American Idol Season 11 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is... [Updated]

If the Phillip Phillips-vs.-Jessica Sanchez showdown of American Idol‘s eleventh season was an apples-vs-oranges kind of affair, then tonight’s season finale — featuring the inarguably terrific Top 13 12* — was a weird and occasionally wonderful smorgasbord. (*Uncle Nigel: “Jermaine Jones was just a figment of your imagination!”)

We had Season 3 champ Fantasia Barrino in a Crystal Gayle wig and, um, unfortunate spangled catsuit with side-leg cutouts (!) grabbing Joshua Ledet and turning the Nokia into a beautiful, howling messerie. We had John Fogerty, Reba McEntire, and Jordin Sparks dueting with Season 11 standouts Phillip Phillips, Skylar Laine, and Hollie Cavanagh. (More on those performances — including letter grades — a little later in this recap.)

PHOTOS | American Idol: The 21 Best Performances of Season 11!

Marriage was “spontaneously” proposed (said spontaneity almost certainly practiced and perfected in the office of Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo’s publicists). The phone book was sung. (Randy Jackson: “Literally!”) Too many medleys robbed us of individual moments for Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Colton Dixon, and Skylar (who should’ve gotten two numbers, no?). And Rihanna and J.Lo showed us exactly why it’s Idol alumni — and not many of today’s “regular” chart-toppers/floor-writhers — who are the go-to candidates when it’s time to belt the National Anthem at the start of most televised sporting events.

PHOTOS | American Idol: 25 Best Performances of All Time

And then Jennifer Holliday and Jessica Sanchez tore the face off of music as we know it, flipped it, revesed it, performed an exorcism on it, and made it whole again. Or something insane like that. Mama Holliday scared the tarnation out of me, and I loved it.

I could’ve/should’ve blacked out when the performance was finished, but there was still the matter of crowing the American Idol season 11 champ.

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

Dim the lights, Kieran! Your new American Idol is…Phillip Phillips! Congrats, sir, and be thankful you got the first decent coronation single in Idol history. There really are no boundaries anymore. Maybe not even at alternative/rock radio? (I know, I know, but I’m an optimist at heart.)

But before we start mullipng P2’s future, let’s review the night’s disparate and many performances:

The Top 12 (minus the Top 2), “Runaway Baby” I can’t lie and say I didn’t like this better when Joshua covered it by his lonesome a few weeks back. (Proof that one voice can be more powerful than 10.) That said, who knew Skylar was so adept at group choreography? And who’d have guessed Mr. Ledet would get his SYTYCD on and wind up falling on his butt? (E for effort, though!) Grade: B-

Phillip Phillips & John Fogerty, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” I couldn’t not love how genuinely excited Phillip looked sharing the mic with the CCR frontman for this performance, but why cover something P2 already sang just a few weeks ago? It’s not like Uncle Nigel couldn’t shake out the couches in J.Lo’s dressing room and clear a half-dozen new ditties for the finale, right? That feeling of déjá vu, combined with just a slight lag in energy, left me spending too much time focusing on what was around Fogerty’s neck (a black rubber bandana, maybe?) and not enough on the music. Grade: B

Phillip Phillips & John Fogerty, “Bad Moon Rising” Aha, now that was more like it. This swampy stomper fit Phillip’s vibe like a teaspoon fits a jar of peanut butter during midnight snacking hour. And the Phillips-Fogerty chemistry definitely benefitted from having a warmup number, too. I just wish the dudes had made it a trip (that’s a typo for “trio,” but “trip” works fine, too) by waving up Carrie Underwood, who jammed out and sang along from her seat in the audience. Grade: A-

Random observation: Of course Randy yells awful stuff like “Put him in the dumpster!” when he sees a wee thing like Ryan Seacrest get hoisted in the air by a mob of dudes.

Joshua Ledet and Fantasia Barrino, “Take Me to the Pilot” A hot, honeyed catastrophe of straining sequins, frantic camera work (Idol Director: “They’ve gone and left the stage!”) and ridiculous holleration? Or two of the best Idol contestants of all time breaking free from musical convention and letting the Holy Spirit take over? My sane half says the former, but the part of me that lost my damn mind hollering and clapping says the latter, obviously! (Also: Is this song set on an airplane?) Grade: D+/A+

Random observation: My take-home message from that whole “Jimmy Iovine repeatedly referring to J.Lo as ‘Jessica’ during his results-show critique tapings”? Dude’s observations are as carefully groomed and managed as Ryan Seacrest’s eyebrows.

Chaka Khan and the Ladies of the Top 12, “Ain’t Nobody”/”Through the Fire”/”I’m Every Woman” I’m not 100 percent sure the music of Chaka Khan brought out the best in any of the Season 11 chicas — though Elise sounded surprisingly solid growling it up on that disco nugget “Ain’t Nobody.” It’s also a shame that Chaka didn’t take notes from John Fogerty/Jennifer Holliday/Reba McEntire about how to engage with the Idols — namely, don’t treat them like underpaid backup singers. They’re the ones pulling in 20 million viewers, after all. Then again, maybe Chaka couldn’t see over her breasts? File under: #PantsuitFail Grade: C

Rihanna, “Where Have You Been” She hasn’t been going to her vocal lessons, that’s one place she hasn’t been. This was all writhing bodies and Egyptian-themed set pieces and pre-recorded vocals, signifying that there’s something really wrong with how we’re choosing our hitmakers nowadays. Grade: D

Skylar Laine & Reba McEntire, “Turn on the Radio” The camera work and sound mix on this performance malfunctioned harder than Fantasia’s stylist. But dangit all, Skylar and Reba’s pumped-up pipes and effervescent stage presence turned it into one of the night’s most enjoyable moments. It’s amazing that a teenager who just finished fifth on a televised singing competition can hold her own — without the slightest bit of awkwardness or trepidation — opposite one of the true legends of country music. Prediction: In five years’ time, Skylar will have sold more records than anyone from Season 11. (Which is not a knock on any of the contestants of Season 11. Skylar’s just gonna sell a lot of records.) Grade: A-

Random observation: Tell me I’m not the only one who half-gagged at that “two become one” image of Steven Tyler embracing a live sloth.

