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. Nicole says:

    I don’t argue for one second against the fact that Jessica is a superior vocalist. But I would NEVER EVER buy her record. Phillip makes me feel something; I respond to his music. All season long I’ve said, PP’s not the best, but he’s my favorite. Joshua, Jessica and Hollie were all better singers, but Phillip’s got that ‘something’. I don’t see any scenario where he doesn’t win. I actually don’t want him to, because I think he’ll be successful regardless, and I’m afraid of WGWG backlash.

    • reddirtblues says:

      I agree. Very well stated. Either way, PP has a devoted fan base. We’ll see how long or how loyal the Jessica fans turn out to be. Much of her support could be negative as in backlash against yet another WGWG winner.

    • GeorgeR says:

      I agree 100% but if he wins it will be good for him to get some dicipline and learn its not so easy to do it your own way all the time.You need a lot of money to do your own thing and not have to answer to anyone. Its cute on Idol cause its a make believe reality show but when a company is going to invest in you they arent gonna say okay do it your way, that is not reality.Jessica is a natural for a record company. Phillip is going to be a handfull I am a Phillip fan all the way but this is one of the few times Im okay if my favorite comes in second.

  2. Jana Wells says:

    I like Jessica, she can really sing but she showed in the last song, she just sings what she hears. Nobody did that song before so she did not know how to make it great. I really do like her but she just copies others. She needs to learn to be her own singer without just singing what Whitney, etc. did. She is not ready for that yet.

    P2 showed he can take a song nobody has ever heard and make you want to buy it the first time you hear it. That was one of those songs you get and just play 15 times in a row every day for a week when you first get it.

    P2 FTW!!!

    • MamaLis says:

      Thats an interesting angle. I haven’t heard yet. Waiting to watch in AZ. But is that what others think? Did Jessica fail to add ‘magic’ to her song, or did she just get a bum song? I’d be interested in what the other loyal posters think.

      • tarc says:

        I don’t think anyone could have saved that awful song they gave jessica. I don’t think it’s fair to judge her abilities on that. The real problem was that she selected it! Ugh!

        • MamaLis says:

          Tarc what do u mean she selected it? Are they given a choice? Cuz if she selected it how can anyone feel bad for her??

          • tarc says:

            Jessica said that she chose that song to ‘show off her voice’ when she was talking with Ryan after she heard the judges comments (I’m replaying her comments as I’m typing). She’d wanted something more ‘urban’, and agreed with the judges criticisms and go with her instancts more and choose that were ‘more me’.

      • reddirtblues says:

        She picked the song. She clearly needs much more guidance than he does.

        • HudsonRiverside says:

          Disagree. I think Phillip did a good job but that is not the Phillip he established all year long. It should not be representative of his overall style! Both singers were not done any favors, Phillip just ended up with a more current stylistic choice, even though it is not his style but more of what’s popular now. His first ” record” and AI producers already compromised him. Jessica sang the bestshe could and soe people actually liked it but you can tell she picked “the biggest song” from a selection, which means she felt the other two were even more subdued. Ugh…

          • tarc says:

            The song was really quite like Phillip’s original music – maybe a touch more bluegrass. If I had to say, I’d say the song was much more ‘Phillip Phillips’ than the covers he’s been forced to do. And, honestly, he killed it. His iTunes sales will be through the roof tomorrow.

      • givemeglenn says:

        This was my point as well. Phill as the ability to make any song his own; arranging music and lyrics in such a way that it is current and matches his vice and style. Jessica, on the other hand, is more of a karaoke style of a singer, more robotic, regurgitating music that she’s heard before, although doing it quite well. This means Jessica is an excellent SINGER and Phillip is an excellent MUSCIAN, which not only encompasses the singing component, but the arrangement and song writing.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      Phillip is the winner…of my lustful loins!

  3. Andy says:

    In no world should Jessica lose after “The Prayer”. That was incredible, and nothing Phillip has done in the competition or can ever do will touch that. I know this isn’t a talent show (clearly), but if Jessica can’t win, why should women even audition next season?

    • tarc says:

      Dude, The Prayer wasn’t good. Honestly. I heard the first few notes and I literally said “This is going to be good!” And it was… unremarkable and off in a couple places. Jessica’s done better in a lot of other songs.

      • YUAN says:

        Why is PP “creative/artistic” when he falls short of most of the keys and notes, and Jessica’s are of turn-offs? She really cant win your hearts.

        • tarc says:

          Nonsense. I like Jessica just fine, but she’s not the best finalist. The answers to your questions are obvious and I think you need to think about it.

