American Idol Top 2 Performance Night Recap: Home Is Where the Artistry Is

For the final salvo in what’s arguably been the deepest, most evenly matched field in American Idol history, Tuesday night’s Season 11 finale came up surprisingly light in the competitive fireworks department.

Maybe the Top 2 — Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips — were still heeding last week’s instructions from their fallen comrade Joshua Ledet: “NO! MORE! DRAMA!” Or perhaps it was just the incongruousness of the matchup, which was akin to making a choice between a stunning courture evening gown and a perfectly battered old t-shirt. (“But what’s the occasion?” you might’ve asked.)

Whatever the case, even Ryan Seacrest’s introductory narrative lacked a certain Boom Boom Pow: It’s a battle between a “21-year-old pawn-shop worker” and a “16-year-old powerhouse,” he said, giving almost no sense of what kind of artists Phillip and Jessica might hope to become. “It’s guy against girl,” Ryan continued with thudding obviousness, and then, with a misguided nod to decades-old hip-hop rivalries that couldn’t have less to do with the Idoloonie Nation, he added, “East Coast vs. West Coast.” Um, okay?

Heck, even if you watched the telecast wearing a “Team Bebe Chez” or “P2″ hoodie,  it was hard to view this as a showdown as much as it was two talented kids trying to survive one round of brutally unimaginative song choices, one very nice round of encore performances, and finally a round of “original” material that so drastically favored Phillip that it was like watching a prison-cafeteria skirmish where one combatant’s got a shank in his hand, the other a tater tot.

Not since both Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis were asked to tackle soaring power ballad “This Is My Now” in Season 6 has an Idol finale agenda been so clear: Somewhere behind the scenes, the Great and Powerful Nigel (or was it Jimmy?) was speed-dialing for Phillip, and sending a pack of flying monkeys to carry Jessica into the Forest of the Runners-Up.

Presided over by J.Lo (dressed from the waist up as Once Upon a Time‘s evil queen), Steven Tyler (still awake?), and Randy Jackson (delivering a death blow to tangerine sherbet sportscoats everywhere), this is how the evening’s performances played out:

ROUND 1: Idol Creator Simon Fuller’s Pick
Jessica Sanchez: Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” | I’m trying really hard to understand Simon Fuller’s thought process in assigning Jessica one of the most overdone ballads in Idol history, but I can only come up with two possible explanations: Either he gave the decision all the care and seriousness of selecting which of the six quarters in one’s pocket should go into a parking meter, or he simply wanted to rob Jessica of any chance of having a “moment” for Round 1. Why else would he choose a tune not only covered by Shannon Magrane earlier in Season 11, but also by Trenyce (Season 2), Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and Leah LaBelle (Season 3), Vonzell Solomon (Season 4), Katharine McPhee (Season 5), and LaKisha Jones (Season 6)? Was it Jessica’s fault that by the time she dragged this soggy ballad down to the copying machine, it turned out to be a little low on toner? Jessica certainly hit all the right notes, gliding through the octave change with her trademark growl, and her gown — a cream, floor-length number covered with black organza overlay — was the outfit of the night. But I have nothing (nothing) (nothing) else good or bad to say about the performance aside from the fact that, yeah, it was to win Round 1.

Phillip Phillips: Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” | Compared to the dead horse of “I Have Nothing,” “Stand By Me” hasn’t gotten flogged nearly as much on Idol — with only Bo Bice, David Archuelta, and Danny Gokey having tackled it in prior seasons. And yet while I understand Phillip’s attempt to doctor up the oldies-station staple, to not merely offer a Henley-clad hologram of the versions that came before him, there’s a difference between executing a little facelift and cutting the song from stem to stern, scooping out its guts, and leaving it on the side of the highway in a sealed Hefty bag. There was an atonality to Phillip’s choices — and a froginess in his tone — that boredered on the unpleasant, and worse yet, seemed to strip any and all meaning from the lyrics. It’d be like smothering a perfectly good steak with so much sauce that you can’t even tell what kind of meat you’re eating.

Me: “Chicken?”
Phillip (breaking into his conspiratorial grin): “Guess again!”
Me: “No. I’m gonna just have a bowl of cereal, but thanks.”

Round 2: Season 11 Encores
Jessica Sanchez: Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer” | Kudos to Jessica for choosing to reprise her Vegas Week solo, instead of rehashing one of her live performances from the last 11 weeks of competition. That decision brought about a sense of the unknown — and fostered a feeling of genuine anticipation — as she offered up a music-box pretty cover of a song that was all bombast and melisma in the hands of Christina Aguilera and Chris Mann during The Voice season finale a few weeks back. In a lot of ways, “The Prayer” served as not only a victory for Jessica — who was note perfect and displayed the finesse of Eric Ripert working with a rainbow trout — but for merciful restraint in the Idolverse. All too often, we see power vocalists like Jessica unable to tame the wild beast within their vocal cords, but this time around, Jessica held the reins tight in her hands, only opening up with a single stunning glory note on the line “we are AAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL God’s children.” If Jessica ends up wearing the Season 11 crown, you can rewind your DVR and pinpoint the exact note where she stole it off of Phillip’s head. And she didn’t even need heels to reach it.

Phillip Phillips: Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” | Billy Joel week was definitely a high point in Phillip’s Season 11 journey, and his choice to repise “Movin’ Out” for the finale provided a smart, stark contrast to Jessica’s ballad-heavy final two weeks on the show. I loved that Phillip’s guitar skills were front and center in the opening verse — dude really has some ability in that department that he doesn’t always get credit for — and that he delivered the ode to a guy chasing something a little bigger than the American dream with a puckishness that wasn’t quite as tangible first time around. I kinda wish the band — and Phillip’s go-to sexy sax player — had never kicked in, that the performance had stayed small and intimate, that Phillip’s voice hadn’t had to strain into Muppet-y territory in the final refrain just to be heard. But all things considered, this was a solid moment that couldn’t have knocked a single voter off the dude’s jaunty bandwagon.

In fact, the only part of Round 2 that enraged me was J.Lo’s critique while calling it in Phillip’s favor: “I’ve seen Jessica do that before. And I just feel like that’s authentic Phillip right there.” Um, wait. Jessica performed a tune she’d never before covered in a live voting round, while Phillip gave almost a note-for-note rendition of his Top 10 Week ditty, and yet Jessica is the one who gets the “been there, done that” dismissal? Only on Idol, and only from the mouth of Tweedle-Abs, folks!

Round 3: Jessica and Phillip’s Debut Singles
Jessica Sanchez: “Change Nothing” | Look, Jessica’s barely hit a bum note all season, so am I going to heap criticism on her for the fact that she got saddled with an original track featuring a verse that was pitched too low, and a chorus that left her voice sounding strained and sharp? Or that the lyrical content was about a girl who wishes she’d just “shut my mouth and kept it all to myself” about a rollercoaster relationship, since now her family and friends want her to put aside the drama and walk away from the emotional turmoil? Why not just have her sing “He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss“? And while I can’t blame the judges for shrugging their shoulders and questioning Jimmy Iovine’s choice of a straightforward pop ballad for Jessica — as opposed to something with a little more youthful, R&B edge — it was infuriating that the final impression left by Randy, J.Lo, and Steven was “Oops, girl, you messed up,” without any acknowledgement whatsoever of the vocal excellence, calculated risks (“Sweet Dreams,” “Stuttering”) and consistency she’s displayed week after week after week.

Phillip Phillips: “Home” | I’m not sure how it happened, but for the first time in Idol history, one of the show’s finalists got assigned a song that not only fit his voice like champagne and orange juice fit 11 a.m. on a Sunday, but also sounded like something he could take to modern radio without carrying an “I’m sorry” Edible Arrangement in his other arm. Was the track a little bit of a hybrid of Mumford & Sons and Simon & Garfunkel (with a hint of U2′s “All I Want Is You”)? Yeah, sure. But what elevated the number — aside from the nifty touch of a team of marching-band drummers taking the stage mid-performance — was Phillip’s genuine emotional connection to the material. When he delivered the refrain “know you’re not alone/ I’m gonna make this place your home,” he did it with such genuineness that in a matter of seconds, everything I’ve liked about any of Phillip’s performances dating back to the Idol audition rounds in January flashed before my eyes. The whole anthemic “ooh-ooh-ohh” part toward the end — where the energy of the band and the drummers and the backrground singers carried Phillip to heretofore-unheard heights — felt like a winning Idol moment in the way Jodin Sparks’ “This Is My Now” or Fantasia Barrino’s “I Believe” or Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” did once upon a time. I’d still wager my money on a Jessica Sanchez victory — her fans have to be twice as motivated after seeing her get saddled with such weak material — and in my heart of hearts I’m still rooting for her, too. But if Phillip inherits Scotty McCreery’s crown and sash, I’ll be a little bit happy to hear an encore of the best Idol finale anthem ever written.

Letter Grades for the Week
Phillip, “Home”: A
Jessica, “The Prayer”: A-
Phillip: “Movin’ Out”: B+
Jessica, “I Have Nothing”: B
Jessica: “Change Nothing”: C+
Phillip: “Stand By Me”: C-

What did you think of the Idol finale? Who will win? Who should win? What moment made you happiest? And which left you angriest? Sound off below, and for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!



Comments (297)

  • Can’t really fault PP for doing his best. But to his fans who really think he had the talent to make even the Top 24… YOU are what is wrong with Idol. Jess & Josh forever! Let talent rule!

    Comment by PunkSkittle (@GashleyT) – May 23, 2012 11:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • lol wat… even. Pretty sure Phil has more talent in his middle finger than you could ever dream of… but nice try.

      Comment by Cam – May 23, 2012 11:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Michael Intrade has it as 4-1 for Phillip. I’ll take your wager straight up!

        Comment by Medic – May 23, 2012 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I have no idea who MI is, nor do I care.

          Comment by Davey – May 23, 2012 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Davey, I’m only going to be polite because you share a name with my favorite person in the world. Intrade.com is a prediction market that allows one to put money on outcomes as arcane as AI. The money was 80% P2 to 20% Jessica. Generally people who place money where their mouth have a vague idea what the likely outcome is.

            Comment by Medic – May 24, 2012 08:49 PM PDT  
      • But I believe the point is that the other 23 people have more talent in their middle fingers than Phillip could even dream of… which is, you know, true.

        Comment by JN – May 23, 2012 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yeah, probably, but who cares? After Scotty, Lee, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, I’m really over it. From a drama standpoint, a Josh and Jess finale would have been so much better.