Jessica Sanchez, “I Will Always Love You” Nigel Lythgoe, seriously, clear more songs for these kids! Jessica sounded as powerful and potent as ever on this encore presentation of her Top 13 Week number, but right down to her blue ballgown, all the details were exactly the same. I mean, why buy the Idol Season Finale when you can get the milk for free on YouTube, if that makes any sense? Grade: B+

Neil Diamond and the Top 12 guys (minus Phillip), “America”/”Cracklin Rosie”/”I’m a Believer” True confession: I don’t care for medleys in general. And I especially didn’t care for this medley in particular. Which is not to say that everything in life needs to play to the 18-34 demographic — otherwise you might as well take me out to the field with a fresh-baked Cinnabon and a blunt object — but everybody involved seemed like they would’ve been more excited to get their hands caught in the door of Jessica’s new Ford whateverthatcarwas. Grade: C

Idol Top 10 (minus the Top 2), “Sing the Phone Book,” A brutal skewering of Randy Jackson’s turgid critiques is always appreciated. But the closing bit of this number — with Joshua getting carried away in a fit of Gospel showboating, and his fellow Idols giving him the exhausted side eye — was a hilarious bit of self-deprecating humor from Season 11’s third-place finisher. Grade: A-

J.Lo and Some People Who Flew in On Pogo Sticks of the Future, “A ‘song’ from a new Step Up movie not starring Channing Tatum and his meaty brand of hotness”/”And also another ‘song'” Ooh, her lipsynch game is as tight as…actually, her pants were shockingly baggy this time around, no? Grade: Girl, don’t you make enough money from Idol and movies and all your product endorsements that you can stop pretending to be a singer now? (J.Lo: “Enough. A 2002 thriller starring yours truly and that dude from The Killing. Get it on Blu-Ray today on Amazon.com for $14.99.”)

Random observation: WHAT IF ACE YOUNG’S HAIR AND DIANA DEGARMO’S BANGS HAVE A BABY TOGETHER?

Hollie Cavanagh and Jordin Sparks, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” Perhaps not the most inventive, unexpected performance in Idol finale history, but sometimes isn’t it enough to have two lovely ladies belting a ballad with charm and style to spare? Why yes, sometimes it is! Grade: B+

Top 12 guys (minus Phillip), Bee Gees medley Yikes. Nobody told me When Harmonies Attack was returning to the Fox lineup. (That said, Joshua’s “To Love Somebody” kinda rescued the medley, even if it was yet another retread from earlier in the season.) Grade: C

Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” Holy face-pulling, Batman! La Holliday’s expressions ping-ponged from rage to elation to suspicion to defiance and all the way to “SAAAANG HEFFFUH!” — and I could not get enough. If Steven Tyler needs someone to help him understand the meaning of “over the top,” the search is finished. I loved how the original Broadway Dreamgirl shook and cajoled Jessica using only her eyes and her powerhouse vocal, somehow managing to get the Season 11 finalist to dig even deeper into her reserves of soulful growl, and counter with what’s likely the performance of her young lifetime. Jessica may not have won the title of American Idol, but as far as I’m concerned this duet was the telecast’s biggest prize, one of the all-time great moments this show has ever given us. The end. Grade: A++

Jessica & Phillip, “Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong” A sweet little interlude to take us past 10:00 pm, and thereby cut into Idoloonies’ Revenge time (over on ABC). No, I’m not sure why Jessica wore violet curtains, or why Phillip couldn’t be bothered to wear a dress shirt underneath his tux, but I’ve seen a lot worse outfits on the Idol stage and in my own closet, so lemme just shut my pie hole. Grade: A-

Phillip, “Home” Whether or not you voted for the 21-year-old pawn-shop worker, it was hard not to get a little choked up watching him try (then fail) to get through his lilting coronation single. Because regardless of race, gender, or musical style, at the end of the Idol season, these three things must remain: Hugs, confetti, and tears. But the greatest of these is tears. So thank you, Phillip Phillips for doing your championly duty, and best of luck on the charts! Grade: A

And with that, I thank all of you for joining me for another “Idol journey.” But remember: It’s not over yet! I’ll have an interview with executive producer Nigel Lythgoe posting here at TVLine on Thursday, Idology interviews with the Top 5 contestants running over the next couple weeks, and plenty of galleries and post-season goodies comin’ ‘atcha, too.

So with that, I turn things over to you: What did you think of the final two hours of Season 11? What were your favorite performances? What do you think of Phillip’s win? And was the J.Holl duet a good enough consolation prize for Jessica? Sound off below, and for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps — including those extended video Q&As with the Idol Top 5 — follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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

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1391 Comments
  1. Miscellaneopolan says:

    Aerosmith gave my favorite performance(s) of the night. That was hot. I was disappointed Elise didn’t get a duet. I was looking forward to that. Phillip breaking down at the end was sweet, and it all did make for a great visual. Good season.

  2. rd1991 says:

    Stopped watching when Skylar went out (Slezak where is her exit interview????) but tuned back in for the final as I don’t think I could ever completely cut Idol out of my life. I have to say overall I have been pretty disappointed with this season, which is a shame as I thought the contestants this year had so much potential but didn’t really live up to the hype. I had hoped that Jessica would win as it would’ve been nice to see a girl victor for a change (the most successive idol alumnis are pretty much all girls) but Phillips song was better and he probably needed to win more then Jessica who will have a lot of record companies chasing after her im sure. Heres hoping for a potentially awesome girl singer to win the crown next year!