  4. Name That Tune says:

    Dial Idol: Very early results has P2 in the lead. Will we bw saying “I’ll Have Another” WGWG next year, too?

  5. Miscellaneopolan says:

    1. The Prayer
    2. Home
    3. Moving Out
    4. I Have Nothing
    5. Stand by Me
    6. Whatever Jessica Sang for her Single

    I think that Jessica had the best performance of the night, but Phillip was better overall. That last song really does show that, no matter how good a performer she may be, Jessica’s not the most intelligent of singers, at least not yet. She needs some time to grow, which is actually why I think she SHOULD win. She’ll need all the help the Idol machine can give her as she develops her musical identity, whereas the title would just work to dull Phillip’s musical instincts.

    • tarc says:

      I’m not sure if it would be best for Phillp, but he took the night by a wide margin.
      1) Home
      2) Stand By Me
      3) I Have Nothing
      4) Moving Out
      5) The Prayer

      6) the awful mess they saddled Jessica with

      • Great Caesar's Ghost says:

        Oh, c’mon. A wide margin? His single beat the crap out of Jessica’s but the rest were very close if not slightly in Jessica’s favor.
        If you ask me, which you didn’t, but I told you anyway.

        • deedee says:

          Sounds about right, GCG.

        • tarc says:

          Yeah, a wide margin (YMMV). I think that’s fair. IHN was good but not amazing, The Prayer wasn’t good (she went off twice bad enough to make me wince), and nobody could save that last song (eeep, bad writing!). Home was amazing, Stand By Me was interesting and refreshingly different from the original, and Moving Out was decent (it was definatley not by favorite P2 song of the season, so I was surprised he chose it instead of volcano or It’s Still Raining).

          • claire says:

            PP’s stand by me was the worst cover of that song ever…the prayer was better than movin out…but PP’s home beat the crap out of jessica’s change nothing…

          • Owen says:

            Would you QUIT LYING, ass. Jessica NEVER went off pitch during the Prayer. It was flawless. I’ll be the first to admit she went sharp all over the chorus of her single song. But you KNOW “The Prayer” was the killer performance of the night and that eats at you so you come on here and pretend it was the worst. If you had just said, ‘it was good but not my type of song’ that would have been believable. But overkill much??? Ass.

          • tarc says:

            Owen, you need to clean out your ears.

          • Shel says:

            I’m with Owen on this one – perhaps tarc’s ears need cleaning. Michael S called “The Prayer” sublime and I have to agree. And “Stand By Me” was just plain awful – Phillip ruined one of the best songs ever. I don’t mind the Phillipsization of a song, but it just doesn’t work for some songs and for that one, it was definitely true. I just wish the judges had been as hit-him-over-the-head honest with Phillips on SBM as they were with Jessica’s last song…which I’m fairly sure she probably had little or no say in. JLo seemed to really NEED to teach Jessica to stand up for herself in the business – great advice to any young artist. But to couch it as a critique in the final seemed a bit much to me.

          • krix says:

            Actually Home is just a cover of the original by Greg Holden…except Greg does not need a lot of back up singers on the chorus

          • Cris says:

            Agree with you Owen. And Tarc not only needs to clean his ears, but also to clear the cobwebs off his brain from too much adulation for his beloved Phillip.

          • tarc says:

            @Shel – Plenty of people and pro reviewers heard the same thing I did. It was pretty obvious. Even if you ignore that, her The Prayer was pretty inferior to all of the various times we’ve heard the song sone live.

          • tarc says:

            @Cris – Are you a jerk everywhere?

  6. Ellen says:

    Have you people listened to Phillips studio versions….they are amazing. Simon Fuller = idjit… even idiot isn’t good enough for him. The whole thing was boring. I just like P2 better but that’s me. I will never buy anything of Jessica’s and she won’t be the only winner who has never seen my $$.

    • JSF says:

      “she won’t be the only winner who has never seen my $$.”

      the past few WGWG hasn’t seen any of those $$ either and neither will PP. why buy an album when it’s all been done before. David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze all sounded the same and their album sales faltered and PP`s sales will do the same since his sound aint no different from those bunch. Scotty was the exception since he`s more Underwood than Dewyze,

      • deedee says:

        David Cook is ranked 6th most successful Idol in the franchise. I’d say that’s pretty good.

        • Nedsdag says:

          Yet Cook was just dropped by his record company. Kris Allen to follow.

          • deedee says:

            But he did very well for a couple of years, and now he can make a comfortable living touring. He makes more money than me doing what he loves, so I’m not too upset for him.