        Comment by J. May – May 23, 2012 01:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • ^^this FTW! lol!!!

          Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 01:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • What I feel bad for is the fact that Kris Allen and David Cook are awesome but they get grouped in with the much less talented Lee, Scotty, and Phillip since they started the trend of WGWG. Kris and David actually deserved to win. I pray that Jessica wins to break the streak.

          Comment by Maddie Shook (@MaddieShook) – May 23, 2012 03:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I actually agree with you, Maddie. I liked both Kris and David, too, as they were very, very talented.

            Comment by J. May – May 23, 2012 04:45 PM PDT  
      • How do you know? Have you ever met PunkSkittle? For all you know he’s got a band of his own and a following. Point being, the whole “I bet you’re not talented and just jealous and a hater” comment is the weakest way to attack this person’s argument ever. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and as a response to that guy’s statement, yours is useless unless you back it up with SOME sort of rationale.

        Comment by just saying – May 23, 2012 04:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Your opinion is fact. Let us bow down to you.
      Oh, and P^2 for the win!

      Comment by Danny – May 23, 2012 11:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yes Jessica has talent thats undeniable, but thats as far as it goes..the performance quality in her has yet to show through I feel she is way to immature to be on this show and it may be her ultimate downfall…just like being on Americas Got Talent at age 11 did nothing for her….should have waited a few more years…

      Comment by Summer – May 23, 2012 11:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • In a few more years she would’ve been signed to a contract already. Get real.

        Comment by Lee – May 23, 2012 01:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • just because she would have been signed to contract doesn’t mean anything as for her success, there are a lot of singers out there who have “contracts” that we’ve never heard of

          Comment by Matt – May 23, 2012 01:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • The point is, she would have been ineligible for AI in a year or two because she would already be signed to a major label.

            Just preparing myself now for PP’s inevitable win to wash over me like toilet water from a Dave Matthews tour bus. Oh what have you done to this iconic show, you southern hillbilly power voters.

            Comment by PunkSkittle (@GashleyT) – May 23, 2012 01:46 PM PDT  
          • This not Southern, not hillbilly, not power, voter thinks that great things are being done. It’s great that Idol reflects the charts that power divas are out.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:16 PM PDT  
        • You are so right- definitely well deserved for both!
          Another thought would be Josh & Elise!

          Comment by kakirita – May 23, 2012 02:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • just your opinion skittlepunk

      Comment by LibbyD – May 23, 2012 11:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Just because he’s different and can’t belt out glory notes doesn’t mean he has no talent. I absolutely agree that Idol’s winner pattern is getting a bit monotone. Jessica/Elise were my favourites this season, Fantasia/Adam/Haley/Allison…have been favourites of mine in the past. But who am I to say everyone who prefers the kind of music that Phil represents is wrong, unable to spot talent and has no taste?

      Comment by Kassi – May 23, 2012 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Personally, I don’t think you need glory notes to be an Idol. However, you do need to be able to be able to consistently sing the melody of a song correctly.

        Comment by Maddie Shook (@MaddieShook) – May 23, 2012 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “Let talent rule!”? I suppose we need to define how “talent” is going to be used. First, let’s be honest, shall we? Idol has ceased being a “singing competition” the year that they allowed the contestants to play instruments. So, “talent” no longer just included the ability to sing in key, with a marketable tone, and with sufficient power to blend with the band. “Talent” now includes the ability to actually play an instrument, and play it well. More importantly, “talent” now includes the ability to re-imagine a song in a way that plays to the contestant’s strengths. Some B.I. (Before Instruments) contestants were able to do this; just look at Chris Daughtry’s set list sometime. And, some A.I. (After Instruments) contestants did this successfully without relying on instruments (Haley Reinhart is at the very top of that list).

      Is Jessica a talented singer? Without question. Is she a better singer than Phillip? Of course. Do we have a clue whether she even plays an instrument? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall even background footage with her at a piano, holding a guitar, anything. Does she have an idea what kind of artist she wants to be? If she does, she certainly did nothing last night to demonstrate that, instead singing Adult Contemporary dreck (quite well, of course).

      On the other hand, how can you say that Phillip is “what is wrong with Idol”? He is clearly an excellent performer (I’d love to see him perform when he actually looks like he feels good–although I thought his skin coloring looked as good as it ever has last night), and there is no question that he has immense ability to lead a band and to fill an arena. And, you cannot deny that the live crowd was on his side last night. While he may not have the pipes that Jessica has, he clearly has “talent,” and then some.

      Comment by TwoWire – May 23, 2012 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • very well said, thank you.

        Comment by IDOL2012 – May 23, 2012 12:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I really like your post. All so true.

        Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 12:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • He is “what’s wrong with Idol” in that the winners (except for Scotty who had such a wonderful old school country voice-a very narrow genre) don’t chart anymore. It was great that Scotty won, I voted for him, I thought he was exactly what Idol needed. Not so much Phillip. I would argue David Cook is way more talented overall, yet he couldn’t hold onto his record deal. I will agree “Home” was probably the smartest thing Idol could do for him, I believe that will get the airplay Cook’s “magic rainbow” single couldn’t even get. But beyond that? Kris’s debut CD didn’t do well, and next week’s projections don’t bode well for his sophomore effort (when his runner up, Adam, is charting at number one this week). I think labeling Phillip Phillips with the “what’s wrong with idol” label is completely legit. Meaning: the people who vote DON’T BUY! And seemingly, vice versa. Not just Kris, but Lee’s runner-up, Chrystal outsold him! The show is not the send-off it used to be. It needs winners who will captivate the masses who don’t watch Idol, who don’t read these boards, who make real-world fans outside the Idol bubble. I know there’s all this Phillip love right here, right now (I remember the same for Lee DeWyze) but do you really, honestly think he’s original enough (originality is what he’ll need, he won’t sell on voice alone) to do what Taylor, David, Kris and Lee couldn’t?

        Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 01:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • tip of the hat to you, sir.

          Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 01:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • he’s just as original as Jessica

          Comment by TBS – May 23, 2012 01:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I’m not arguing that. I actually think, at this stage, he is more “original” than Jessica. What I’m saying is the paradigm of the WGWG never succeeding outside the Idol bubble. That THAT is what is wrong with Idol. And Jessica, who no doubt will just get better and better, might have rejuvenated the record purchasing block this show supposedly was created for. Because this is the block most male winners of American Idol obviously can’t sustain.

            Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 03:01 PM PDT  
          • Of course they succeed Owen. Why are you lying? How many of these guys have a working career in music? Most of them. That’s success.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:23 PM PDT  
          • Both you and I and everyone knows, “Tarc”, that Idol was not meant to find the cutest little singer who can just get by playing tiny venues, Idol glorification reunion concerts, cutting independently released CD’s or scattershot iTunes EP’s. Or playing Broadway. Or being a spokespearson for an Internet start up. American Idol is meant to find the next great singing sensation. At least that’s what they still bill the show as. And by that measure only ONE of all the male winners of American Idol seems to have a shot at doing so. I know, “Tarc” its getting harder and harder to bury your, and your fellow WGWG worshiper’s heads in the sand, but your boys NEVER succeed at that level. No matter how much you pretend they do. And I know that its very sad for you, on the day of your favorite’s crowning to be reminded of this.

            Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 04:33 PM PDT  
          • You just go with that, Owen. :D And what’s what the quotes? Are you inventing more things?

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 05:52 PM PDT  
        • To answer your last question, yes.

          Comment by macy – May 23, 2012 02:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • There’s nothing original about Jessica…just another power diva who happens to be a minor.

          Comment by Jo Keith (@bjokeith) – May 23, 2012 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • It’s nice to see that you can predict the future. You have no idea how Phillip is going to do after Idol, for all you know he may have a hotter career than Jessica—you just don’t know! I have to say, at least you, Owen, aren’t hateful about your dislike of Phillip—-but pretty much every post up until this one is all Phillip hate and it’s just disgusting. You don’t like him—fine! But to trash him, to trash his talent (whether you believe he is or not is subjective—he wouldn’t be where he is if he wasn’t!) I think Phillip is way more popular already than Lee ever was on the show or Taylor or Kris—but every single one of those guys was paired up in the finale with someone that was predicted to win and was considered WAY more talented—yet the careers that they all have are pretty much the same–maybe Adam is doing better than Kris but Lee and Crystal are both doing well, Taylor and Katherine are both doing well, the facts are that the top two both have decent careers after Idol. Jessica very well may be bigger than Phillip—but the type of music Phillip plays is music that lasts–R&B goes through stages, rock and blues and folk are always there and the fans usually stick with it—-which would ensure Phillip longevity. Either way—they are two totally different people, different singers, different talents and it is unbecoming for you all to be so hateful towards this nice kid from Georgia who is extremely talented and has come a long way. I am rooting for both of them, they are such good people, talented, sweet, well raised–good people to be proud of and anyone that says nasty crap about either of them just for the sake of being nasty is just plain old trash IMHO.

          Comment by Marsaili – May 23, 2012 06:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Amen!

            Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 07:13 PM PDT  
      • I wouldn’t even say that Jessica is a ‘better’ singer. He can’t do what she does….likewise she couldn’t begin to do what he does. It’s a matter of taste. Doesn’t have to be pretty, doesn’t have to be belted or growled…it just has to touch listeners, it just has to be passionate. Anyone remember Bob Dylan?

        Comment by Jo Keith (@bjokeith) – May 23, 2012 03:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I remember Bob Dylan. I don’t like his singing either. Nor do I like Ke$ha’s voice. Success is not a measure of singing ability. I personally like talented vocalists first and foremost. If your voice isn’t good enough to make me pay attention, then I don’t care how much of an “artist” or how much you “feel” a song if I don’t like your singing. This is the same reason I have only ever enjoyed covers of Rolling Stones songs, and not the original Mick Jagger version – Mick was a performer, not a singer. I like singers. It’s a matter of taste and opinion. But yes, Jessica is just a better singer – a technical vocalist – than Phillip. That is just a true statement, though. It says nothing about your taste.

          Comment by Will – May 23, 2012 05:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Alright, Then why are the ratings dropping each year? At it’s peak, Idol would generate 37 ,million viewers for a finale. Last night, they drew 14 million, which is down from 18 million last year. It finished SECOND to DWTS fresults show. A RESULTS SHOW BEAT THE FINALE.
        ———————–
        Over at FOX, they are talking to Nigel about “Tweaking” Idol, including a change of judges. They realize this show is running out of gas. If it falls to less than 10 million viewers next season, they’ll be thinking about pulling the plug.
        ________________
        Meanwhile, I’m headed off to watch “Duets” & can’t wait for the return of Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef. And next year, I’m gonna look for the coolest looking white guy that shows up in the auditions and predict him as the winner before Top 24.