  3. John says:

    I am a self-confessed Jessica FAN throughout the entire season but from what I saw at Jessica made me really happy and satisfied from what she did to make all the way to the finale, she almost gut cut you know? I am happy Jessica automatically hugged Phillip when he was announced as the winner, that was genuine and SWEET. :)

    • HudsonRiveerside says:

      Yes, Jessica showed who she is – a bright, lovable individual. Just humble and classy. As for the duet; She always had that performance in her even before Idol, her audition showed that. All season long I was looking for her to show the singer I saw way before Idol. She seemed to have it in the early stages, then closed the season with it. So I’m glad she placed very high, but in the future Idol really needs to redo their song catalog and bring in some current song themes. The talent will ONLY get younger and younger and due to the themes staying in decades most of their parents barely recall, Too many shows will pass them by.

    • TC says:

      No offense John but what was she suppose to do-run off the stage and throw a temper tantrum??

  4. Terry says:

    Woo Hoo, WGWG, let’s make it six in a row next season! *rolls eyes*

    BTW, I highly recommend y’all go buy Haley Reinhart’s album ‘Listen Up!’, I did and, I admit I’m biased cuz I’m a huge fan, it is fantabulous!!!!! Oh My!

    I love how Slezak still has the Slayer as his Twitter background. Hey Michael since there’s no one flower-worthy this year, I suggest you give Haley another bouquet in celebration of her debut album. ;)

    • FreeHaley says:

      haha good call! another bouquet for Haley for her new album!

      • Tiff says:

        I love the new album, but I absolutely think Joshua deserves the bouquet. His final couple of weeks were unbelievable. He definitely should have been in the finale, and come on, he killed it on the show tonight.

        • FreeHaley says:

          OK yeah to be fair gotta give bouquet to this season’s contestants too, let Josh and Elise get one for this season, they deserve it sure, and then given Haley one for new album. I think TVline can afford three!

          Man, really loving the Haley album, finally listened to it all. Good stuff, it’s a rare album that there isn’t at least one song that I simply don’t like at all. And it’s very rare to really love as many as seven a ton on a single album. Really loved 6 or 7 of them, really liked another 3 or 4. Even my least favorite three on the album were still decent for me, definitely no hitting next track. That’s pretty rare no matter who it is (not talking Idols, talking anyone). I mean there are very few albums I’ve ever had where I don’t feel like hitting next track at least a couple of times. And getting back to Idols, some who I liked a lot on the show, say McPhee, well on her debut album I only sorta liked like one song on the entire album, it seemed likey they really waster her skills. Thankfully Haley didn’t get a mess. I think she was said to have fought quite a bit to make it a bit more like what she wanted. So much for Randy saying she had no clue about making an album. I think, for Idol winners especially, it helps if they really know what they want and have a strong musical sense and know how to stand up for themselves.

          • Marsaili says:

            Skylar has already been given the bouquet—Michael released a picture of him and her the other day and she had the bouquet in her arms.

          • TheBeach says:

            I agree with you that Haley has put out a killer album. The only song I really didn’t like was “Follow Me” and that was because of the way it was produced. I’m not a fan of that “computerized” kind of sound. Otherwise, great CD, Haley.

          • FreeHaley says:

            yeah that one was decent, but in my bottom three on the album I think

    • Meghan says:

      Just picked her album up yesterday. Apparently the deluxe version is only available at Walmart – had to go there because I wanted those 4 extra songs of course. Haven’t had a chance to listen to most of it yet but what I’ve heard has been stuck in my head all day! =)

  5. Jessica wins says:

    I have not watched since season 6 and think I will go on another 5 year hiatus. I don’t know why singers even try out for this show anymore if you are not a WGWG you WILL NOT WIN!

    • teatime says:

      You have not watched since season 6? But you post your opinion here?

      • fiona says:

        I think he meant that this is the first time he’s watched since s6

        • J Sanchez still a winner in my book says:

          That is what I meant, this is my first time watching since season 6. I think they should go back to not allowing contestants to play instruments when performing. Last night Jessica sang her horrid original song on stage basically solo. Phillip had a better fitting song then had all the bells and whistles (marching band and standing O), and we are “surprised” who won.

          Jessica sang her butt off tonight and held back on the duet with Phillip, oh well, I will be buying her CD, Phillip, not so much.

          • teatime says:

            I will buy Phillip’s CD. Most my CD’s are from artists who are musicians. Different strokes.

          • two J's all the way says:

            musicians can’t be artist? #confused
            What I enjoyed most about this season was there were so many styles and genres represented. For Randy to keep saying that Philip was the one true artist on the show was one of the most idiotic things he said.

            As many have said it is all about styles, tastes, and what buyers like. If Jessica is given the right material and promotion, she has the potential to be the biggest international idol from all seasons. Jimmy said it best, we will see Jessica singing on the Grammys.

  6. loca says:

    jennifer holiday nad jessica sanchez duet is epic!

  7. JASon says:

    They taped a song with Jessica and Chenowith last night. I was there. They didn’t air it?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I didn’t see it – unless it happened while my husband wouldn’t SHUT UP telling me a story about his dog nearly killing a chipmunk! I can check my DVR again.

    • deedee says:

      No, they didn’t air it. There was also rumor about a Donna Summer tribute with some 70’s Divas (besides Chaka Kahn).

    • TheBeach says:

      That’s a shame. Maybe if they had dumped the ridiculous proposal they would have had time for it.

  8. Kimgel says:

    I’m a big fan of jessica-
    she came too far-congratulations to her also to PP.
    I just hope that PP will have a more successful career than any idol contestants.It’s a shame and a big slap on his face if the non winner contestants have better career.Too much pressure and have high expectations to PP because he is the winner.I just hope that this will clear the narrowminded haters of jessica saying that this was fixed for her to win.Now she didn’t win,i hope you stop complaining about the save so that she could win.High hopes for jessica.

  9. Darcy says:

    What happened to Kristin Chenoweth and Jessica’s Donna Summer tribute?

  10. ali427 says:

    Thought for sure after the boys’ tribute to Robin Gibb, the girls would honor Donna Summer. Where’s the love for her??

    • FreeHaley says:

      wow, good point

    • Sha says:

      I was expecting that as well :S

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Surely they could have cut out Rhianna to air a Donna Summer tribute!

      • smidnite says:

        I wish they would have cut that cheesier than hell rendition of sweet Caroline with Jack Nicholson <i.oops! Neil Diamond.