          • tarc says:

            And that means precisely what? That he’ll get picked up on another label? That he’ll produce independantly and make more cash per sale? Acts get dropped all the time. 19’s dropped most of the Idols that they’ve signed and they got snatched up in a hot second by a more appropriate label.

      • tarc says:

        Oh, jeeze. OK, first off, success in the music industry is hard, so let’s be fair: what are the statistics of everyone that got a contract having a number one hit with their first album? Maybe 2-3? Now, how many ex-Idols are making a living in the industry (or the related ones) after Idol? LOTS. That’s the measure of success. That’s the longevity needed to let these kids find their way. Cook just released his third album, Allen’s second is coming this week, and DeWyze – well, 19 talked a modern bluegrass singer in to doing a pop album (the same way the screwed Tayler Hicks over). I’m not sure what the point of randomly selecting those guys out was, but it’s certianly not indicative of what success P2 could have. If you want to guess by genre, powerballads are totally, completely out of style unless your name is Adele. OTOH, angsty guys that write their own material are more popular than they have been in decades.

        • deedee says:

          Aaaand retro throwback R&B is all the rage now, too, so *fingers crossed* for Joshua’s post-Idol success. And Skylar’s country career, too!

          • tarc says:

            Well, we’ll see if it’s all the rage (I hope). Bruno and Janelle are two of my faves. I hope Joshua chooses songs like the Bruno Mars song he picked. It’s a great style from him and his best shot at Top 40. Skylar is SO already there – country loves their idol contestants and Skylar is a perfect fit for that country-pop and country-rock that’s charting now.

        • Owen says:

          Dear god. You just continue to lie and lie and lie. As if telling an untruth, as if you just wishing it will actually change reality? What is wrong with you?

          • Joe says:

            Owen – Ignore him. It’ll be better for your blood pressure. He’s truly “it put’s the lotion in the basket or else it gets the hose again” deranged. Consider it a gift that after tomorrow we’ll be rid of him as he goes on tour to hopefully lick flop sweat off of Phillip’s stage each night.

          • tarc says:

            I’d ask you just that.

          • tarc says:

            And as always, Joe, you know where you can put your usually trolling. :)

          • Cris says:

            Owen, again I have to agree with you. Tarc really has an “inventive” mind… lol

          • tarc says:

            @Cris – Are you a jerk everywhere?

        • claire says:

          I completely agree. Lee Dweyze was screwed by 19, they made him release something that was not him. From what I hear, he’s now making a very nice living doing the music he loves, and touring. Also, Kris Allen (I’ve heard) has made a tidy sum of money, as has David Cook. Christina Aguilera herself has said that when an artist first comes into the business, the record label controls everything. It’s why she dropped her producer for her second album, Stripped.

          I think Jimmy Iovine “gets” P2. He gave him the best song last week (We’ve Got Tonight) and will do well working with him to make the kind of album that P2 and his fans will be proud of. I see P2 taking a very Mumford & Sons route, and he should totally go with the Jeff Buckley sound as well. I wish they’d have given him “Everybody Here Wants You,” to sing last night. That, would have destroyed Jessica.

          Jessica has proven time and again that she can’t pick songs for herself. She needs guidance, whereas P2 can. If that was the best song of the bunch, then that was a poor song choice list. A few more years and she’ll be good to go. But we need to hear more of who she is, not just her covering in a very robotic fashion great divas who she cannot emulate, but I don’t think even she knows who she is yet. Hence, the poor song choice. She threw herself under that bus, and asked the driver to run back over her again and again.

          She’s gifted, but let’s be frank, they gave her a Mariah Carey song and she proved she could not do it. Not her fault, but if they are trying to sell her as the best singer in the US (Randy said it circa top 7 week when she almost got eliminated) they better back it up. Mariah wipes the floor with her vocally, without breaking a sweat. A few more years and Jessica will be up there, no doubt about it.

          If she wins at this stage, I can almost guarantee that she will be dropped come next season. Why? She can’t steer herself in the right direction let alone trust anyone else to.

          The only finale I wanted was a Colton v Phillip or Colton v Skylar, but that didn’t happen. I love P2, but I do wish Colton had been there.

      • darcy the slutty twin says:

        Please do not lump David Cook with those other guys. Cook has great arrangement skills, but what sets him apart is that he has the vocal range. He could diva it up if he wanted to. Oh, I miss that Season! The hotness of Michael Johns, the big voices of Carly and Ramiele and the acoustic stylings of Brooke and Castro!

        But Phillip’s blazing hot sexiness makes up for it.

        • reddirtblues says:

          Nicely put! That was a great season.

        • tarc says:

          I wouldn’t lump any of them together.