        Comment by Idol Is Dying – May 23, 2012 03:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree with much of what you say. But what I would suggest is wrong with Idol and all of these overnight success shows is that real artists aren’t made overnight. There was a logic to the fact that it used to take years of performing in small venues, perfecting your act, building your fan base. By the time you made it big, you’d figured out your unique voice. You knew how to play to a crowd. That’s missing with a lot of these overnight sensations today. Now, a lot of the Idols (since this is an Idol board) actually HAVE had some performance experience with bands, etc… But the ones that haven’t? It’s very noticeable. And in Jessica’s case, when it’s someone who has just performed other’s songs at talent shows/pageant type things, it’s noticeable that there is not a unique voice there. Ditto with Phillip, who from the beginning sounded like one of the many people I’ve seen covering DMB’s Sattelite on YouTube. Phillip sounded like the (really enjoyable) Dave cover band I saw at the local Irish bar the other day, but not ready to be his own act yet. Granted, he’s really stepped up in the last couple of weeks in sounding more like he had his own musical point of view. But BOTH of these kids would do well to get a lot more practice and help developing their personal music styles and performances before they get famous and won’t listen to anyone anymore. Jessica listens too much to what others think and P2 listens not enough.

        Comment by just saying – May 23, 2012 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Josh should have been there. May be the worst overall finale performances ever. Four hours of voting is way too much and gives PP the edge since the teen voters got even more power.

      Comment by gregk – May 23, 2012 02:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL! As usual, you’re on some serious meds, skittle.

      Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 02:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Wow…you don’t think Phillip deserves even top 24? What show have you been watching?

      Oh wait….yeah….it’s only Phillip andf Jessica that Jimmy Iovine wanted to sign immediately at the top 12 episode. Surely you know more than Iovine…who has only produced a crapload of top 10 songs. How many have you produced? Oh yeah…none.

      Comment by Rusty – May 23, 2012 03:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Perhaps P2 deserved top 24 but no way did he deserve top 13. His last song was rated good only because the previous 5 performances were so underwhelming. I would have expected better for finals night.

      Comment by ejones – May 24, 2012 06:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You got my hopes up, and I was hoping Jessica could pull it out, and then I saw the front page (Life) headline on USAToday: Why Jessica Sanches blew it.

    Sigh.

    Comment by Katie – May 23, 2012 11:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • it’s not over yet. Philippines might have come through for her with their illegal votes

      Comment by Julissa – May 23, 2012 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Wait…I thought the Philippines vote was for…well….Philip….sigh….must get back to my abacus….

        Comment by dgman – May 23, 2012 12:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Good one! I’m so angry about those illegal votes! Why is there no big outcry about them? Phillip phorever!!

        Comment by Mairewh – May 23, 2012 12:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • You can stop being angry now – there are no illegal votes. Idol is able to source votes and knows exactly where they come from. Illegal votes may appear to the user to count, but they definitively do not count. The Skype loophole does not work.

          Comment by ben – May 23, 2012 02:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • But they will certainly show up in something like dial idol where the busy signal is monitored. A few people have mentioned if people try to illegally vote it will do more harm than good for the contestant because it would tie up the lines and legit votes will not be able to get through.

            Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 02:58 PM PDT  
          • @MaryB – that is a legit point.

            Comment by ben – May 23, 2012 03:29 PM PDT  
          • I’m sure there are illegal votes (it’s easy to effectively spoof, really), but I doubt that it’s a big deal.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:29 PM PDT  
          • Really? Can the origin of a skype call be traced easily, even though it presents as a U.S. number?

            Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 03:56 PM PDT  
          • You can buy a spoofing service for your IP address for a few bucks a month… and run Skype via WiiFi at home. I’ve never tried it, but I know others that have (they like jPop or are hooked on the BBC news services or Bristish TV).

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 06:31 PM PDT  
        • what’s an illegal vote?????I voted and nobody questioned my citizenship!!!

          Comment by billybob – May 23, 2012 03:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • An illegal vote is when someone through Skype from another country other than the United States places a call to vote. According to Idol they have in under control and those votes are thrown out. If you want to know more just goggle Illegal Skype voting for American idol. There are tons of things on the internet and actually even YouTube telling these foreign countries how to vote for Jessica. Even going so far as to tell them what time they need to vote to coincide with the West Coast. The big question is whether these votes get through or not. This voting came from the west coast and Phillip was miles ahead of Jessica before the West Coast opened there voting and now on dial idol they look almost tied. I’ve been watching dial idol since the beginning and this has only become evident in the last few weeks so something changed. I understand she may have a big west coast following but so does Phillip seeing that most of the audience was in Phillips court last night. Last week Jessica was far behind Phillip and Joshua until the west coast voting opened. Then she caught up and was almost tied with Joshua and he lost So who knows. Time will only tell because if this is something that really happened then eventually it will come out. I am giving Idol the benefit of doubt that it is all on the up and up. Before anyone jumps down my throat this is just speculation of something I observed and if Jessica wins tonight I will not be throwing my hands up and calling foul. I will be okay with it. As far as I am concerned either one of them deserve the title.

            Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 03:29 PM PDT  
          • You mean nobody asked you for a copy of your birth certificate? They asked for mine! Oh, wait, the area code is 202, right?

            Comment by Jo Keith (@bjokeith) – May 23, 2012 03:31 PM PDT  
      • Wow. Any proof on this illegal voting?

        Comment by Cris – May 23, 2012 12:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • …..and this is okay with you?

        Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Read the rules. Votes from the Phillipines are not counted. And yes, it is possible to distinguish where votes come from. Jessica has a huge following here in the US.

        Comment by CAM – May 23, 2012 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • what’s an illegal vote???

        Comment by billybob – May 23, 2012 03:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Awww…that’s harsh for a 16 year old kid.

      Comment by darcy's evil twin – May 23, 2012 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Usually I’m frustrated with Michael for not giving Phillip enough credit, but I’m really pleased with his review. Even though Jessica wasn’t at her best in the first round, she won it hands down. I was really happy that Jessica chose The Prayer and Phillip chose Movin’ Out for the second round. I think Jessica needed to do The Prayer because doing a song from the live shows wouldn’t have made enough of an impression. I think Phillip needed to do a mid to up tempo song for the second round because he’s been having “moments” with slower songs the past few weeks. I would call the second round a draw or a little more in Phillips favor just because the fun he was having was tangible. For the last round, Phillip hands down had the better performance. I think that because it was a slower song, Change Nothing made Jessica’s night seem kind of bland. Though she sounded great, there was nothing that made the song special. I think that she made a mistake in not telling Jimmy and the other record label executives that the song wasn’t for her, but I think that she really doesn’t know exactly what kind of music she wants to make. She mentioned that she wanted to be more urban after the judges said it, but she’s barely sung an urban song all season. Last week she had a choice of song she wanted to do, a perfect opportunity to show people the kind of music she wants to make post-Idol, and she sang Aerosmith. I really enjoyed Phillip’s song. I don’t think it’s exactly the kind of music he’ll make post-Idol, but it was really great that it was close to his style and showcased some great things about him like his emotional connection to material, his talent as a musician, and his ability to really command a large arena.
      I only start watching Idol when it goes live with the Top 24 (though if I really like someone I’ll go back and watch their audition performances), and after the first live shows I told everyone I know that watches Idol that it was going to be a Jessica/Phillip finale. I think these two deserve to be here, and even though they are very different, they’re both great. I think Jessica needs a little more time to mature emotionally, gain some life experience, really decide what kind of music she wants to make, and to gain the confidence she needs to be able to state her opinion and not allow people in the industry to push her around. I think Phillip is going to do really well no matter what the outcome is tonight, but based on the last few weeks of competition, his personality, and his unwavering stance on what kind of artist he is, I think he should win.

      Comment by Jennifer – May 23, 2012 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Jessica won “hands down”? I guess you are entitled to your opinion, however, all of the mainstream media outlets totally DISAGREE with your assessment and give Phillip the win last night and pretty much have conceded he’ll also get the confetti tonight as well. I guess unless there was a way to sneak in those illegal votes, I guess we’ll have to wait and see in a couple of hours or so…

        Comment by givemeglenn – May 23, 2012 04:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I said that she won the first round hands down. Overall, I think Phillip had a better night. I also hope that he wins.

          Comment by Jennifer – May 23, 2012 04:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I will! Be calling foul..no fault of Jessica’s..It is unfair to both and running rampant..There are blogs , You Tube videos, and dozens of entries on The Official Idol Website blog on how to vote via Skype and Voip and facebook ..Directions rampant in the Philipinno Press …and an article where a Manila journalist was literally chastised and was pressed for his firing..for writing that to do so would be cheating. The responses were horrific. It is my sincere hope the press will follow this..as well as the officials at American Idol. I truly hope a legitimate
        win, voted on by Americans only will be possible. I cannot understand why this phenomenon has not been further scrutinized by the Idol press..and all the Idil blogs. This would be a true travesty. Like the voting process or not..it is what it is. It would be horribly unfair to both very worthy contestants. It is time Idol fans start demanding answers…this should have been broached long before now.
        It is not even clandestine it’s right in front of our faces. Dialidol is one place this appears utterly incongruous to the past..it also lists P2 as losing his home state ..how isthis possible. Something is very wrong here.

        Comment by rodeoblu – May 23, 2012 05:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I am so happy he won only because this could have become ugly and would have encouraged this kind of thing in the future. I want to say I absolutely love Jessica and will support her career as well as his. Jessica without a doubt has the voice but Phillip is the whole package. I wish them both luck.
          It broke my heart when Phillip broke down. Taht’s what I love about him. He is not cocky or thing his you know what don’t stink. He was so surprised and could not finish his song. Loved that he went and gave mommy and daddy a hug. Well done Phillip.

          Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 07:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Don’t worry; TPTB want Jessica to win, and will make sure it happens.

      Comment by smidnite – May 23, 2012 03:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The people that bet??

        Comment by Jo Keith (@bjokeith) – May 23, 2012 03:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Hahahaha! You must be new to the Idol blogs. TPTB = The Powers That Be.

          Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 04:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Every poll I’ve seen has Phillip winning at least 2 votes to 1. Of course, we’ll see shortly.

        Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “After singing “I Have Nothing” and having the judges tell her she had the edge, she got smaller and smaller with each subsequent performance until, by the time Phillip took the stage to sing Home, she had practically disappeared.