    • Amy says:

      Hmm. I was thinking that it was weird that the boys got two medleys and the girls only got one, so that makes sense, but apparently, they could fit in TWO J.Lo and Steven Tyler songs, two random bits about the judges that were cringe-inducing and a terrible Rhianna performance, and they couldn’t fit in a tribute to Donna Summer (not to mention more contestant duets/performances). *That* makes sense. *eye roll*

      • FreeHaley says:

        +1, to get aerosmith there they gotta give two but JLo has had as many performance this season as some of the contestants and it wasn’t RHianna’s best, get colton, elise out there and give donna summer her due.

      • SnsetblazeI says:

        Rihanna’s been on idol and other such shows before. Has she ever given a good “live”!performance?

    • Chrissie Kirk says:

      American Idol has become the All Boys/No Girls Allowed club … and that is due to all the little girls voting I suppose and too the producers I can fault also. All along the powers that be wanted Phil to win and so, as normal with them, they gave Jessica the love and that turned into votes for Phil (and too his health situation got the voters going “awwww, poor baby–we’ll make it better and dial his number a bajillion times”). Idol has lost its way and it makes me very sad.

  11. FreeHaley says:

    Well I guess it’s pretty much true a Haley or Elise will never win this show again and they won’t even be invited to even really have a shot. A Jessica will be invited be won’t ever manage it.

    A man another thing about Elise not getting top five is no performance tonight and on top they had her buried back in the groups as much as others who placed even much lower, oh well.

    But still it has to bring a smile to yourself to see Phillip so overcome with joy and having had all the (incredibly literal) pain of fighting through it all without ever giving up, pay off in the end. Had to feel awesome for him. You could see how much all of that meant when it finally sunk in and hit him. Congrats man!

    • teatime says:

      Haley could have won and should have won. She just needed support from the judges. Maybe if the judging panel changes next year we can get some better support for next year’s “Haley.”

      • FreeHaley says:

        Yeah but that is my point she (and to a lesser extent Elise) wasn’t even invited by the judges or powers that be to dare to actually win it. Without every last greyhound in the fleet maybe Haley would’ve won, she certainly would’ve breezed to the top two with ease (and should’ve breezed to the win with ease, but that is another story*) and it’s a shame they did turn a chunk of the potential listening audience against, that was pathetic of Nigel or whoever.

        The show has turned into something that will never give true support to a Haley or Elise and it will turn on them and eat them alive if they ever seem like they might be a true top two threat.

        But yeah sure if the production and judges didn’t bring out the fleet, but the fact is the production and the judges are the show so no she couldn’t have won, but heck yeah she should’ve won.

        (*the guy with a guitar does seem to have become something hard to overcome though, many say that Scotty, somehow, had as many votes as all others combined, or nearly so, certain weeks; even on The Voice, guys won both years now and most of the girls wouldn’t have even survived even near the final without judge’s saves this season)

        I stopped watching after how far they took it last year, I quit after top 3. I didn’t start until the first post hollywood performances and even then I only watched casually and even entirely skipped a couple times but Elise kinda pulled me in, suckered me in again, even then I would often only watch the last 5 minutes of results nights and I skipped the week after Elise got dumped and parts of other weeks since.

      • Chrissie Kirk says:

        OMG…and still they go on and on and on about Haley from the previous season…she must wonder why she didn’t win last year!! You guys crack me up!! I let it go long ago when Jennifer Hudson was sent home but you don’t hear me naggin’ on about it!! (Oh Good Lord, what did they do to Fantasia? My eyeballs fell out of my head when she came out on stage!)

  12. Chris says:

    It was pretty obvious ace and Diana would get engaged. Inut I wish it had been private

    • chastity fudge says:

      I thought the ‘sponsored’ engagement seemed particularly classy. Who doesn’t want a blatant televised plug for such a personal moment?

      • FreeHaley says:

        I was a little shocked they had to name the jewelry maker, tacky and it doesn’t make the jewelry maker look any good it makes them seem like a taking ring maker. But obvious all that said they were nervous and excited as heck so it was real in the real real sense in the end.

        • Yo' says:

          Tacky,tacky tacky. I don’t need to see that on television; if I wanted to see that I would watch a reality show……….oops.

        • deedee says:

          Well, how else was Ace going to get a free engagement ring!? Jeez, people!

          • FreeHaley says:

            Haha, but man I couldn’t imagine doing that, if it has to be less carats or something then so be it. Better that then after the ceremony: “Sooo…. hey….. ummm… yeah soooo… hey babe! Pretty awesome ceremony, riiight?!! Umm right? What, what was that weird advertising voice and something about a ring maker? hah. nothing. I don’t know. what? nothing. What, what, was I advertising our ring maker? Hah!? Silly you. what? hey. hah. nothing. what? Ummm hey, wait, wait where are you g…. CALL ME!”

            (but again listen they seemed to care enough to be nervous as all heck so it’s probably best to not comment so I better shut up now)

          • TheBeach says:

            LOL

          • smidnite says:

            Coming Soon: Diana scores a free gown by appearing on Say Yes To The Dress!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I thought I read they were already engaged.

      • Brigette says:

        I know! I can’t get over it. EWW.

    • Viviana says:

      It seemed so rehearsed. And I hated that he said the name of the jeweler. He still would’ve gotten credit for designing the ring in magazine interviews and online. Seemed like Ace sold out by having to say the name on air. Anywho it seems like an odd couple to me.

      • Jo says:

        I thought the Ace and Ryan part was rehearsed, but I watched Diana afterward. She was heaving with her breathing and shaking. Not really noticable, but I was looking because I thought it was completely staged, myself being extremely cynical and non-romantic. But I really think the whole proposal was a surprise to her. I think she knew right after they were pulled up on stage, but her emotions was real.

  13. darcy the slutty twin says:

    I am off to download my favorite tunes from Phillip, Jessica, Hollie, Heejun and Elise before they get yanked from iTunes!

