible that the same song Phillip sung could have been given to Jessica, and she would have sung it with a different melody and it wouldn’t have sounded the same; then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. They might have given Phillip the song they gave Jessica and he could have sung it differently than she did, and we could STILL be having this conversation..we just don’t know.

      My point is that Phillip takes songs and makes them his own where Jessica is more of a robot, singing the songs as they’re written, even, unfortunately, if they don’t suit her style. This is one of the reasons that makes Phillip a great musician and Jessica just a great singer.

  14. Davey says:

    I’m sorry Jessica was better than Phillip in two of her songs. And she didn’t have much choice on her last song. She gets my votes!

    • jennifer says:

      yet she made the comment that she should have done better at choosing the song

    • Marsaili says:

      didn’t have much choice—she CHOSE the song–she said she chose the wrong song (After the fact)

      • FreeHaley says:

        sort of, they have 2 or 3 choices hah
        anyway i didn’t think it was that horrendous, what can I say, i don’t get all thumbing my nose down at pure pop, not that I don’t get some of the complaints about people wanted to hear but nothing wrong with some pure pop too

        • tarc says:

          There was no indication that there were 2-3 choices – all that’s been said was there was a ‘list’. That implies more than 2 or 3, but we don’t know. Regardless the song sucked, and I don’t think anyone could have saved that tune.

          • FreeHaley says:

            In years past I’ve heard contestants mention 2 or 3 choices.
            Anyway, whatever.

  15. Annie says:

    Worst finale ever. Season 8 was bad, since Kris and Adam only had one good performance each, and were given horrible song choices. But this was much worse. It was rushed, but the obvious busing of Jessica just made it pointless. I can’t remember a finale when someone was given three songs that didn’t match their style. She’s an r&b/soul singer, with a little pop on the side, so why wasn’t she given songs to showcase that.

    Phillip was bad too, but at least he was given a coronation song that suited him. This finale is not going to be good for the show.

  16. Jaded Fork says:

    Who picked that insipid “winning” song for Jessica? Is American Idol always this rigged?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      How was that song “insipid”? It’s no worse than anything else on the radio.

      • Jaded Fork says:

        It was mediocre and unmemorable. Obviously meant to torpedo votes. No wonder she looked so despondent.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          As I said, no worse than anything else on the radio, LOL. In fact, I found it a bit better than most of what is on contemporary radio.

    • Marsaili says:

      Um, did you listen to the show at all? The contestants picked their original songs—so JESSICA picked that “insipid” (for you, for you) song.

  17. Kitty says:

    I voted for Phillip 4 times. One for each performance he did that I enjoyed. “Hard To Handle”, “Still Rainin’”, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, and “In The Midnight Hour”. This finale was a snoozefest for me. 3 guesses who I’m listening to right now :-) Wanna whole lotta love….

  18. Annie says:

    Even if Jessica wins, I think that most fans of the show are going to have a problem with someone winning who has had two really horrible weeks in a row, even if she’s the most talented contestant left.

  19. db says:

    both 1st choices stunk up…with all the good stuff out there… amazing. She sings amazingly though…beautiful and good spirited. P2 salvaged by the last song….he was good when it counted. Like them both. Good luck to them. Ask Mr. Fuller not to choose the songs next year…no offense….

  20. Amy says:

    Jimmy you should be ashamed of yourself. Betraying a 16 year olds trust. How low!

  21. AS says:

    Jessica is just so boring…..she isn’t robotic like she was, but 3 emotionless ballads….the voice just doesn’t matter.

  22. Amy says:

    Phillip = Phillip
    f’n briLLiant last song. Made me wake up in what turned out to be a kinda sleepy Finals night for me…in what was otherwise an exciting season, Finals night had me longing once again for the “battle of the Davids.”
    Up to P2′s last song, there were just no surprises or anything outstanding for me. And actually My Prayer was the song that first made me like Jessica….still…it was pretty, but didn’t have same effect second time around. So just ok for me. Jessica did well though, and was Jessica. Phillip, I thought (until that last song), put one on one with Jess, made his style seem too weak for the Final type format. Didn’t love first two song choices for him. Stand By Me needs a strong, soulful “melody” singer. And “Movin’ Out”…I liked a lot, but it was still the one I liked the least of all he did this season….but still, it was fine. Again…no surprises up to this point.
    But when I heard the first strains of that last song….I literally sat up and paid attention … I knew I was hearing “it” for the night. “THAT was Phillip Phillips”, and that was brilliant.
    In my mind I’m going…is it Dylan? Dave Matthews? “New Age Boss” with a twist, as Steven said? Heck..with the marching band…was it Celtic Thunder?? It was everything and no one else…that was Phillip. And it sounded new. The subtlety of the simple, yet bulls-eye perfect song for him, was more powerful than the best ballad notes of the night…in that moment.
    I’m not saying who should win. I love Phillip. I respect Jessica’s talent.
    But the only moment for me tonight was P2′s last song.
    oh..yea…and I always LOVE the end of season montages…I’m a sentimental sucker.