        • GeorgeR says:

          Agreed, David Cook and that whole season is my all time favorite. PP has some of Cooks nice personality qualities as well.

        • john says:

          Ahhh, The Year of the Cougar.

          • Marsaili says:

            Ok John, if any woman that likes Phillip is going to be called a cougar—then what are we gonna call all the men that like a 16 year old girl? Perverts? Dirty Old Men? Jail Baiters? From now on , if anyone dares to call one of the women here a cougar (with the except of Darcy’s Slutty Twin, she’s an admitted cougar) and they are male—they are going to be labeled PERVERTS for liking Jessica.

          • Mary B says:

            Love it Marsaili! Right on.

          • FreeHaley says:

            Umm the difference is that the term cougar has only a very mildly negative connotation at worst and often enough not even any at all, while all of the terms you picked to toss out there for males have super incredibly negative connotations, all of the time. You even hear women happily referring to themselves as cougars or joking about it at times. Did you ever hear a guy happily referring to himself as a dirty old man jail baiting pervert??? So come on now.

          • Marsaili says:

            No, I’m not going to come on now! I am sick and tired of people reducing Phillip’s fans to hormonal females who love him because he’s cute or only vote with what is between their loins. The term cougar, as used on this forum, is an INSULT pure and simple and it implies that women aren’t capable of voting with their brains. And furthermore, any WOMAN who stoops so low as to use this misogynistic insult as well, is an embarrassment to her sex and clearly isn’t capable of using HER mind to debate, rather than insulting her own sex.

  7. lisak says:

    Loved Philip’s lat performance … loved it.. i’d actually buy it

    • Ruby says:

      It’s the first American Idol single I’ve ever purchased, and I’ve got it on repeat right now. The “winner’s songs” are NEVER good. How’d he get so lucky?

  8. J. May says:

    Home is a total Mumford and Sons ripoff. The marching band was unnecessary.

    I liked it, though.

  9. deedee says:

    OMG, “beggin'” is on Dancing With The Stars just now. I’s never heard the song before last week, and now it’s freaking everywhere. *weird*

  10. deedee says:

    *I’d* never heard the song … bl**dy typos.

  11. claire says:

    if those are the kind of songs (the choices jimmy said they worked so hard for)…then jessica should not win this competition coz she’ll be stuck with these idiots and her career will just go down the drain…now i know why AI winners except for kelly and carrie never make it far…

    • c852710 says:

      Gotta agree with that.

    • deedee says:

      Last season was the first one that Jimmy Iovine has been on board. Scotty is doing very well. Lauren Alaina is opening on tour for some huge headliners. Haley and Casey just released new albums.
      By all accounts, Jimmy is doing a great job. Jessica could do * a lot* worse. Why the incessant whining? Will you continue to whine if she wins? Or will everything suddenly be fair again?

      • Owen says:

        No. The judges standing for “Home” will continue to be, now and forever, completely unfair.

        • deedee says:

          Why is that?

        • tarc says:

          And is it sane to expect the judges not to stand for the song of the night (by miles)?

          • Miscellaneopolan says:

            What? But they didn’t stand up for The Prayer. Oh… I see what you meant. Carry on.

          • tarc says:

            LOL! I’m guessing that the judges heard the pitch issues that I heard on The Prayer. But, hey, they stood for Home – and that was after Steven looked like he was pissed at Phillip all night.

  12. Alana says:

    (Paraphrasing the judge’s comments regarding PP’s last song)
    Randy: It was like Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes…
    JLo: I can’t think of a single artist today who sounds like you did on that song!!!
    I liked the song. But, really, JLo? Randy just named two of them.

    • deedee says:

      … and Steven Tyler mentioned Paul Simon. We can’t forget the artist who did it all first.

      • tarc says:

        I’m don’t think we can credit Simon with inventing the blues or bluegrass, but hey, Simon is awesome.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          My husband and I both thought the song was reminsicent of Simon and Garfunkel and Paul Simon. Granted, we’ve been married since JC was walking around in his sandals so we do tend to think alike; however, we came to that decision independent of one another – and independent of Steven Tyler’s comment as well.

          • tarc says:

            Check out Mumford & Sons, the Punch Brothers, and The Duhks. If you like Home, they’ll be reflected there. I haven’t been bale to find it on the internet yet. but I’m dying to see if any of those guys wrote Home for Phillip (of if it’s his own song).

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Yes, I’ve heard all of them, but again – we’re old, so Simon and Garfunkel immediately came to mind. Someone else posted earlier ‘Home’ sounded like a Simon and Garfunkel song.