  14. Cal says:

    It’s a joke.He maybe be crowned the winner, but Jessica will have the better career. That last few males winners outside of Adam are doing nothing.
    Phillipx2 could barely sing the duet song they did. He sucks and has no voice. Taylor Hicks reborn. And you see how that turned out.

  15. Sha says:

    “And then Jennifer Holliday and Jessica Sanchez tore the face off of music as we know it, flipped it, revesed it, performed an exorcism on it, and made it whole again. Or something insane like that. Mama Holliday scared the tarnation out of me, and I loved it.”

    Somehow, you always manage to give the best assessments of these performances which are more like rare religious experiences (and I’m not even that religious!). My mom who hasn’t been the biggest Jessica fan could only utter “wow!” in disbelief (and praise) after that.

  16. teatime says:

    Good for Phillip! I love his new song.

  17. Davey says:

    Did they pay Jessica to throw the contest last night? It was like another Jessica was on stage tonight.

    • RodMod says:

      LOL. Interesting assessment. xD

    • J Sanchez still a winner in my book says:

      …and I am telling you, I agree.

      • HudsonRiveerside says:

        Who knows what is really going on behind the scenes? Less of Jessica throwing anything, but I really believe she came to a realization that Iovine has no clue to how to market her post Idol. Last night, she gave the first impression of a disillusioned girl, that she was expecting more from the songs they gave her. She actually looked relieved at the winner’s announcement and even stated so in the after show comments. If you listened to her very early interviews, Jessica wanted to sing a whole different genre and pushed for it early but got the “sing ballads” direction. She can do that very well but they never gave her the opportunity to return to the early round Jessica. We’d hear little bits here and there, but tonight was special. She’s free to do her record, tour and get experience on the stage. I know one thing, she knows how to motivate herself and now she’ll have more opportunities.

        • Tiff says:

          I really believe you re: Jessica’s genre. I thought her best two performances were the Beyonce song (with the red doors) and Stuttering – they were brilliant. She didn’t get great reviews on either, so they pushed her in another direction. I really hope she gets some good mentorship and material after this. She deserves it.

  18. Ryan says:

    Of the WGWG winners, I think they all deserved to beat their respective runners-up, EXCEPT for Crystal over Lee. For me, that was the real clincher that women have little hope on this show because Crystal was unique, low-key, and infinitely more interesting and talented than Lee. A white guy myself, I was all for Cook, Allen, and McCreery (although I technically stopped caring after Haley left… but quickly opted for Scotty after seeing the producers and judges casually toss Scotty under the bus).

    • Tiff says:

      I kind of agree with you. I don’t have a problem with WGWGs at all. It’s when they beat out other contestants that are more deserving – that’s when I take offense. This year, I felt that P2 was not quite as deserving as Joshua, Hollie, Jessica, Skylar or Elise.

      • Ryan says:

        Based on sheer technical vocal ability, I’d agree, but in terms of uniqueness and changing up songs to fit one’s style, I think P2 dominated. I was rooting for him in this year’s finale.
        Most often, my real favorite gets cut earlier in the season, and then in the Final Two, I prefer the WGWG to their one competitor. I think Kris Allen (and now P2) was the only WGWG I picked from the start as a favorite.

        • Didi says:

          Uniqueness?
          He was performing an impersonator act for half of the season.

          That said, I like his kind of music and towards the end he started to come into his own.
          Plus his song was much better than what Jessica got, so in the finale, he deserved to win.
          But I think even his biggest fans can admit he only got there due to the “cute guy” vote.

          • Marsaili says:

            Um, no Didi—his biggest fans put him there because they like his music. The whole “he won because he is cute” comes from the people who don’t like his music but don’t have any real argument against him so they use that lame excuse instead.

  19. Lisa says:

    I gained much more respect for Jessica tonight. Anyone who can go toe to toe with Jennifer Holiday like she did tonight gets major props from me. They sang the slappedy jappy out of that song. That was incredible. Also Chaka Khan looked fabulous! Divas rule!

    • RodMod says:

      “SLAPPEDY JAPPY”

      *STOLEN*

      Haha! xD

    • Bobbi says:

      CHAKA KHAN looked and sounded Amazing! I have been picking Chaka songs to be covered all year and the real deal showed up. What a voice. Jessica probably got the best second tuner up duet send off ever on the show. It was an insane duet. Jennifer Holliday went Broadway on her and she gave it right back. You can tell she was just loving the moment!

  20. karenb says:

    I cannot express how much this finale absolutely SUCKED!! I can not get over the pimpage of ANCIENT “idols/icons” along with the disgusting self-promotion of JLo. I mean HOW MANY TIMES DOES THAT MAKE IN ONE SEASON???? Of her Ridulafa?! Good flipping bye !!!

    On a lighter note….. TAKE THAT “JAX GUY, ETC!! ETC!!”

    PHILLLIIIIPPP BBBAAABBBBYYYY!!!!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      (laughing) Hopefully jaxguy isn’t slitting his wrists.
      When Jennifer (Lopez) came on to sing the conversation at our house went like this…
      Husband – “In the name of everything holy, please tell me you can fast forward through this”.
      Me – “No, unfortunately I’m caught up and we’re on Live TV”.
      Husband – “Then mute this crap. At least she’s nice to look at!”.

  21. darcy's evil twin says:

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…THIS…IS…AMERICAN…WHITE GUY!
    Well, I must say the following –
    .
    1. “Urban Sister Bebe Chez” sang ANOTHER Whitney song (written by a blonde hillbilly from the Smokey Mountains – hello!) and a big a** show tune. “And I am tellllllllllling youuuuuuuuuuu….I am ur-ban!”
    .
    2. High points of the program –
    * P2 singing with John Fogerty. “There’s a bathroom on the right”.
    * Aerosmith singing “Walk this way”.
    * JOSHUA! Too bad Fantasia had to horn in on his performance. Crap, she looked like she just walked in off of a performance of “Beauty School Dropout”.
    * Reba and Skylar singing “Turn on the Radio” (had to back the DVR up for hubby on that one. He loves Reba).
    * Wow, they found the perfect duet for P2 and Jessica! And right when I told my husband, “I’ll be SO disappointed if the gospel choir doesn’t make and appearance”, THERE THEY WERE!
    .
    3. After seeing Chaka Khan in that sparkly bodysuit shakin’ her groove thing I am feeling confident about my body! Buying a new bikini tomorrow!
    .
    Congrats to P2!