    • Amy says:

      Different Amy than a few lines up.
      Anyway…my “dissertations” done…no more to say tonight!

      • Marsaili says:

        LOL, I was wondering who you were and what you did with other Amy (phillip hater) but I agree, that song he did was so perfect, I was almost jumping up and down when he was done (but I couldn’t because I sprained my foot today :-( ) I love the montages too–the show ended on a great note! And Scotty was great, too!

  23. FreeHaley says:

    The last song they gave was pretty challenging, huge range, it started borderline too low for her, but she got past it with a bit of low strain.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think “songs starting too low” has been a problem for most of the contestants this year. I think if Jessica learns to support her notes a little better it will sound just fine.

      and, if anyone is interested, there’s a kick-a** “Foreigner” concert on Palladia tonight.

      • FreeHaley says:

        Yeah I think it’s especially tricky, live, with all the nerves to support the low notes. Haley had trouble there on a few low notes including the start to You Outta Know (which combined with the those tricky verses made it even tougher also when two of the judges already called round for Lauren(? something like that I know they basically said something about how she was doomed or someone else already took the round, something ridiculous like that since it was….) right BEFORE Haley even got sing if I recall correctly, which won’t help you calm the nerves and be able to support that crucial start, that was a double low blow)

  24. Amy talking nonsense says:

    Still going to stop watching Amy after your disseration above? Please.

  25. Amy says:

    LOL…two Amy’s here…two opinions. It’s cool…just making that distinction, otherwise it sounds like someone’s schitzo! I’ll be fine if Phillip wins…or Jessica. No matter who wins…I’ll watch again. I lost that battle Daughtry’s year…and he did just fine too!

  26. may says:

    it would have been a much better finale if it was jessica sanchez and joshua ledet showdown. at least either one who wins i’ll be happy and feel it is well deserved. but if phillip phillips wins he got talent sure! but it is not enough to be called an american idol. there are far more better singer than him, he is just soooo overrated,

  27. darcy's evil twin says:

    IF JOSHUA LEDET DOESN’T WIN I AM NEVER WATCHING THIS STUPID PROGRAM AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Oh….oopsie.
    nevermind….

  28. JSF says:

    am i the only person who LOVED Jessica’s original song? =S

    • Yo' says:

      Oh JSF, the lyrics were horrific!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I’m not going to say I loved it; however, it sounded like the stuff you hear on contemporary radio to me. I was a bit surprised at the harsh reaction from the judges – they acted as though they expected her to sing something completely different than what she’s been doing all these weeks.

  29. Chuck says:

    I liked Phillip’s winner’s song, but man, he sure had a lot of help from the backing vocalists there, especially on the high notes that an entire season of Idol has proven he can’t hit. But he did live up to the production, and he benefits from the fact that there’s no existing version of it we can compare it to, so we can’t see where he “Phillip Phillipsed” it. As for his first two songs–eh. Nothing we haven’t heard.

    Jessica was in excellent voice–the best she’s sounded in a while, in fact. The Prayer was one of the best performances of the season, and she did what she could with the dopey winners’ song and the way overplayed I Have Nothing. 3 ballads didn’t help her, but she only had full choice on one song, and she pretty much had to do The Prayer, the last big gun she hadn’t fired.

    I don’t do conspiracies, but the critiques tonight were strange–Jennifer saying Phillip won the second round because “we’ve heard Jessica do that before” (well yes, IDIOT, it was the round they did repeats!); and then ripping Jessica for song choice at the end rather than how she sung, as if there was something decent sitting around the 19 offices for her to choose instead. Jennifer will never support a female so that’s no surprise, but the show usually cares more about trying to look at least a little fair.

    I hope Idol is happy with their Lee DeWyze, Jr. They should have known this would happen when they let him into the Final 24. As for women or anyone nonwhite, there are other singing shows out there that are proven to be more accepting of you.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      enjoyed your comments, especially about Jessica and JLo in round 2…was shocked Slezak didn’t go ballistic over JLo’s inane snub in his recap

  30. I thought Phillip won round 1 and Jessica won round 2, and that the 3rd round was pretty even. I loved Phillip’s last song, but I thought Jessica’s song was good, too. I liked that it was a normal song one might hear on the radio. I thought Phillip’s choice of Movin’ Out for his reprise performance was a bit odd, but I thought it came off better than it did the first time around.

    <<>>

    I agree. Jessica also showed a lot of poise tonight. Phillip looked very happy.