      Phillip, on the other hand, knew to finish big. Here’s a guy who has taken the stage week after week in wrinkled shirts and jeans, looking like he’d be perfectly content to sit on an equipment case and play his guitar, and what does he do for his last song? He brings out a freakin’ drum troupe!”

      Yikes! That was from USA Today. (Kinda funny on the Phillip part)

      Comment by MamaLis – May 23, 2012 03:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Home was already done by Greg Holden, and better than Phillips sang it on the show. I thought that song sounded familiar.

    Comment by TinyTim – May 23, 2012 11:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Greg Holden killed that song. Watch the Youtube version of it. At least he was able to sing the high notes with real passion and without an army of background singers to prop him up.

      Comment by Joe – May 23, 2012 01:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • While your at it read what Greg had to say about Phillip in the section underneath the video…

        Comment by Kallie – May 23, 2012 02:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Thank you, Kallie!!!
          Always good to hear “the rest of the story”. !!

          Comment by Jo Keith (@bjokeith) – May 23, 2012 03:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Yeah, but Greg also knows he’s about to make a lot of money off Phillip’s sales. Yes, I’m cynical. :D
          .
          P.S. before the P2 fans set me on fire, I’m sure Greg really did genuinely like it. It was good.

          Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 04:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Phillip had ten times the emotional connection, and his arrangement was superior. The finale tempo suied the lyrics better. But Holden did indeed co-write a really great song!

        Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 02:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Phillips didn’t really “arrange” anything on Home, he was given a song already performed by another artist and that is how he did it. Phillips mimicked Holden as much as he could.

          Comment by TinyTim – May 23, 2012 05:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • You mean that clip? I’d suggest that you rewatch it, ’cause they have nothing in common.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 05:58 PM PDT  
          • Well, that’s funny because Greg Holden said that HE felt Phillip made it his own. I think I’ll take the word of the original artist over some dude that lives to hate Phillip.

            Comment by Marsaili – May 23, 2012 07:00 PM PDT  
          • i saw an interview with phillip where he said he didn’t even really choose the song, and even seemed like he didn’t really even like it…it was weird. i also saw jessica say in an interview that the song didn’t fit her…hmmm….

            Comment by tewence – May 24, 2012 08:01 AM PDT  
          • And I just saw an interview with Phillip in which he said it was a great song—it’s not like anything that he’s writing or has written, but he really likes it just the same.

            Comment by Marsaili – May 24, 2012 08:46 AM PDT  
          • i was making my comment more to address the issue of how the songs were selected. i’m sure he liked it fine, and even if he didn’t, we would never know because i highly doubt he would go public with that so soon after winning.

            Comment by tewence – May 24, 2012 02:37 PM PDT  
  • Michael Intrade has it as 4-1 for Phillip. I’ll take your wager traight up!

    Comment by Medic – May 23, 2012 11:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i’ve been a phillip fan right along… so i know i’m biased. and while i would certainly agree that jessica’s last song was a stinker, in my heart i know that if they were given the other person’s song, phillip would have made something of it that i would enjoy listening to. the girl can sing but she doesnt have…err…i dont know. she is lacking.

    Comment by Judy – May 23, 2012 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • just life experience… artistry… the fact that she chose that weirdo song proves that Jessica doesn’t yet know where she wants to be or do or what kind of singer she is besides a very great copycat… it’s not bad, she’s 16. It’s just the way it is. She shoulda been gone top 7 night. ah well.

      Comment by Kathlyn – May 23, 2012 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • agreed

        Comment by Summer – May 23, 2012 12:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You’re calling The Prayer a weirdo song?!! Kettle. Black. And Jessica knows exactly what type of singer she wants to be if you watched more than just the finale. Or you haven’t gotten a clue after Jessica singing nothing but Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, Luther Vandross, et al songs.

        Comment by Lee – May 23, 2012 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • She’s referring to Jessica’s final song, which Jessica said she chose.

          Comment by macy – May 23, 2012 02:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Copycat vocals…if she were a group she’d be a cover band

          Comment by Jo Keith (@bjokeith) – May 23, 2012 03:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • agreed

        Comment by Jo Keith (@bjokeith) – May 23, 2012 03:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • You guys seriously don’t realize how much Phillip Phillips copies Dave Mathrews?

          Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 04:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • i guess she failed to make lemonade out of her lemons.

      Comment by Judy – May 23, 2012 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Well, that USA Today article went on to say that she did something worse than ‘miss notes.’ She failed to build her set. She may have been able to frame her individual performances flawlessly, but she couldn’t figure out how they connected to each other, and she couldn’t make each one build on the one that proceeded it. Conversely, Phillip could. And for that alone, he may win.

        Comment by MamaLis – May 23, 2012 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I dunno. She has some very very *ahem* dedicated fans, and lots of them. They might pull her through just like they did last week after a really bland, bland set of performances. It will depend on how motivated Phil’s fans were to spend all 4 hours dialing and texting.

          Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 04:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • This is something I copied and pasted here from another site. Just an example of what I found about the illegal voting. Many Journalist believe it is happening because of the amount of votes coming in 134,000,000 votes over 10 million more than last year which a 25% down in viewers. Here is what someone right out of the Philippines had to say.

            “The Filipinos are as rabid as Beliebers if they want to be. I should know, I’m a Filipino. And you should’ve seen and heard famous celebrities and even influential broadcast journalists (I wish I were kidding) encourage the whole country to vote (albeit illegally) for Sanchez. Don’t even get me started on how the idol machine disqualifies overseas votes—Lithgow and company are just too happy to look the other way if it means Seacrest bragging about “record breaking numbers.” The Philippines has claimed the S11 finalist as their own, which can be sweetly supportive or sadly deluded, depending on how you look at the situation. That being said, P2 has battled the odds of Mexicans, American teens AND rabid Pinoys voting against him, and never once ended up in the Stools Of Doom. He just may win this thing, and deservedly so. The man’s an artist—imperfect, passionate, and talented. He’s got this.”

            Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 04:32 PM PDT  
          • Holy Cow! If that’s true, that’s scarey! I mean, it makes sense – networks like numbers. But.. wow!

            Comment by MamaLis – May 23, 2012 04:45 PM PDT  
          • Hey, Mary B, that’s exactly what I’ve said many times. Idol closes their eyes to whatever they want. Whatever works out best for them.

            Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 05:40 PM PDT  
  • Meh, I think Phillip still has this in the bag. I don’t think Jessica has near as deep of a fan base as you think. Better get that donation to Melinda ready!

    Comment by Jeremy Gable – May 23, 2012 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Jessica winning would make a better story; so she’s got it.

      Comment by smidnite – May 23, 2012 03:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • How would that make a better story? And you know, it’s about making money… not good fiction.

        Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • You can frame it however you like to make the stories “work” as better than another. For Jessica, she’s this 16 year old with a powerhouse voice who is working to help her big family and give them the ability to live comfortably after they sacrificed a lot for her dream, after being eliminated, then saved, coming back to win the whole thing.

          Meanwhile, Phillip is a humble, small town pawnshop worker who has been playing small venues while working in his family business, putting his town on the map and coming up from the bar scene to make it big on the Idol stage.

          Some might say Jessica’s is more inspirational because of her desire to help her family, her age, and the save. Others will disagree. It’s all up to personal opinion. Personally, I don’t care about the narrative. I just vote for the one I want to hear sing the most.

          Comment by Will – May 23, 2012 06:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Hmmmm. I’m fairly familiar with good stories (heh), and I’d go with small town boy makes good over Jessica’s story (which could be seen in a less appealing light).

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 06:17 PM PDT  
      • What could be a better story that a 21-yr old pawnshop worker hittin’ the big time. And not only does he have a future, he’s old enough to have a past….or life experiences if you prefer. He is Phillip, just Phillip singing from his heart and his gut! Jessica is a 16-yr old diva who sings Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson et al

        Comment by Jo Keith (@bjokeith) – May 23, 2012 04:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Finally! I bit of Phillip Love from Sleazak!

    Comment by karenb – May 23, 2012 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • All I have to add is I’ve always hated ‘Carousel’ And Good Luck to both kids – it’s an esp tough world out there for a non-country singing Idol and we tend to forget how young they are. This seemed like an exceptionally sweet group even with the more intense personalities so hopefully the tour will be fun for all.

    Comment by Alice – May 23, 2012 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree; this is the most lovable cast I’ve ever seen on this show. The different friendships and configurations, as well as the whole group, are so cute. They will be so much fun to write about this summer. (Well, start writing about; it’s going to be my longest AI fan fiction yet, so it may be a while before I have time to finish.)

      Comment by IdolFlash-7-9-35 – May 23, 2012 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I actually bought Phillip’s song and have it on replay. That was a beautifully written song, and delivered greatly by Phillip.

    I always wanted a Colton, Skylar, Joshua, Hollie, and Elise Top 5. In this top 2, my support goes to Phillip. For the past three weeks, he impressed me, and I was not his biggest fan. If he gets the win, I’m happy about it.

    Comment by J – May 23, 2012 11:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Just for the record, Phillip didn’t write the song. It was recorded by another artist first and the publishing company sold the song to Idol to let Phillip sing it.

      Comment by Joe – May 23, 2012 01:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • just like a lot of the other coronation songs used on idol and other shows like it..

        Comment by Matt – May 23, 2012 02:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Um, the song was co-written by Holden and they made a youtube recording of it about a month ago. As he was a co-writer, he obviously was onboard for the use of the song for Phillip (and Holden is a fan). All Idols get a soronation song – Phillip’s was just the rare amazing one. Thanks to Holden and his good taste!

        Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No one claimed that Phillip wrote it.

        Comment by macy – May 23, 2012 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • After the show last night the reporters were praising his song and Phillip told them he did not write and probably wouldn’t have but that it was a good song.

          Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 03:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I don’t think J was trying to indicate that Phillip wrote the song.

        Comment by CAM – May 23, 2012 02:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I know that.

        Comment by J – May 23, 2012 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Not one Idol wrote a song on Idol, while they were on Idol. So what’s your point?

        Comment by J – May 23, 2012 03:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kudos to you for a very fair review. The last song really bring Jessica down.and hat didn’t give her new voters for sure.. But with that crazy act of AI people It actually moved Jessica’s army to vote like crazy too.. We want Jessica To win but in the unlikely case that the wgwg wins atleast they should have given Jessica the fair treatment that the young kid deserves.. It was the song choice but the her vocal prowess is ridiculous..she will go a long way.. Her studio version of change nothing was great actually.. That means the way they arrange the song for the finale was stupid they intended to give the moment to p2..well 132m votes I’m sure most of it should be from angry Jessica army ..Jessica will win

    Comment by Luminous – May 23, 2012 11:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sorry to spoil it for you, but Dial Idol is pipping P2 for the win. Dial Idol has correctly predicted all the winners since Dial Idol started….Go Phillip! Beat those illegal voters down with that disarming, enchanting smile and chest hair!