          • tarc says:

            LOL! I’m old enough, though S&G isn’t big in my collection (folk isn’t my fave, and it’s like sushi – something I’ve had to work to gain a taste for over the years). Of course, I’m sure you’e right about it being S&G reminescent.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            We’re so old we remember when folk music was all the rage the FIRST time around – the Kingston Trio, Peter Paul & Mary, and my hubby’s favorite – Joan Baez.

          • tarc says:

            LOL! My better half was raised on that. I’ve had some Kingston Trio on vinyl since I was a kid. I’m a huge jazz and a capella fan, so those roots are strong. I think I’ve seen PP&M a half-dozen times live. :)

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I’m more of a rock and roll fan. Zeppelin, Bob Seger, the Stones, The Who, etc.

    • john says:

      It was an amalgamation of Johnny Mumford and his Son Cash.

  13. darcy the slutty twin says:

    I’m off to download “The Prayer” and “Home.” But only after I finish freeze-framing Phillip’s close up shots! He is sex on a stick! Oh, and hi, Jessica’s hot dad!

  14. Jo says:

    About Phillip’s song “Home”, Jennifer says “there’s nothing on the radio that sounds like that”…..urm? Has she never heard a single song on alternative radio nowadays? That sounds like EVERY song. *face palm*

    • tarc says:

      Um, they aren’t playing much (if any) modern bluegrass on alternative radio. Maybe a bit of Mumford & Sons…

  15. Beck says:

    Phil fans, no time for fighting! Only time for voting! I hope the international calls get blocked tonight because it is not fair.

  16. PAIGE says:

    It reminded me of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros song by the same name. Still, it was a great choice for him because it wasn’t a cheesy song that they pick for most of the contestants. I’m sure he will make better music but that song was a great start since he didn’t get to write or compose it.

  17. Steve says:

    If you watched the end of Glee, that last song Roots Before Branches would have been a much better choice for Jessica’s single song. The lyrics fit and she could sing like Lea did. Also they have to get rid of the whole judges and Simon Fuller or some other exec choosing songs. They keep harping on song selection and then pick crappy song…Especially for the single its just not fair. Happened with Blake Lewis and This Is My Now and even Adam with No Boundaries… They have a whole year to come up with singles and at least from Top5 week to start narrowing them down — or do a more obscure song out there…(Heck Lauren Alainas single had been on Kristy Lee Cook’s album)…All is pointing to P2..but I think Jessica is a LOT better than she has shown in the last 2 weeks…and tonight was one of the most boring finales ever…At least no magic rainbows anywhere… (and get rid of Steven and Randy next year PLEASE)

    • claire says:

      i agree, what a boring finale performance…and what’s up with jessica…she got worse when the mentoring started…she’s performed better and chose better songs before the mentors messed her up

    • FreeHaley says:

      I’m one of the few who actually didn’t think her last song was that terrible of a selection. I do have to say I felt terrible for Scotty though, that was a dreg of a dreg. And there have been others in years past far worse than the ones tonight by millions of miles.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Are you referring to the song Scotty sang – ‘Please Remember Me’? That was a HUGE hit for Tim McGraw.
        I don’t think anything could ever be worse than that awful song Adam Lambert and Kris Allen had to sing.

        • x says:

          I don’t know what it was called, but I think it was called the coronation song they gave him was just ghastly, felt really bad for him. I saw it on youtube later that night (didn’t watch the finale) and during the results show between being so overcome and seemingly not being into the song hah he sort of didn’t even bother much from what I recall with it. Something like that. I was mostly just fuming over the Haley travesty. All I know is one of the songs they gave him, I think the coronation/first single song, was just ghastly and I was like oh man that’s rough.

          • Marsaili says:

            Scotty’s coronation song was “I Love You this Big” ugh.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Oh, you’re referring to Scotty’s song last year, “I Love You This Big”. Lauren’s actually wasn’t too bad (“Like My Mother Does”) but it had been released previously by Kristy Lee Cook on her CD.

          • FreeHaley says:

            Yeah, yeah, that’s the one haha “I Love You This Big”. That was just like totally tragic. I didn’t really believe in him winning, etc. etc. but that was just wrong to give him that. I really felt bad for him but at least he seemed to not even bother with it during the confetti sing out and instead just reveled in the moment, friends and family for the most part from what I recall.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Anyway now that we remember, don’t you think that gives the others a run for their money? I love You This Big. ugh. And a poor title, now that I remember it all again, I recall that leading to some pretty bad jokes.

  18. Alleyflowers says:

    I enjoyed the finale… But couldn’t get out of my head how epic and entertaining a Skylar / Joshua finale would have been.