    • Davey says:

      The Aerosmith number was a horror show.

    • Leah says:

      Chaka lost a lot of weight, she’s proud of her new body.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Well, good for her, but there’s still too much of Chaka to be wearing a sparkly, painted-on unitard. The Fashion Police need to come after her AND Fantasia for crimes against good taste.

        • Sandi says:

          In Fantasia’s case, I think that the outfit was the least of her worries. But, since we’re talking about outfits, I honestly don’t think a supermodel could’ve pulled off either of those jumpsuits. They were just all kinds of wrong.

          As long as we’re talking fashion, I wasn’t feelin’ JLo’s droopy drawers outfit either but, again, least of her worries..

  22. Davey says:

    Jessica needs to get away from the Idol Machine as soon as she can.

  23. chastity fudge says:

    They need to overhaul this show badly.
    1. Revise the voting system
    2. New judges who give valid and constructive criticism to make the singers better perfomers
    3. The producers need to blatantly stop pushing their agenda
    4. They need some younger people who work for the show to try and encourage more styles of music that goes beyond top 40 crap

    That being said, PP seems like a nice guy, and I wish him the best.

    • Njloonie says:

      Absolutely the judges have to go. They added nothing, and they unfairly influenced the results. There are better judges on THe SIng-Off who knew how to fairly critique. Hell, there are better judges onAmerica’s Best Dance CRew (randy, take notes!)

      • FreeHaley says:

        +2

      • chastity fudge says:

        They basically were overpriced clapping seals this season. J Lo could not comment without referring to her ‘notes’. Not once.

        • Chrissie Kirk says:

          And she always talks way too fast (maybe that is a blessing) and her hands become CLAWS when she talks and her accent becomes too thick and she just has to go…please!

      • Sandi says:

        I don’t know either of the shows you mentioned but I agree that the voting system stinks and the judges stink worse. Although I have to say that the Aerosmith numbers last night renewed my love for Steven Tyler. i still remember that I hate him as a judge, though.

        To be fair, though, and as long as we’re comparing AI to other shows, I have a feeling that compared to Britney Spears on X-Factor, Steven/Jennifer/Randy will look like Mensa candidates.

    • FreeHaley says:

      +1 (although I don’t necessarily mind top 40 crap haha and the show is American Idol, they don’t even do that much current top 40 crap actually)

  24. ameryth74 says:

    Dear America, you keep voting for these guys, then you don’t buy their albums. In the words of Donald Trump, #YoureFired This WGWG thing should have ended after Kris Allen (#KrisAllenForeverLOL). I’m still on #TeamTodrickHall from season 9, but stopped watching Idol after that week of eliminations… Idol has lost all credibility at this point as their winners seems to sell less and less albums every year… what happened to the musical diversity we got in earlier seasons? And just for the record, I’m normally a sucker for a cute boy with guitar, but Jessica is clearly superior and I never would have voted for Lee DeWyze or Scotty McCreery either.

    • Leah says:

      The reason why America doesn’t buy Idol albums is because their albums usually end up being in a completely different style than what they did on Idol….that, or the songs they’re given SUCK and are an embarrassment.

      • Amy says:

        Exactly. It’s so frustrating because there are so many really great singers on Idol, but when they make music professionally, it’s either completely different from what they did on the show, poorly written or sadly under-hyped. I hate getting invested in someone while knowing that they will almost inevitably disappoint me after they leave Idol. Honestly, if the world was fair, Idol alumni would be more successful than most of the people on the Top 40 because they can actually, you know, sing.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Haley’s first album is cool at least. It may fall a bit into under-hyped though, no mention on itunes emails of new releases as Kris got or talk show rounds as Kimbra, etc.

          It does show that being top two DOES help get you press and radio more easily. Hopefully it doesn’t stay under-hyped for long. It did peak on itunes as high as at least #5 I think so far.

          • tarc says:

            That’s the upside to choosing an ‘artist’ – they write their own music. Haley wrote or co-wrote every song and the album is great. Phillip has the same advantage – but he had to make sure 19 doesn’t railroad him.

          • FreeHaley says:

            Yeah the artist types do have a bit of an advantage. A few can hang on for more than an album or song or two, but not a lot. Anyway yeah, as for Phillip, he does have that going for him and you can see that he is the sort who is who he is and might strongly resist change no matter how polite he may seem, that should help him a bit.

      • susela says:

        But Philip is a singer/songwriter, so we may have some nice surprises coming our way from him. I’d love to hear his own stuff.

      • tarc says:

        19 has bungled several of them – particularly Lee DeWyze. We know all those guys are talened, and they got the lucky break, but good material is as vital as air for singers.

  25. Paramour says:

    joshua and fantasia gave me a headache. and i do like them , but it was a bit too much screeching for me.

  26. Isa says:

    The WGWG dilemma is all Lee DeWyze’s fault. He, unlike his predecessors, wasn’t good at all.

  27. karenb says:

    Pop quiz!! How many diiferent user names will Jax Guy use to trash Philip so that it appears that he is not alone in his views ?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller??

  28. Chris says:

    I think Jessica was good. Just so boring. Sing something besides a slow draggy song. The sing they gave her was awful. Next season limit the votes and get rid of the judges save.

  29. Stacey says:

    Yet another cute guy with a guitar. Ban instruments. Since they came in, all men have won. But I knew it would happen. Phillip won’t sell music. His music doesn’t sell unless he’s country. But on to tonight. After Jessica and Jennifer tore up the place. Say what you will about her connection issues with songs, but her voice is pure. Skylar and Reba were amazing. Shows Skylar has a place in country. And too bad she came a year after a all country final. Because she should have been in the finale with Jessica!