      Comment by claire – May 23, 2012 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • i have seen people talking about dial idol on this blog, but i have no clue what it is. can you fill me in?

        Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Google dial idol predictions and you will find it.

          Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 01:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • it hacks into the phone lines and counts busy signals and stuff. Dialidol.com if u interested

          Comment by Sam – May 23, 2012 01:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Dialidol has them completely tied.
        .
        I know Phillip did better last night, but my gut is still telling me Jessica wins.

        Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 01:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Dial idol hasn’t been predicting anything right for several years. On the other hand, Votefair has picked the winner correctly for years, and its predicting Jessica. So… that kind of thing just doesn’t work as any kind of proof.

        Comment by ben – May 23, 2012 02:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Actually Dial Idol has not been nearly as reliable this year. They’ve been worng a lot more due to more text and online voting.

        Comment by CAM – May 23, 2012 02:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • what’s an illegal voter. either it’s a vote or it’s not you ignorant sl—)

        Comment by billybob – May 23, 2012 03:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • An illegal voter is someone who votes outside the US using Skype, Magic Jack etc. It shouldn’t be included in the voting tally. And don’t call me an ignorant slut again, C U Next Tuesday.

          Comment by claire – May 24, 2012 05:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I remember how Cook was intentionally “bussed” by the judges in S7 (even though I supported Archie) and won because it drove his fanbase to vote even harder for him – perhaps the same thing will happen for Jessica. Regardless of the outcome, she will have an amazing career ahead of her but I hope she wins tonight

      Comment by Stephanie – May 23, 2012 01:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mumford & Sons has played with marching bands/drummers before so not even that part was particularly original. But it was a perfect song for Phillip and one I’d happily download. I’m also still rooting for Jessica though. J-Lo’s ridiculous over the top praise for Phillip kind of turned me off him which is too bad because he seems like a perfectly nice kid.

    Comment by topshelfblog – May 23, 2012 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like Jessica, but in saying she chose her last song as one that would show off her voice, she was totally going against what she said two seconds earlier when she said she wanted something more “urban”…her voice is great, but her lack of personality, and her choosing songs like Aerosmith last week show me she still needs some work. I think the minimum age should go back to 18. If Jessica had waited another couple years to audition she would have owned the season, I have no doubt.

    Also, Slezak, I see what you’re saying about “The Prayer”, but really, another boring ballad from “miss contemporary urban sound”, Celine DIon….bad choice, regardless of her voice.

    I’ll be satisfied with whoever wins tonight, and this season crushed last season (haley reinhart aside)…

    Comment by jcs – May 23, 2012 12:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • i wonder if the other options she had for her original song weren’t something she thought fit her…or were crappy haha

      Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 12:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nigel Lythgoe is saying on Twitter that there were 132 million votes. I guess each fan must have voted at least 1,000 times. I certainly didn’t bother, none of those two are my winner. P2′s song was mediocre at best, those lyrics could have been written by a 5th grader, and he had trouble reaching the notes at the “oh-oh-oh” part.

    Comment by Leila – May 23, 2012 12:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yeah i definitely noticed when the background vocalists dropped out he couldn’t hit the notes. they did a pretty good job of hiding him until then

      Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No poll? Anyway, P2 for the win. :)

    Comment by imho – May 23, 2012 12:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica outsang Phillip, but Phillip outperformed Jessica. Even though I’m a Jessica fan, I think Phillip will win.

    Comment by Alex – May 23, 2012 12:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Phillip for the win!!!

    Comment by caligirl – May 23, 2012 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Interesting virtually every major media outlet has Phillip easily winning the program last night, so I’m not sure what program you were listening to. In fact, if you go to the iTunes Store and look at the “Ratings,” Phillips songs, especially “Home,” blows Jessica’s away, and by a huge margin, and I mean a HUGE margin. In other words, it looks like fans are downloading Phillip’s songs and loving them and not so many of Jessica’s, so I think the real fans agree with the mainstream broadcasters.

    Comment by givemeglenn – May 23, 2012 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Phillip’s fans might be more about downloading his music (and voting with their wallets) than they are about obsessively texting and dialing. I think Jessica’s fans are more, uhh, assertive in that way. Which is why I predict Jessica for the win. (but neither will be a surprise)

      Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 01:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The bit in brackets is exactly how I feel.

        Comment by ben – May 23, 2012 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That’s so funny, because someone else in the comments said that Phillip will never have great success because his fans obsessively text but they don’t buy music. Which is it people??? I think Phillip will go on to great success.

        Comment by macy – May 23, 2012 02:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Well stated, Dee. So often I catch something here I agree with, then I look and see it’s from you. :)
        I’m still holding out hope for Phil, though. Would like to see him and that song, under the confetti!

        Comment by MamaLis – May 23, 2012 04:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Three of the sites I visit regularly have Idol polls, and with each over 4,000 voters, all had Phillip winning, running over 60% of the vote (non-scientific polling, obviously).

      Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael i could not stop laughing about your commentary regarding Jessica’s “Change Nothing”.I actually like the studio version better but she did everything she could with that song.But you’re right about the lyrics it’s like a lyrical slogan condoning an abusive/emotionally draining relationship that instead setting yourself free you should just stick it out.I rather prefer your title “He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss”? Hilarious!!!

    Comment by Edward – May 23, 2012 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wasn’t it Jordin Sparks and not LaKisha that covered I Who Have Nothing in season 6, or am I imagining things?

    Comment by Alex – May 23, 2012 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No, LaKisha Jones covered Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Jordin Sparks sang a different song, Lieber and Stoller’s “I Who Have Nothing,” and it was a huge success.

      Comment by IdolFlash-7-9-35 – May 23, 2012 12:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Oh, that’s what I was thinking of then! Thank you!

        Comment by Alex – May 23, 2012 01:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Phillip Phillips to the WIN \o/ Jessica was helped to come to the finals, only blind people can’t see. XOXO

    Comment by ;duh (@opss_tom) – May 23, 2012 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael, I love ya but you’re paranoia is matching some of the crazy idol fans…Idol loves Jessica…I think commercially she’ll be easier to produce then Phillip so I think you’re theories are way out there..

    Comment by Josh – May 23, 2012 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It seems as though Phillip suddenly three weeks ago could start to picture himself as a winner, rather than just trying to get some exposure for his music, as he started to take the competition seriously. If American Idol is all about taking a small town kid who nobody knows and turn them into a celebrity, then he met that requirement at the right time…….
    There is no doubt that Jessica is truly talented, but her top 25 song is the same one she chose as her finale performance…..and while she may have countless many more fans than many other contestants did, that does not help to promote the whole idea behind American Idol that likes to mould and shape unknown people into greatness.
    I wish the best to both contestants. They both deserve to win.

    Comment by Canadian fan – May 23, 2012 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, they both deserve to win!!

      Comment by macy – May 23, 2012 02:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did the damn save screw up the season? A Joshua/Philip finale would have been much better!!!

    Comment by JASon – May 23, 2012 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree. They should NOT have saved Jessica. IMHO!!!! Philip and Joshua would have been awesome.

      Comment by Rebecca – May 23, 2012 01:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, the only reason to have a save is in case someone who “shouldn’t” have been eliminated could actually win the show. Otherwise there is no point. If you like the save, Jessica winning would be justification for it. If you don’t like it (and I don’t) then the save screwed up the season from the moment it was used. I’m a diehard Hollie fan, and think that if Jessica hadn’t been saved, it might be Hollie and Phillip in the finale, or Hollie and Joshua. Or Joshua and Phillip. But we’ll never know.

      Comment by gallowaycreations – May 23, 2012 02:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No, the damn save didn’t screw up the season – it was used for exactly the reason it was designed for. If Jessica was really America’s choice to go, she would have been gone again by now.

      Comment by ben – May 23, 2012 03:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nigel just Tweeted: “Simon Fuller chose 1 song. The artist chose 1 song. The record company with the artist chose 1 song. The record does not have to be original”.

    Comment by givemeglenn – May 23, 2012 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • So in other words Jessica and Phillip had nothing to do with their single songs? So Phillip shouldn’t be given credit just because he was given a much better song? Jessica’s single song was pretty bad.

      Comment by A – May 23, 2012 01:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No, the artist along with the record company chose their winner’s single. Phil and Jessica had their pick.

        Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 01:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • True, but who knows what they had their pick of.

          Comment by ben – May 23, 2012 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • i saw interview’s with jessica and phillip on americanidol.com where they both said that they didn’t really choose the song, and it was a rushed decision. phillip even seemed like he wasn’t too fond of the song and seemed to be uninterested in it as something that he would do.

          Comment by tewence – May 24, 2012 08:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The tweet says “The record company WITH THE ARTIST chose 1 song”. I read that as the record company produced a list, the artist chose. That certainly is how the judges made it seem last night.

        Comment by gallowaycreations – May 23, 2012 02:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Phillip’s last performance was great, but the song sounded too much like Mumford and Sons. It felt like too close a copy that tried too hard.

    Comment by bjp – May 23, 2012 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • i thought so as well. and i thought the marching band was weird.

      Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Though it wasn’t written by Munford, sounding like a song that won so many awards over the past two years makes it *relevant* – as Cowell was always harping on.

      Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • well, that’s a fine line. if it sounds too much like a another song, then it’s nothing but a rip off.

        Comment by bjp – May 23, 2012 05:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Er, the previous post should have read, “Though it wasn’t written by Mumford, sounding like a *band* that’s won that’s won…”. Since Mumford is one a very small number of bands that represent a new genre, modern bluegrass, if the sound didn’t have something in common, it wouldn’t be in that genre right? Beyond that, I have no clue what you’re refering to.

          Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I’m referring to the bridge on “you were made to meet your maker” in Awake my Soul, which is *identical* to Home’s “Just know you’re not alone cause I’m going to make this place your home”

            Comment by bjp – May 24, 2012 08:41 AM PDT  
  • Notice he said the artist chose the final song WITH the record company; Jessica has no one to blame but herself for that fiasco.