  19. Owen says:

    I honestly don’t miss Simon Cowell, but he DID come up with interesting choices for his Idol finale picks. Not so much on X Factor though..

  20. darcy the slutty twin says:

    I’ve been waiting for my dreams to turn into something
    There are no boundaries!!!

    No boundaries between Phillip and myself!

    • FreeHaley says:

      It would be funny if you actually turned out to be Phillip, with his sense of humor maybe you might be hah.

      • darcy the slutty twin says:

        If I were Phillip, I would be in love with myself. He is just so adorable. At the beginning of “Home,” he kept looking around, like he was looking for someone. I have it in good authority that he was looking for ME. Do not worry, my love, I sent my love through my TV screen!

  21. Tim says:

    Jessica, Skylar, Elise, and Hollie are so much better than Phillip. If a girl doesn’t win this year, it’s never going to happen again.

  22. Davey says:

    So happy I don’t have to hear the word “artist” paired with “Phillip Phillips” ever again!

  23. claire says:

    phillip didnt make HOME special…the song would still be the hightlight of the night even if its just played instrumental

  24. Davey says:

    Jessica was rehearsing this song for days. No one, the judges, the producers, Jimmy told her–this song stinks?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Perhaps the other choices were no better.
      I’m beginning to think *I* could write songs for Idol.

      • Mary B says:

        Honestly, I am listening to the studios from last night right now and Jessica’s song is auctually quite good. She did a great job with it and I am a Phillip fan. Everyone just chill Jessica has a fantastic career ahead of her. Though I love Phillip’s music better than Jessica’s I am not sure he will have the same success she will. I really think they will both go far but Jessica has some maturing to do and when she does I believe she will become one of music’s greats. Just saying.

  25. Owen says:

    Of course, we should mention this here and now.


    And as much as like Kris Allen, Lambert was the better singer of Season 8. Sound familiar.

    So if Phillip does win, if the ladies vote with their loins as they did with Kris, Jessica and her fans wait a couple years and (again) take note:


  26. CAM says:

    I really felt Phillip won the night, but I don’t care who wins. Both will get a recording deal. It was a pretty boring finale. Still thinking about what a Skyler-Joshua finale would have been like — Total energy and excitement!

  27. Chelsea says:

    I love the (not counting Joshua) ..Josh SHOULD have won

  28. MA says:

    Not gonna lie…I love when Phillip high-fives the band. I think he was the best of the night, but Jessica has quite the fan base. Good luck to them both!!

  29. bjp says:

    As a West Coaster I read the blog early, before seeing the finale. And I have to say – I was terrified about Jessica’s last song, and expected the worst. But I actually kinda liked it… I agree, Slezak, it was a tiny pitchy in spots, but I think she did the best she could with what she had.

    Also, I agree with some posts here, something needs to change about the judging if this show wants to remain relevant into future seasons.

  30. jw says:

    Phillip won with that last performance…that soaring chorus that didn’t even have any words is the melody everyone watching will carry away with them. He was channeling Bob Dylan, Edward Sharpe, Paul Simon, and in a surprisingly accurate observation by Randy, the Fleet Foxes.

  31. Ruby says:

    Phillip’s last performance was so good I actually had tears because I knew I was witnessing something really special. I’ve been pulling for Jessica all season, but after the last couple of weeks, I will not be upset at all if Phillip wins. I know, another white guy, but he’s GOOD and he deserves to be where he is. They both deserve to win. It really doesn’t matter which one does.

  32. carla says:

    Praying all the Joshua votes will carry over to Jessica to win. I’m sorry but Jessica’s “The Prayer” was her best performance of the entire season, crappy coronation song or not. I had chills, teary-eyes and was just straight up moved. She NEEDS to win this.

    • Steph says:

      I agree. She has had some really incredible performances this season but The Prayer was by far the best performance of the night. Her vocal talent is insane for a 16 year old. Well actually for any age.

  33. Steph says:

    I didn’t really like when Jessica sang Change Nothing live even though she sounded good but the studio version of the song is really really good. I definitely could see it on the radio.

  34. MoonerMan100 says:

    How have Jimmy become such a gigantic producer if he cannot even choose a proper song for somebody with a voice like Jessica? What the hell was that?! Hope it doesn’t hurt her in the voting…

    • JASon says:

      Jessica said she chose the song. They probably give them three or four choices and she chose that one!! Philip chose a much better song and showed that he is more ready to make an album than she is!! That being said Joshua should have won the season and would have if it weren’t for those meddling kids!!!

    • Marsaili says:

      Jimmy didn’t choose it for her–SHE chose it herself.