    • Marsaili says:

      He’ll sell his music to me. And there are a lot more people like me who will continue to buy his music—just like I have bought Carrie, Cooks, Crystals, Brooke White, Jason Castro, Daughtry—if I like someone, I stick with them—and I don’t give a crap if they are Carrie or Kelly huge. All the other MEN WITH GUITARS AND HUGE TALENTS are doing GREAT! Skylar sang with Reba, she’s going to be fine—people who like country are LOYAL fans, Nashville will embrace her just like they did Scotty and Lauren.

    • Liz says:

      He can sell because his style of music right now, especially his winner’s song, is exactly what is popular. Look at Mumford and Sons. Even f he changes a bit, DMB sells like crazy, John Mayer is having a huge debut, etc.

  30. chelle says:

    What in the hell was with Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong? I couldn’t stop laughing.

  31. googlecat says:

    Congratulations Phillip! You fought the good fight. Take care of yourself now and get well soon. I’ll be waiting for Jessica’s first album.

  32. fiona says:

    okay Fantasia scared the crap out of me when she appeared. I was loving Joshuas solo before then.

    Holliday’s face were scary yet I loved it all the same

    weird anomolies.

    Sad that Jessica win but she ended the season on a SUPER GLORY NOTE Damn my hearts still racing from AND I AM TELLING YOU

    and honestly she has the best personality on stage when she gets to be herself and sing a whole array of songs not the sabotage of 3 ballads in a row (For two weeks straight) Though I DID love the Prayer encore. If she got to sing what she sang today she would have won else the end of the world

    • deedee says:

      Yup, just as I suspected, Fantasia couldn’t help but get all “demon child” on Josh’s arse. Give the boy his moment in the sun, Fant, jeez. Poor Joshua had no problem keeping up with her vocally, but she just steamrolled him under her bedazzled spandex unitard. He never stood a chance.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        WTH was it with the sparkly spandex unitards? Are Fantasia and Chaka Khan shopping at the same store? Neither of them should have been wearing those things.

      • deedee says:

        Alright, I re-watched the performance, and she wasn’t really hogging the spotlight – it just seemed that was the first time because I couldn’t take my eyes off her hair, rofl. Joshua definitely got into it and held his own. Man, he’s a possessed once the spirit hits him.

      • tarc says:

        That was the musically ugliest duet I’ve ever seen. I sat, mouth agape at the trainwreck.

      • ivy says:

        yeah. unlike J. Holliday who gave Jessica her moment. it was like watching a mother mentor her daughter. so sweet.

      • TheBeach says:

        I agree, deedee. I like Joshua and I’m happy for him that he got to sing with his idol but that was just awful and the more she screamed the more he tried to do the same and it disintegrated into a hot mess.

        • FreeHaley says:

          I actually supported her win and liked Josh this season but yeah that came totally undone. totally.

  33. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    Well, all those votes last night were apparently for nothing. But I’m happy for Phillip. He was one of my original favorites, and the way I heard it, he never gave a truly “bad” performance. (I actually didn’t mind “Time of the Season;” please don’t call me deaf.) His winner’s single “Home” Rocks (note the capital “R”), and as long as his producers don’t force him into a pop mold, he will sell very well. Remember “Movin’ Out,” “Volcano,” and “We’ve Got Tonight.”
    And Jessica will be just fine; she has her niche. Soulful balladeer Adele and superstar singer and dancer Beyonce are both huge, and she can follow either path or both, and people will buy it. Yes, she was consistently good all season, but she hit a rough patch in the one place she couldn’t afford to. Stuff happens. She’s the first saved contestant ever to make the finale, as well as the first Asian. (She may also be the youngest finale person ever, depending on how old Lauren Alaina was at this time last year.) So don’t hate; be proud. Remember “I Will Always Love You,” “Sweet Dreams,” “You Are So Beautiful,” and “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”
    I’m glad Phillip may only have to miss the first couple of tour dates, if any, while he recovers from his kidney surgery. The tour doesn’t come to Manchester until August 18, so I will wait in eager anticipation to see him, Jessica, Joshua, Hollie, Skylar, Elise, Colton, DeAndre, Heejun, and Erika live!

    • Bobbi says:

      Was she the first Latina American as well? Although she never got the rousing support her Filipino fans gave her. Too bad, there are more Latinos than Filipinos in the US.

  34. Tim says:

    Congrats to Phillip for winning this season of Coffeehouse Idol.

  35. CK from DC says:

    Don’t blame David Cook. I still remember Season 7, and he spent the whole season watching the pimping of David Archuleta, including the final. Remember the boxing motif? And both Cook and Scotty have actually sold records.
    Phil seems like a decent guy who took a day off from work to sign at an audition.His parents didn’t spent their lives taking their kid out of school for pageants amd auditions, where grownups that should know better fawned over their talent.

    • Suggestor says:

      You forgot that Jessica’s father spent numerous months away fighting the war in multiple deployments. Jessica having a talent and getting the chance to nurture it is different than mediocre pageant kids who are dragged to shows. She did a few shows but spent most of her time in her room, practicing and being a good kid. Waiting for her dad, biding her time and enjoying herself. I wish more people understood what it takes to be successful in the music industry. Or any skill based industry. No one ever attacks Lebron James for entering so many more basketball tournaments than Jessica. It’s always an imagined variable for this girl.

  36. coltshot says:

    All the costumers should be shot. Holy CRAP. We’re not on the radio here, kids. The only decent outfit was Jessica’s last dress.

    Congratulations, Phillip!!