    I hope Phillip wins. His music is the type of music that I like and will buy in the future. Either way, I’m sure they’ll both have careers in music.

  31. TC says:

    is it over yet? When does Josh perform??

  32. round one- jessica round two-jessica round three-phillip

  33. Yo' says:

    Why was Jessica Sanchez wearing Miss Kitty The Hooker From Gunsmoke’s dress for her first song?

  34. Abby says:

    I have been a p2 fan throughout the season bc he does my type of music, but I want him to win solely for the fact that we will get to hear that song on mainstream radio which is way better than 90% of the crap that is usually on there. I really like Jessica too, but her song was just boring and had no discernible hook.

  35. RealityCheck says:

    Phillip’s “home” is reminiscent of the song Peter and Lois sang in the talent show during an episode of family guy.

  36. Kyrie says:

    I hope Jessica wins but at the same time I wish she won’t be handled to Jimmy. I mean come on, the lyrics, which Jimmy wrote, was the one that brought her down on the last round. Good grief! Not the best coronation song, but she won the first 2 rounds which Phillip didn’t, he sounded the same.

  37. minikittykitty says:

    Only thing spectacularly exciting tonight was the Nokia Center. It was the nights’
    “moment-moment-moment”. and I like J and P.

  38. Scout says:

    Oh Michael, when did you starting smoking the funny drug pipe? Jessica couldn’t win if they stopped Phillips fans from voting and let her fans vote for another week. She’s a sweet kid. She’ll be fine, but girlfriend ain’t gonna win… He’s had this in the bag for 10 weeks and he’s bringing it home.

  39. Owen says:

    I have no idea why they would want Phillip to win. The WGWG usually disappoints record sale-wise. R & B must do worse than mediocre selling pop albums though, as they just did not want Jessica to win this thing. I wouldn’t have minded,really, if Phillip had clearly won the evening, and/or exploded on that last song..but that was one of the least earned Standing Ovations in the history of Standing Ovations. It was there solely because the Powers want Phillip to win. But I don’t understand why…

    • Owen says:

      Okay, this is bothering me so much I can’t stop thinking. Okay, maybe since the whole folk thing is big now, that’s why they wanted Phillip. That was clearly a Mumford & Sons rip-off song. And there really are no charting American folk singers at the moment, so there is a hole to fill. Not that Phillip is actually folk, but AI has often tried to pigeonhole a winner into a category…

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Folk music is back????????????????
        Dear Lord, have mercy on our souls. Amen.

        • tarc says:

          Not folk really – they call it several things: alt-country, pop-folk, modern bluegrass. I like the last category because bluegrass already covers the folk and the country and the modern twist is the blending with blues, jazz, pop, and rock to various degrees. And yes, Mumford & Sons won 2011 Billboard Top Rock, Top Alterative album, and Top Alternative Artist, BRIT British Album of the Year, And ARIA for best international artist, and a slug of MTV and Grammy nominations in 2011 and 2012 in quite a few categories. It’s what Lee DeWyze was singing before Idol.

          • seattlejohn449 says:

            there is alot of tremendous musicians and artists in all these fields I’m happy you mentioned and I listen to a huge range of music that fits somewhere in there…have to say, though, I’m grateful if PP brings some attention to music other than Katy Perry or Rhianna that has authentic, semi-acoustic instrumentation and non-autotuned vocals…unfortunately, I don’t think he’s been very good doing covers on IDOL (though it is possible his original music might be worth a listen though he is rather limited vocally…too bad IDOL doesn’t let folks sing their own original music once in awhile)

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Okay, that’s not quite the same.

          • tarc says:

            I’m not the craziest about traditional bluegrass, but I’m really digging the new young, fresh ‘modern bluegrass’ groups: the Punch Brothers (currently on the Hunger Games soundtrack), The Duhks (Mists Down Below was one of my favoorite songs the year it came out), Nickel Creek. Phillip’s Home fits right in there, and it sounds more like his original material on youtube.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I DO like Nickel Creek.

        • Yo' says:

          I was not aware folk music was back, but I liked P2′s song last night because it had a folk aura I initially read as a B. Dylan sound. Mumford and Sons is clearly updated folk. They are quite good and also quite current. Perhaps that is where the folk revival meme is coming from.

    • Rick says:

      Agreed. Totally.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      I think PP’s win is inevitable so the judges and producers are just jumping on the bandwagon to seem like they know what’s what and are simply pumping the voting public for ratings

    • idolmama says:

      The reason the WGWG usually disappoint in record sales is because the first album consists of songs prechosen by the producers. The continually do what they did to Iovine did to Jessica. They make their debut song something that is totally wrong for their style. They try turning them into pop singers. So of course the sales are disappointing. We are not getting to hear the singer we loved during the show. We are forced to suffer through a robot anyone who won was going to sing this song performance.