    Comment by givemeglenn – May 23, 2012 12:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica is a little girl with a big voice, no experience, and no chance of making it in the pop world or R&B at this age. Anything written for her will be either age inappropriate or watered down bubblegum silliness. Phillip has confidence, direction, artistry, and most importantly uniqueness (doesn’t matter that he may sound like Dave Matthews or be a WGWG) he has a unique enough voice that will make him stand out. Last night’s finale was clearly won by Phillip in all 3 performances.

    Comment by Trisha – May 23, 2012 12:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Riiigghhtt……so next season’s AI should only be for WGWGs…….I mean why even try?

      Comment by dgman – May 23, 2012 12:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • wasn’t Jordin Sparks 17 when she won? she had a string of hits. This might not be a good example but Rihanna was also 17 when she had her debut. heck, Beyonce was 17 when Bills Bills Bills surfaced. Jessica will be 17 by the time her first single comes out. It’s definitely possible for her to be a successful pop-R&B singer. Don’t count her out just yet

      Comment by Sha – May 23, 2012 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Jessica is a perfect human interest story, and would also be the first winner in several seasons who is not a White male. This is why the judges saved her; which makes more sense than their previous save.

      Comment by smidnite – May 23, 2012 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “…the background singers carried Phillip to heretofore-unheard heights”–don’t you mean, the background singers sang the whole thing? C’mon, we’ve been listening to him for 4 months. We all know he can’t reach those high notes.

    What made me angriest was what Michael put in the post–Jennifer’s dopey rationale for why Phillip won the second round of songs: because “we’ve heard this before” from Jessica. Yes, because Phillip has been SO versatile in doing everything a la Dave Matthews. And then the refusal to give The Prayer a standing ovation, after they’ve been giving them out like lollipops all season long.

    Comment by Chuck – May 23, 2012 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • +1 btw, haven’t we heard “movin’ out” before? jLo is worthless on that show.

      Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t think that is what Jennifer meant. She meant we heard the prayer song like that before from other artist but Phillips Moving Out was totally original an totally Phillip.

      Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 01:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Another Tweet: “record number of #idol votes last night…132 MILLION. via @dizzyfeet”.

    Comment by givemeglenn – May 23, 2012 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Can we point out that this record number of votes came on a night when the ratings for the finale have been lower than ever? nydn.us/JdJmC9
      .
      Something is wrong with that. Time to change the voting system, etc, etc…

      Comment by Miscellaneopolan – May 23, 2012 02:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Can I give this a +1000? How can we ever know which contestant the viewing audience actually prefers if one person voting 10,000 times has the same sway as 10,000 people voting once? 14.4 million watched, I’d venture maybe a million actually voted, if that. So the average voter voted 132 times? I’d venture the typical voter really voted maybe 10 times. So that is 10 million votes, leaving 122 million cast by the power voters. Now, I remember from Season 8 people bragging about voting 10,000 times for the finale. That would mean it would only take 12,200 crazy power voters to outvote the rest of the voting public by a factor of 121. Seems fair, right?

        Comment by gallowaycreations – May 23, 2012 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Hell to the ya on that point! btw, how can one tell how much the contestants are selling on itunes? I would venture to guess that Phillip is far outselling Jessica.

          Comment by MamaLis – May 23, 2012 04:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 132 million/14million = 9,5 votes per viewer. Yet I didn’t vote. So how many people actually voted? I’m guessing less than half of the viewers actually voted. AT&T is very happy today.

      Comment by Name That Tune – May 23, 2012 07:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was fine with everything last night until the judges went bananas over PP last song … I had planned to not vote and let the chips fall .. but after that fiasco I had to vote for jess… If she wins i will be a bit conflicted, because perhaps she didnt really win the night… but I too tough to watch a 16 yo get screwed …

    Comment by Tommyo2000 – May 23, 2012 12:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s exactly how I felt. I didn’t toss a bunch of votes at Jessica but I seriously wanted to take a two by four to the judges.

      Comment by darcy's evil twin – May 23, 2012 12:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • One thing I have real difficulty with is the blindness of P2 fans – Phil (and Josh) are the ones who have been pimped all year long, including last night, yet they keep talking about Jess being pimped. Jess only ever closed the show once, after every single other person around, kept not getting standing O’s, and when they would say ‘who won the night’ the judges answer was almost always Josh and Phil. I’m not anti-Phil, but boy I’m sick of anyone making out that the judges are against him.

        Comment by ben – May 23, 2012 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Perhaps that’s because (at least some of) the P2 fans see the whole picture, and you are ‘blinded’. Just sayin’.

          Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Actually it was Josh and Elise that closed the most. I really don’t think Phillip was pimped at all. Last week he got some pretty heavy criticisms with his performance of Disease. I really think the only one they really went over board with ( not saying he was undeserving) was Josh. So much so that I think they hurt him.

            Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 03:58 PM PDT  
    • Agreed…couldn’t believe they gave that a standing O while staying seated for Jessica’s “The Prayer”

      Comment by Michael Bauer – May 23, 2012 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t think finale night performances really make a difference….both contestants already have their fan bases sewn up by that point.

      Comment by D – May 23, 2012 03:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thanks Michael for pointing out the inappropriate lyrical content of Jessica’s winner’s single! I have to wonder about the messages girls are getting about relationships nowadays with the popularity of unhealthy relatioahips in Twilight, 50 Shades of Gray, and Chuck/Blair on Gossip Girl. A song about how a girl in a volatile relationship wishes she never confided in her friends because they say she deserves better is disturbing to say the least!

    Anyway, I can’t hate on either potential winner. I prefer Jessica overall but Phillip’s Volcano and Home were amazing and he peaked at the right time I guess…

    Comment by Beth – May 23, 2012 12:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I believe that Jessica has a much better voice than P2, but he definitely won me over with his personality. He was polite but let Tommy Hilfiger know that he wasn’t buying into the wardrobe advice. Poor Jessica just did whatever they told her to do, like a good obedient child. This year, I’ll be happy with either contestant winning, unlike last year when it was like a bad Hee Haw rerun.

    Comment by Just My 2 Cents – May 23, 2012 12:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If the number is accurate, then it may mean that the Skype votes from the Philipines WERE counted…I can’t see any other way that many votes could have been placed; that’s 33 million votes per HOUR the voting “lines” were open per time zone, including calls, texts, and online votes. Any way you look at it, that number is astronomical.

    Comment by givemeglenn – May 23, 2012 12:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Unfortunately I think we’re in for a landslide victory for P2 tonight. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the dude and may even buy his album (I bet he’ll make an album that would be great to listen to on a long car road trip w/ the windows down), but Jessica has the best voice in Idol history, even better than my girl Kelly Clarkson. He just seems like a likable guy w/ a down-to-earth demeanor that won’t change w/ fame and fortune.

    I also found it charming to watch him pan around the audience and soak in the massive crowd last night after every performance. The guy was in awe of where he was and what his future will hold, and I hope he keeps that humbleness.

    Great season – without a doubt the best from start to finish. It’ll be interesting to see what they do w/ the judges next season because I think we all agree that Randy is a complete and utter joke, Steven Tyler is lucid on a good day and it’s bad news when J-Lo is the most level-headed of them all.

    Thank you Slezak for all your hard work!

    Comment by Ed – May 23, 2012 12:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I caught that P2 moment, too….I like that you pointed that out!

      Comment by D – May 23, 2012 03:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay, someone is going to have to help out “Little Miss Middle-America Conservative WASP in a Dress From Nordstrom’s” on this whole “Jessica should be true to herself and do ‘urban’ music” thing. WTH????
    .
    Why in the world did the judges think Jessica should sing something “urban” for her original song? Unless I’m completely out of touch, “urban” and “Sweet 16 Jessica” do NOT go together. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but the only remotely “urban” thing we’ve heard from Jessica was the Jazmine Sullivan song, maybe “Fallin” (not sure if that qualifies) and a couple of numbers during Hollywood week. We’ve endured one deadly ballad after another, a few power ballads, and a big, honkin’ show tune (that also happens to be a power ballad). We’ve suffered through Whitney, Beyonce, Mariah, J-Hud, AND Celine! What the heck do we call that? Is that “The Quintfecta of Deadly Diva Music”????? We’ve suffered through Luther Vandross. Well, that’s what Jessica did best, I guess – Jessica was criticized for her “Proud Mary” (not what I’d call urban, but at least it was uptempo), she was criticized for “Bohemian Rhapsody” when she tried to rock out for not enough “hair whipping”, and her mid-tempo “Turn the Beat Around” was not well received.
    .
    So after all of that, Jennifer gives Jessica an extremely difficult Mariah Carey (AGAIN???) song to sing (My All)! Sorry, but that’s not urban either. Then, last night, and God Bless You, Jessica, I KNOW you probably had crap music from which to choose – you should have just asked if you could have performed “A Moment Like This” – Jessica sings a typical pop number that’s pretty much like the rest of what she’s been dishing out and the judges go, “Uh – didn’t like it. You should be more URBAN”. What in the world were they expecting? Is their definition of “urban” for Jessica like the one that applies to the suburbs around me? The city councils start talking about the “urban” areas of their city and I’m like, “uh, the urban area of this city consists of a post office, a lumberyard, an old train station, and four or five houses built prior to 1940. HELLO!”.
    .
    Okay, sorry for the rant. I’m not even a fan of Jessica’s style of music but I have never felt so sorry for a contestant in my life. Even if it was a crappy song the LEAST the judges could have said was, “Wow, I wasn’t wild about that song but that was a good performance and you’ve delivered some spectacular performances while on Idol”.
    .
    Sorry about the overlong rant. Am I totally crazy?

    Comment by darcy's evil twin – May 23, 2012 12:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • i don’t think you are completely crazy. i personally agree with a lot of what you said. i think when she was saying “urban” she was repeating what randy had already said…she seemed a little flustered to me. she definitely added a flare (or is it flair?) to the things she sang, even if the songs themselves weren’t “urban” so to speak. but that last song was unfortunate…i wish i could have heard the other crap she had to choose from.

      Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I don’t think we can blame jessica’s musical talents for that last song – no one could save that material. She just picked bad songs the last couple weeks.

        Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • i agree about that song, although i think she has made some great choices the past few weeks. having said that “change nothing” is terrible, and it is sad that it couldn’t be justified by the good singing she did with it.

          Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 03:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • tarc – my point isn’t really about Jessica’s song choices (her own) or whether Jessica’s song is good or bad – good gravy, you and I could sit down over a couple of beers and come up with a list of horrible hit songs that would stretch to the moon and back. I just think Jessica was getting conflicting signals and information from the judges. “Here, sing this Mariah Carey song and this Whitney song. Okay, now we want you to be current and urban”. I just don’t think they treated her fairly last night.