      • TinyTim says:

        Right but Jimmy should have figured that song was a dud, that song was a reject he had from other artists.

      • MoonerMan100 says:

        Then what the hell is the role of a producer?! She is not a songwriter or a musician! She is a singer and with not much of recording experience! The producer should give her good material and guide her through! Last week he’s giving a Jackson 5 song, and after the show says, OOOPS! I haven’t thought she has to cover Jermaine’s part too! And now this. Does he even care or just put the act on TV that he cares?

  35. Percillia says:

    100 percent Jessica will win… to all of those who likes Jessica vote for her.. it has been 4 years since Girls didn’t have the time to win the American Idol…

  36. Tahoe Mike says:

    Wow, that was a let down. After this whole season, THAT was the finale?? Weak Sauce! Oh, what might have been… Personally I wish it had been a Joshua / Skylar final.
    I think even FOX was ashamed of this turd. That’s why it was only one hour, and buried on a different night.
    I would guess that P2 will win this thing and be promptly forgotten. I didn’t even bother to vote this week, simply because I just don’t care. I can’t wait to hear the Star Spangled Banner get the P2 treatment at some NASCAR race next season.

    • matt says:

      all finale performance nights have been an hour… why would the make a 6 song night more than an hour? it makes no sense to drag it out to more than that. i agree that it would have been more exciting if josh or skylar or even both were in the finale, but overall, i think phil and jess were pretty even for the night. i don’t know how to call it.

      and last year, the performance night was a tuesday too… may sweeps end tomorrow so it’s not good for idol to run on thursday, something to do with advertisers or something. fox is not ashamed of it, trust me. it’s helped keep the network as one of the leaders in the ratings, even as the shows numbers decline, it’s still constantly one of the highest rated programs on tv rn.

      • JASon says:

        WHat was different was having the Jason Derullo song in the middle. It made the whole thing very rushed with the judges not being able to critique the first two rounds. That pretty much destroys the whole concept and format of the show!! Would never have happened on Simon’s show!!! The song should have been on top three results night when they had an hour to fill and only one announcement to make

        • FreeHaley says:

          Yeah that was a bit weird.

        • john says:

          And it was one of the worst songs I ever heard. I think the FBI should take note of it. It may come in handy during a hostage situation. They could play it over loud speakers to get the criminals to give up.

      • tarc says:

        They move the show to Tuesday-Wednesday to premier So You Think You Can Dance on Thursday in the same slot as the usual results.

    • c852710 says:

      That’ll be interesting. Maybe a duet with Steven Tyler since they let him keep trying.

  37. JASon says:

    So I went to the Nokia and saw this show and I finally figured out why everyone’s voting for Philip. None of the girls can actually here him singing off key and doing the same five notes in the same ryhtmic pattern every song. I don’t think the judges can hear him either and that’s why they didn’t nail him on change of the season..None of them will shut up. They just keep screaming and screaming throughout the performance. I don’t blame him for singing out of key. He can’t even here the music and his own voice over the screaming. It’s like when the Beatles used to play live (and the reason they quit playing live) Philip has it in the bag judging from the crowd reaction of those 7000 fans.

    • FreeHaley says:

      I have heard that it sounds way different live and that sometimes you can barely hear them and that even the judge’s admitted at times that they didn’t even really hear anything hah.

  38. amalie says:

    A little sharp? Ugh. Can’t believe we had to listen to Jessica do Whitney, Josh Groban and then … sharp Jessica. And she started the show by saying she’d never dreamed of this moment? Really? I thought she was dreaming about it her whole life! Joshua we missed you… that you should have won will be apparent when you blow EVERYONE off the stage tomorrow night at the Nokia. Phillip wins the night, and I hope Idol this year.

    • deedee says:

      Hard to believe Josh wasn’t there tonight. Felt empty for me, although props to Phillip for having a very good night. Last 3 weeks have been his best all season. Good timing.
      You know what I think would make the finals more exciting and interesting? If Idol took a page from ‘Dancing With The Stars’, and had a 3 way showdown. Just more action and fun.

      • JASon says:

        Sad Joshua wasn’t there but I like the Idol format of two singers facing off against each other. It just should have been Joshua and Elise!!!