  40. JC says:

    Jessica won the night i have nothing and the prayer were glorious. Phillip did not deserve that standing ovation Jessica does!!! vote vote vote blujays!!! :)

  41. Debi says:

    Michael, you didn’t mention Steven’s comment after Phil’s last song…I’m trying to remember just what he said…did it sound like he meant he should win? I couldn’t tell & knowing ST, there’s probably no way to tell! lol

  42. weeping says:

    Considering the amount of talent that came into the top 13 this season, there has never been a more BORING final EVER. It felt completely rushed and 2nd rate. Not sure why I watched and certainly didn’t bother voting. Still weeping…

  43. Rick says:

    I was so disappointed. Jessica’s first song was okay, kind of surprised that it ended without any show-stopping notes. Phillip’s was miles below Jessica though. Jessica’s second song was absolutely the best of the night. Phillip’s was good though, have to admit. But her third song was when it went bad. So mad she got a song like that. If she loses because of that, there will be blood tears. I have to say, I would buy Phillip’s song before hers. But Jessica should still win.

  44. trj says:

    Not a PP fan at all, and wasn’t impressed by anything he did all season during the live shows other than Volcano and We’ve Got Tonight, but no question in my mind that he will win, and that he earned it tonight. Yes, the first song choice for Jessica was U-N-F-O-R-T-U-N-A-T-E, but the final song debacle was all on Jessica. She admitted that she chose the song because she thought it was appropriate for the finale, so she obviously had some choices presented to her. Now maybe the other choices were even worse, but there had to be something she could have done with an R&B twist to it. And even though the song she did choose was mediocre, she at least could have sung the hell out of it, as past Idol winners had. She chose a bad song, then sang it poorly, and I think that’s going to spell her doom.

    Home is probably the best Idol coronation song they’ve ever done. Not at all treacly and generic, it reminded me very much of something that an 80s era Paul Simon would do (as Steven recognized). Perfect for Phil Phil, perfect production, perfectly sung. Usually the finale doesn’t produce Idol “moments” but I wanted to run to iTunes and download this song asap. The perfect time to have a spectacular performance.

    I know that everyone will say Jessica was sabotaged so that another WGWG would win Idol, but I think the producers genuinely wanted a female to win this year. They certainly pimped Skylar and Jessica hard enough (and Hollie and Elise have only themselves to blame for their eliminations — now I’ll run away before I get pelted with tomatoes).

    • Chuck says:

      “There had to be something she could have done with an R&B twist to it.” Er, you haven’t watched this show before, have you? Virtually all the winners’ songs are boring ballads. I can almost guarantee there were no uptempo songs presented to her.

    • deedee says:

      An excellent finale “moment” : David Cook’s “The World I Know” by Collective Soul – sung at the Nokia Season 7. Gorgeous!

    • Davey says:

      If they wanted a female singer to win this year they wouldn’t have even given Jessica this song to sing. Why not a better song that wasn’t original? Really what a joke!!!

    • reddirtblues says:

      Nicely stated. Agree.

  45. branlegr says:

    Jessica’s “vibrato” in her second song “The Prayer” could have triggered an earthquake on a small island…. Yuck! :/

  46. Amy says:

    Ok…A2 still here. (still reading)…

    Michael these: “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.”
    Yes on all. And that pout could/should have been all wrong. But it wasn’t.
    and
    “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!”
    I know!! Other years we saw it close up?? Was wondering the same…that’s the best part of the ending. I guess they wanted to highlight ole Scotty-lock-dem-doors.

  47. may says:

    they should have give them the same song on the 3rd round. that way we could really see who really got it.(if i remember right kris allen and adam lambert sang the same song before) and to be equal and fair to both contestant. now i’m hearing they feel like jessica has been sabotage, and i cant help but feel the same way. her last song didnt fit her voice, didnt give justice to what kind of talent she has. bad song choice. disappointing idol finale

    • tarc says:

      Actually, making them sing the same song – seeing as they are completely different singers – would produce a bigger problems than letting them chose a more appropriate song from a list. If the finale song was more one than the other, there would be a tremedous bias. In the end, Jessica *chose* that song!

    • idolmama says:

      Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice sang the same finale song too. Inside My Heaven. And both had it as their first release.

  48. Yo' says:

    Michael Slezak, your live blogging is hysterical; you should do that more often.

    But PeePee is gonna win, so maybe you might not want to blog your bawling self tomorrow night?

  49. FreeHaley says:

    Phillip wasn’t bad at all on the last song, but in the end 10 votes tossed Jessica’s way from me.
    (and a few hundred write-in votes for Elise)
    (and last but no way least, a Haley album purchase)

  50. Njloonie says:

    I am voting for jessica repeatedly, and I am having no trouble getting thru. Uh oh.