          Comment by darcy's evil twin – May 23, 2012 05:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • You’ll get no argument from me that the judges make little sense to anyone on any night. Randy is down to simply spouting a series of random partial soundbites.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 06:08 PM PDT  
          • Sorry, hit the wrong button… to finish: I think the judges aren’t fair at all. jeniffer is biased against the ladies, Randy makes no sense, and Steven is overly nice unless he’s riled, and then he either gushes or devastates. I think they confuse the contestants, which is why I was actually really impressed with Phillip for mostly ignoring them all season.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 06:12 PM PDT  
    • also i find it interesting that she was criticized for doing things too mature for her…then why would “change nothing” (we already know the name of it well…sheesh) even an option?

      Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 12:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was beginning to feel like a broken record. I have been wondering for weeks why everyone keeps saying Jessica is an urban, bluesy singer. Especially when they compared her to Hollie. But like you I have no memory of her singing anything except power ballads. Maybe we both have amnesia

      Comment by idolmama – May 23, 2012 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Her Vegas group performance (with Deandre and Candice) definitely had an R&B flair to it, and definitely, I think, was where she shined the brightest. Her BB Chez alter ego is modeled after Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce alter ego (I think Jessica even said that). I think she knows that her strength is in R&B type music, but she allowed herself to be pigeon-holed into doing pop-diva ballads for much of the season.

        Comment by macy – May 23, 2012 03:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No. The criticisms of Proud Mary, Turn the Beat Around, Steal Away and Bohemian Rhapsody were stupid. People who don’t like Jess have been complaining all year she is one note, but then complained whenever she wasn’t, too. She has been channeled/forced into the diva ballad lane, but I actually think she is fairly versatile. Steal Away showed she could really do bluesy R&B. Great stuff when she did it.

      Comment by ben – May 23, 2012 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • DET, you’re not crazy, but Jessica herself has been saying she’s Urban. Her fans keep telling us she does Urban on her youtubes. So why didn’t she just say f* it, and do something Urban? Well, last night she told Ryan that she chose a song to show off her voice … even though her reprise round 2 number did just that, as did the first Whitney song.
      .
      I just think she’s been trained her whole life to win competitions, so she chose accordingly. It was less about showing America who she wants to be as an artist, and more about how she wants to win the game by not taking a risk. Sure, you have to be strategic in a competition, but sometimes you have to calculate how much of your artistry/soul you’re willing to sacrifice to win.
      .
      She’s just a kid up against someone who happens to know exactly who he is as an artist. She seemed a bit lost and insecure after her last song, not really understanding the criticism by the (useless) judges. But despite all that, she will make a record and have the Idol promo machine behind her, and she’ll either hit or flop … whether she wins tonight or not.
      .
      Having said all that long winded crap — I think she’ll win. :)

      Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 04:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • So, in other words, if she were in the Miss America pageant she would tell them she wants to work with handicapped children and she wants world peace.

        Comment by darcy's evil twin – May 23, 2012 06:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • LOL yeah, that song was the equivalent of wanting world peace.

          Comment by deedee – May 23, 2012 06:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • OKAY, then – so Jessica is so “urban”, for the finale she sang “I will always Love You” (originally a country song, by the way, written by a woman from the Smokey Mountains – very urban) and a show tune.
        AARGH!

        Comment by darcy's evil twin – May 23, 2012 07:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You’re not crazy. Girlfriend got screwed. Jennifer is just blinded by her lust for Phillip, which is useless because he’s mine.

      Comment by darcy the slutty twin – May 23, 2012 06:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am so upset that jimmy lovine mostly gave Jessica Sanchez songs that don’t have much vocal tenor which consequently leaves her at the mercy of the unforgiving judges. We all know that jessica can sing the “Phone Book” (as randy always says), but i just can’t understand why they always criticize her for singing songs that were handed to her, then they say she is singing songs that are to old for her, or don’t have enough contract credibility to them. Am i missing the point, or is their a hidden agenda here to torpedo her. The finale was no different in giving songs to jessica that have no “Zip” to them unlike the songs they gave to P2. In my opinion, this is just “Another” waisted year for woman singers on Idol. As far as i am concerned, jessica is “The Best” contestant on American Idol this year, and no matter what happens, I’m sure she will be a MegaStar someday.

    Richard P.

    Comment by Richard P. – May 23, 2012 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You had to love J-Lo crediting Phillip with winning the encore performance round because “I’ve seen Jessica do that before, whereas I feel like that was authentic Phillip right there.”

    Comment by Michael Bauer – May 23, 2012 12:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Do P2 fans have any comment on how skewed this was? How stacked in favor the night was for Phil to shine. How does it honestly make you feel? Do you really think he earned that standing O? That the song he got was so much more skewed to his talent’s then Jessica’s. I’d really like to know if you thought this was a fair fight, whether you think Phillip deserved to win or not…

      Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It was a totally fair fight. If Jessica wanted to sing something more up her alley, then she should not have chosen to sing “Change Nothing”. The single is chosen by the record label, WITH the contestant, so all she had to do was speak up and say that she wanted a different song. Don’t blame Phillip.

        Comment by Jason – May 23, 2012 12:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • i have to wonder how the song selection for jessica actually went down. she DID say “i wanted to sing something more urban.” whether that means she was swayed away from her original choice, or that she was nervous and on the spot after her critique that she was trying to save face, i don’t know.

          Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • According to Uncle Nigel’s twitter feed, the 3rd song the contestants sang, which will be their single if they win, was chosen by the Record Label and contestant together.

            Comment by Jason – May 23, 2012 12:53 PM PDT  
          • oh yeah, i was aware of that. i am just saying i wonder how heavy of a hand the record label had in making that decision.

            Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 01:03 PM PDT  
          • from what JLo was saying, I do have a feeling poor Jessica was strong-armed into the choice.

            Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 01:12 PM PDT  
          • I took it to mean that out of the likely very limited song choices she was offered for that final song that there probably wasn’t anything “urban” in the bunch and she chose what she felt suited her best regardless. It’s about the record label making money, and more often than not, that means telling the artist what to do, not allowing them to do what they want. Clearly, they want Jessica to be a power balladeer because that’s what they think they can better market her as and therefore, make more money. Phillip is luckier because they can make money from him being himself so he’s probably not having to fit himself into a crated image as much as Jessica is.

            Comment by Khorrie – May 23, 2012 01:16 PM PDT  
          • i agree. although i feel like phillip’s song took him in a direction i hadn’t seen from him as of yet on the show.

            Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 01:22 PM PDT  
          • Although, if Jessica didn’t want to get pigeonholed into singing ballads, then she should have chosen more “urban” songs throughout the competition, rather than choosing Celine, Mariah and Whitney songs every single week. She only has herself to blame for the songs she was given.

            It doesn’t take away what an amazing voice she has, but at this point she is not polished enough to even know what kind of singer she wants to be.

            Comment by Jason – May 23, 2012 01:25 PM PDT  
          • i dunno…j-hud, beyonce, tina turner, otis redding, etc…she has chosen some soulful stuff. alas, she is still young and not as limited to a specific genre like phillip is. (not that his genre is bad, just his voice really only lends itself to his style…so it would take somebody like jessica a while to find the specific niche she would fit in)

            Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 01:36 PM PDT  
          • I would not put too much stock in the song selection …she had 6 days and two other songs to sing … so somebody walks in and says to a 16 yo this is the best song for you to sing it will show your voice .. and she is thinking “I may not love the song but he knows what he is talking about because he works for the record company…” so she says yeah, I guess you could say they “both picked the song” … How many 10 graders do you know that would have the b***ls to even tell a school teacher they were wrong about a school project selection?? ….. if she loses, and I think she may win, it will be a valuable lesson for her …

            Comment by Tommyo2000 – May 23, 2012 03:26 PM PDT  
          • agreed!

            Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 03:30 PM PDT  
        • Totally agree with you. First round Jessica was given a song totally within her wheel cart but Phillip was given something not in his. The second song they selected and helped select the third. So tell me how is this not fair? SHE chose the wrong song, period the end…..and yes Phillip deserved the standing O. I stood up and clapped myself after that performance. So p.ease stop this total nonsense besides no one was crowned yet. Jessica can still win. It is just too close to be sure?W

          Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Whatever the judges/producers choose for a contestant would always be questionable. What could you do? We could only make assumptions but can’t prove anything, so what could you do in a case like this. Just take what they dish out or boycott AI until AI become more transparent. Start watching other singing competitions and make them accountable. They’ve already lost 25% viewership this year. This shoudl give them some wake-up call. And the 4 years WGWG run should have forced them to make changes in the voting system. They seemingly just don’t care. They just want to brag about how many votes came in.

        Comment by Dee Thurston – May 23, 2012 03:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I think it was as fair as it could be, and I’m thrilled Phillip had one of those rare, great coronation songs. Jessica has shown over and over that she’s not great at picking songs, she knew after performing it that it wasn’t great, and that he’d be choosing more ‘urban’ material after this. the contestants got to choose everything about the final performance, and the fact Jessica’s was lackluster was a big sign that she’s not quite there yet. Song selection is always critical, and Jessica’s got some catching up to do in that realm.

        Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I hope people remember that it probably isn’t as easy as ‘SPEAK UP!’. Haley even said last year when she wanted to sing Baracuda, she got convinced into doing Call Me which was one of her weaker performances.

        Comment by WishesRandyCouldn'tSpeak – May 23, 2012 03:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • And truth of the matter is, no matter what, when you are in a competition like this and are sitting in a room with powerful, very musically talented/knowledgable PROFESSIONALS, it’s kinda freaking hard to go up against what they even say. You’re you vs these experts, what do u think?

          Comment by WishesRandyCouldn'tSpeak – May 23, 2012 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I think if you can’t pick your own material, you aren’t ready for a recording contract.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:35 PM PDT  
          • @tarc You do realize that most recording artists – for their very first album at any rate – often DON’T get to pick what they want, right? Why do you think so many sophomore albums go in a wildly different direction than the first? Because once an artist has some * commercial* success, *then* they can start choosing what they do and don’t want to record.

            Comment by Khorrie – May 23, 2012 04:57 PM PDT  
          • Plenty of artists and groups get to pick their entire album – if they write their own material. The sophomore slump comes from writing a new album after your life has chnaged so much. If you don’t write your own stuff, the studio often gets input because they have to pay up front for the songs. And, really, the more mature you are the more you get your way. It’s the artist’s album, after all.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 06:23 PM PDT  
          • Do you really think Jessica Sanchez is going to be writing her own songs? And even then, no, most artists don’t get much of a say initially because the label can always refuse to release it if it doesn’t mesh with what THEY want. Don’t believe me? Ask Fiona Apple. Or hell, ask poor Kelly Sweet who just got her second album she spent *years* on rejected because the studio didn’t approve of the direction she took with songs she had a hand in writing.