      • Chris says:

        Hey Dee Dee-you and I have been STAUNCH Josh supporters all season and I have so say, I was still so bitter after last week’s result show (which I DVRd and couldn’t even bring myself to watch), that I didn’t even watch the finale last night. I had absolutely NO INTEREST in a P2/Jess finale. Instead I folded laundry and watched the Yankees/Royals game. :) I can say I’m looking forward to seeing our favorite contestant (and Melinda and Slezack’s) perform tonight. My boyfriend told me I was being stubborn last night. I care to think I just hold my ground. :)

        • deedee says:

          Haha! I got over the hurt after a couple of days, so had no problem watching the finals. It was pretty dull and uninspiring – not much better than folding laundry, really :) . I fear tonight with Josh and Fantasia. They might drive each other to such an ever escalating frenzy, that I wouldn’t be surprised if one of their heads popped off.

  39. Tim says:

    Round 1 – Jessica
    Round 2 – Phillip
    Round 3 – Phillip

    Winner of the night: Burt Hummel with the Single Ladies Dance.

  40. MoonerMan100 says:

    By the way, anybody noticed Tommy Mottola was by Jimmy’s side?! He kept his promise to come to Jessica’s first concert! Although it was just one (awful) song for her!

  41. deedee says:

    Joshua just tweeted Diane Warren saying, “most amazing songwriter. Love you”. Huh? Did Diane Warren write Jessica’s victory song or something? Why would Josh randomly tweet her? *maybe I don’t wanna know*

  42. dannie says:

    Phillip’s 3rd: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Down pat.

  43. JASon says:

    Here’s a good review of Haley’s album that came out today!!! Please support her!!! She could be Idol’s next star!!!! Prove Randy and J-lo wrong!!!

    The debut album from 2011 American Idol finalist Haley Reinhart, 2012’s Listen Up! features the singer framed in slick, retro-influenced pop and R&B productions. Working with a handful of pop songwriting and production wizards including Busbee (Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry), Mike Elizondo (Nelly Furtado, Natasha Bedingfield), Rob Kleiner, MoZella, and others, Reinhart has delivered a solid set of catchy, dance-oriented cuts that maximize her sexy, playful persona and come off a lot hipper than you’d expect from a major label AmIdol release. Vocally, Reinhart has a cherubically gutsy, deeply resonant vocal sound perfectly suited for these boomy, ’60s pop-influenced productions. In that sense, tracks like the punchy leadoff cut “Oh My!,” the sultry lil’-diva single “Free,” and the equally as swaggering and funky “Liar” are catchy, post-Amy Winehouse dance-soul productions that mix scratchy vinyl-sounding beats, blurty horn sections, driving piano lines, and some sassy backing vocal parts. Elsewhere, we get the pumping Motown-esque “Wasted Tears,” the similarly engaging disco anthem “Now That You’re Here,” and the swoony girl group meets soft rock number “Wonderland.” Definitely an ear-grabber, Listen Up! ultimately posits Reinhart as a kind of old-school pinup, a mini-Mariah Carey if she’d grown up listening to a mix of Dusty Springfield, Lisa Stansfield, and En Vogue.

  44. xeryosa says:

    jessica should win.. she is deserving!!

    • TC says:

      Actually, Joshua was more deserving. He didn’t have to be rescued by the judges and his performances were much more exciting than Jessica’s ever were.

    She should be the next female winner after Jordin Sparks…

  46. JASon says:

    I’m surprised Oh My was not the first single. Very very catchy!!! I think it will be the next single as the album sticker reads featuring “Oh My”!!! Love it!!! I got my copy autographed by Haley at her concert/CD signing. She is unbelievable live!!!! Never hits a bad note!!! Sadly she didn’t play Oh My but did unbelievable versions of HOTRS and Oh Darling along with four of the great new songs.

    • tarc says:

      I can’t stop playing Oh My! – well, other than to play Home. I’ll be alternating them all day tomorrow.

  47. idared says:

    For vocal prowess alone. Jessica should win. For originality it should be Phillips win. I wish Jessica wasn’t so rigid from the neck down. C’mon girl. Emote a little with those arms. There have only been a few times when I’ve actually felt like she related to the song and therefore let it flow from her head to her feet. Tonight was not one of those nights. Still, Carrie Underwood was much like Jessica in that way and she blossomed. Ya think? Phillip was Phillip. Could’ve done without the marching band. That was just overkill and gratuitous and I can’t believe he would agree to that crap. Wasn’t blown away with him either but if I had to choose, I’d choose Phillip for the win based on stage presence and originality. He is the kind of artist that America seems to favor these days. Good luck to you both.

  48. xeryosa says:

    Jessica and PP are both deserving but Jessica is the most deserving!!

  49. Alex says:

    Slezak, I’m going to have to disagree with you (and I don’t usually do that). I think Jessica outsang Phillip. But I think Phillip outperformed Jessica. I think Phillip will win (even though I want Jessica to win).