            I also never said it was a sophomore slump; I said that sophomore albums tend to be very different because the artist generally starts to gain more creative control. Sometimes it works on a commercial scale and sometimes it doesn’t.

            Comment by Khorrie – May 23, 2012 06:55 PM PDT  
  • Granted, both Phillip and Jessica are talented in their own right. But I bet you in 5 years, Jessica Sanchez will be winning Grammys, and most of us will all but forget about Phillip Phillips.

    Comment by bjp – May 23, 2012 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No, I don’t think you’re right about Phillip at all.

      Comment by macy – May 23, 2012 03:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I guess we’ll find out in 5 years :)

        Comment by bjp – May 23, 2012 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While I am a Jessica Sanchez stan and I have been following her on YouTube long before Idol, I want Phillip to win. He’s had a stronger past couple weeks than Jessica and a far superior first single. Plus I’m afraid of the backlash that the “save” would cause if she won.

    Comment by drainey323 – May 23, 2012 12:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay, so Jessica comes in second. On a day when runner-up Adam Lambert has the NUMBER ONE CD IN THE COUNTRY (how very poetic that the news arrives this very day) we can all take comfort in the fact that, as much as P2 fans will argue it, we know who will have the career (and by career I mean the Kelly/Carrie kind) . And also, having Phillip’s face up there during the opening credits isn’t anywhere near as egregious as poor Lee’s. So let Phil win. “Home” was pretty good.

    Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 12:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • lol. thanks for sharing!

      Comment by bjp – May 23, 2012 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You’re welcome. :) I’m trying to make myself feel better with ultimate truths. Though I still really wish Jessica had won (I’m so convinced she won’t). I just really wanted a girl to win this year too. Can’t be done, I guess.

        Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 12:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Look what happened (or didn’t) to Lee Dewyze lol

          Comment by A – May 23, 2012 01:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • What? He kinda got screwed by 19 into making a pop record when he’s not a pop singer? I think his first album in his own style will be a better indicator.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 04:06 PM PDT  
          • Oh look at li’l Tarc. Defending the failing WGWG’s to the very end.

            Comment by Owen – May 23, 2012 05:05 PM PDT  
          • Oh, look at “Owen” (see I can use quotes, too)! It’s fascinating that you’re so off-balance.

            Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 06:24 PM PDT  
        • Yeah same here. I tried to do my mourning for Jessica today as I am 110% she won’t win despite everything due to all the circumstances, etc. Which totally sucks so much man. But, I’ve accepted it and she’ll be a famous and successful singer for the rest of her life – HA Kelly Clarkson just came on the radio :)

          Comment by WishesRandyCouldn'tSpeak – May 23, 2012 03:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There is something about this year that makes “winning” almost seem like a formality, doesn’t it? (And I don’t mean that in the sense that one particular person winning is inevitable.) Every week since at least the Top 6 the judges have talked to each contestant about what they would do WHEN they got their contract, not IF. I have little doubt that each of Jessica, Phillip, Skylar, Joshua, Hollie, Elise and maybe even Colton will get contracts, and have a good shot at a productive music career. The joy of having a super talented bunch of kids, but perhaps with the downside of having “victory” in the contest seem pretty anticlimactic.

      Comment by gallowaycreations – May 23, 2012 02:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hey, I hope Jessica find success. It’s really all up in the air for all of these kids – there are so many other factors that have to align. I wish them all luck.

      Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish both contestants the best luck in the future. Both are so different and equally talented in their own ways. I am predominately a Phillip fan but I really like Jessica and will be fine with her winning. Phillip was so cute in an interview after the show. He told everyone to vote for Jessica because she deserves it. He said she has the best voice I heard in years especially coming from a 16 year old. Even on his twitter page he praised Jessica. He would be totally okay with her winning and I believe she would be with him talking the crown. Those two kids have more maturity in their young years than many of the people on this blog. We should all learn something from them.
    In my opinion they will both be sucessful but I believe when Jessica gains some maturity and finds more of a sense of self she has the ability to be one of the greats. There is no denying she has a killer voice. Before I can make a judgement on Phillips success I would have to hear his original music. I loved his covers and his style and I am hoping to feel the same way after idol. As much as everyone hates the terminology that he is not a singer but an artist it is true. We already know Jessica has a killer instument in her voice, Phillip’s talent has not yet totally been shown. I believe in him and am looking forward to really seeing who Phillip Phillips is.

    Comment by Mary B – May 23, 2012 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Mary B., everything you wrote was great.

      Comment by macy – May 23, 2012 03:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • From her post performance comments, it seemed like at least part of the blame for that last song choice falls on Jessica herself, who said she wanted to pick a song that showed off her voice and sounded like an Idol Winner’s song.

    Ever since her save, Jessica’s song choices have been pretty awful, and this was the last in a long line of them. At least the judges offered up Jimmy as a scapegoat, so she may have gotten away with it.

    Comment by kcostell – May 23, 2012 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hmm Steal Away and And I Am Telling You were amazing choices most of the awful songs have been selected by the judges or producers.

      Comment by Ramification – May 23, 2012 02:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Song choice is Jessica’s kryptonite and Nigel/Jimmy are Lex Luthor. It did make me give Jessica double digit votes last night and my wife who has not even voted all season even voted for her a few times after seeing the bias of Phillip getting that standing O at the end.

    Comment by two J's all the way – May 23, 2012 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anne K. Powers had a piece on NPR Morning Edition this morning saying she was over Idol – that’s they’d “jumped the shark” so many times it was like a show at Marine World. I agree. The show is dissappointing on so many levels. I know I’m being negative – but… whatevah!

    Comment by annehedonia – May 23, 2012 12:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • All of this hysteria is a bit much. Take a breath. Relax. It’s a TV show. Winning Idol doesn’t guarantee a successful career, just as losing doesn’t preclude one.

    Comment by Realist – May 23, 2012 12:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • so true. i just hope this will be over soon.

      Comment by beth – May 23, 2012 01:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SOOOOO TRUE!!! I’m not a huge fan of either of them but I was kinda hoping Jessica would win. But after hearing her and Phillips winner songs I want Phillip to win just so I don’t have to listen to Change Nothing again.

    Phillips song fits him like a glow and it will be probably the only winner song I ever buy. Poor Jessica’s on the other hand was like Jimmy asked Paul the Octopus to just pick a song.

    Comment by EvaneSam – May 23, 2012 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I usually agree with Slezak on most things, but I have to say, I thought Philip’s last song was awful. And it wasn’t Philip’s fault, I just thought the song itself was horrendous. It just was so lame in my opinion, and when the marching band came out, that made it even worse for me. I couldn’t believe it when the judges gave him a standing O. I really thought it was terrible. Am I alone on that?

    Comment by AJ – May 23, 2012 01:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, I didn’t think it was horrible but it rather bored me.

      Comment by aravis – May 23, 2012 06:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Slezak,
    When you were on EW your recaps were filled with fun and humor, not just your self-righteous opinion. Annie Barrett has surpassed you in every respect. You haven’t earned Jessica a single additional fan with your personal blog approach to AI coverage. Back to EW for me. Jessica chose a ballad for herself to showcase her big…no personality…no musical identity vocals. Why wouldn’t Simon Fuller do the same? He knew she was comfortable with Whitney and Celine and every other diva from the 1990′s. Musicians suggest arrangements, key changes, or whatever else they need to make a song work for them. It’s a competition and you wanted them to spoon feed her for the win. Well, maybe if Kris Allen had been there he would have helped the little kid.

    Comment by AS – May 23, 2012 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Geez, what bee got in your bonnet? Idology is hilarious but this (and previously Idolatry) are anchored by Michael’s genuine love for the crazy show. Other Idol correspondents tend to view it only as a platform for being snarky entertainment writer looking for next job (or neurotic, power mad bloggers but we won’t mention her lol) and any liking they admit to having for the show is heavily laced with irony and derision. You may not agree with Michael’s take on the singers – and there is a subjective factor certainly – but he strives to be fair and is willing to maintain an open mind about contestants throughout the season. And I think the recaps are always clever and entertaining – but they inevitably get more serious as the competition narrows. You’re the one who needs to lighten up my friend – and enjoy EW for the last show. (And i guess you won’t be back for S12 so say hi to Annie and buh bye.)

      Comment by Alice – May 23, 2012 01:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • lol what bee got in your bonnet? i have never heard that one before!

        Comment by tewence – May 23, 2012 01:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t see any change from his EW coverage to his TVline coverage. The only thing that’s different is the condensed idology :( The current EW recapper seems to be trying too hard to be funny…

      Comment by Sha – May 23, 2012 02:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Dear AS,
      I respectfully disagree! Slezak is the reason why I transitioned to TV Line, and he continuous to be frank, funny, and a wee bit obsessed, which makes Idology all that more wonderful. I still read EW’s coverage, and based on the quality of the writing alone, Slezak is to Annie Barrett what a steak is to a burger. And that’s without mentioning the content!

      Comment by bjp – May 23, 2012 02:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This poll was just taken live during a chat on CNN.com:

    Who do you think will win tonight? 
      Phillip ( 82% )
     Jessica ( 18% )

    Comment by givemeglenn – May 23, 2012 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Phillip is running 66% of the totqal poll vote on People. and Phillip won the (no complete) TVGuide poll with 69% of the vote.

      Comment by tarc – May 23, 2012 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The conspiracy theories are just bizarre. The goal of a record company is “gasp” to sell records. Aside from that, Jessica said last night that she strategically chose that song “to show her range.” she made a mistake. It’s too bad, but it isn’t a conspiracy.

    Comment by Kelly – May 23, 2012 01:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank you. So tired of all the conspiracy theories. The fact is, the “best singer” often doesn’t win. And if people think only great vocalists sell CDS, music on iTunes, etc, take a look at who is successful. Do you really think JLo has great VOCAL talent? There are scores of other popular recording artists out there who don’t have the vocal talent that Jessica has (or that several of the contestants have for that matter). And there are many talented vocalists out there that are not getting the success they deserve. I agree witht he person above who felt the top 6-7 will proabably all get contracts. And no matter how successful they are, they’ll probably make more money over the next year than a lot of us posting here! I wish them all success.

      Comment by CAM – May 23, 2012 03:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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