    • Sha says:

      Jessica’s final plum gown makes me want to empty my wallet for whatever it’s worth! She wins best dressed of the season (not counting the Proud Mary ensemble). Stunning! I liked it even more than last night’s first gown

  37. nerd4life says:

    I like all the people trying to dispute the WGWG argument. “That’s Racist!” “That’s not true!” “They all deserved to win!” Seriously people, it is not racist when it is a fact. David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty Mccreery, Phillip Phillips. What do these men all have in common? They are attractive, white guys. What instrument do they all play? Guitar. Those are just facts people. David Cook is the only legit winner out of the group as well. Kris Allen= really good, but Adam Lambert is a phenom. Lee DeWyze= Don’t make me laugh! Scotty=average, but should have been beat down by Haley. Phillip= Not bad at all, and quite good at times, but had nowhere near as many amazing performances as Jessica or Joshua. WGWG is not racist, it is not a lie, it is a fact. Once is a happening, Twice is a coincidence, Three times is a trend, and until Idol limits votes per viewer, that trend is going to continue.

  38. Seli says:

    Phillip’s a nice guy with some promising talent and I wish him well. The song “Home” sounds destined to be a huge hit.

    That said, so many of the girls in the competition were so much better singer/performers than he is. And Joshua’s talent is epic, and I hope the judges are right — that he can bring back true R&B. The sad commentary here is that it’s girls who are continuing the WGWG. We still haven’t come far enough in this country to change the fact that girls worship guys and will pick them over far more talented girls. And as long as Uncle Nigel & Simon et al are willing to milk that with the power texting arrangement, we’ll get what we got. And a record number of votes? The only number I”m interested in is the number of voters from separate accounts. Then we’d know who “America” really voted for each week. Teen girls who cast thousands of votes at a time don’t download the same song thousands of times, and their behavior often doesn’t translate into sales (Taylor, Lee.)

    I have wondered over the few weeks how P2 will handle the Star Spangled Banner at upcoming sports events? Requires a big range, a strong vocal, and you don’t get to fake the melody…. (Most of the top 10 could do this with no problem. Jessica could do it at age 5.)

    Despite all this, I watch because the show gives some exposure to a few great talents each year — most of which never win. My best wishes (and eagerly awaited downloads) go to Jessica, Joshua, Elise, Skylar (YAY that she got her moment with Reba!!), Colton, Erika and more — so many unique voices this year. Hope to catch you all on tour.

  39. Sha says:

    so much criticism for Jessica this season who is phenomenal compared to Lauren from last season. Just makes me wonder… I guess people don’t like singers that are near perfect, vocally. Lauren had her insecurities and that’s why she was more relatable? Anyways, I know it’s not really a singing competition for the past few years. As nasty as it sometimes got, this site was far more civil than ew, which has been an “I HATE JESSICA” forum for the whole season (supported by that recapper who immaturely referred to Jessica as “icky”). A lot of folks older than Jess’s parents even, taking personal shots at a 16 year old is just petty and seriously, pathetic. Hopefully it’s over now.
    rant over.
    P.S. Joshua Flippin Ledet

  40. Mary says:

    I will say this was the worst finale ever. The top performance was Hollie and Jordan duet
    And then Jessica and Jennifer. Sorry Josh should of sung without Fatashia never liked her and still don’t. Who in hell dressed her, god do these people look in the mirror. The outcome did not surprise me but I think this was the first time in the finale that one of the top two disappeared for the whole show. I wish him well for his surgery but Good luck promoting him when he is not going to be around for a few weeks. I liked his coronation song but will radio play it. AI is going to have a tough road ahead of them, wait and see
    The backlash for his win will see even more decline in viewers. Lets see if his sales match the votes, doubt it.

    • minikittykitty says:

      i could have done without jordan and fantasia. just josh and hollie.
      they were too distracting. I just wanted to have one last moment with just the contestants singing. I would have liked to have seen more colton, deandre, elise etc.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        ^this^ I would have liked to have seen more of this season’s Idols.

      • Amy says:

        Same here. I was especially disappointed because pretty much the only reason I was excited about the finale was because, for some reason, I actually expected Colton and Elise to get their own performances.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Yeah they shoulda ditched two of the group numbers and given Colton and Elise something.

          • Sandi says:

            How about ditching J Lo and the contrived Ace/Diana proposal? Heck, they could’ve cut Aerosmith down to one song too (as much as I absolutely love them).

            Very boring finale? Remember season 9 – the idols rocking out with Queen, Kiss, etc.? This was dull, dull, dull. Neil Diamond and Chaka Khan? Really?? No offense to either of them but they’re not exactly going to raise the excitement bar.

  41. Will says:

    The Kristy Lee Cook curse continues! Guess where our girl auditioned … PHILADELPHIA! Only Kristy Lee Cook could find a contestant named Philip Philips.

    • Beck says:

      someone needs to explain this cuz I keep hearing this

      • Sha says:

        KRIS Allen won.
        ScotTY McCreery won.
        LEE Dewyze won.
        David COOK won.
        she was eliminated in 7th place and her name has literally won the title since season 7. Just a theory lol with new variations now, I guess.

      • deedee says:

        “The Curse of Kristy Lee Cook” = winners’ names in the seasons from her year and forward:

        David COOK; KRIS Allen; LEE DeWyze; ScotTY McCreery (he used to go by Scott, but changed it to ScotTY in order to fully complete her name).

        And she auditioned in PHILadelphia.

        • ivy says:

          so it is all covered then? maybe next year the curse will be broken? time for the females to audition then! lol

          • Owen says:

            I think auditioning in Philadelphia is a stretch…you could keep on adding thing forever. I was hoping the curse would be broken this year. Turns out there WAS no curse.

          • smidnite says:

            Just as long as I never have to see KLC again…

      • tarc says:

        It’s nonsense – don’t bother.

    • Meghan says:

      Don’t forget that Philip is from LEEsburg, Georgia!

  42. darcy's evil twin says:

    I would like to give a shout-out to the person that posted to this comment board and said, right after P2’s audition, that we should skip the formalities because it was a straight shot to the confetti shower for Phillip Phillips and we should just crown him right now.

  43. Roma Kong says:

    I predicted Phillip winning from the moment he auditioned. However, he was not my favorite. He is good. REALLY good. But then again, all of this season’s TOP 7 were amazing… so in the end I really think it didn’t matter who won. They are all gonna have great careers. However, Jessica blew the house down during that magnificent, extraordinary duet with Jennifer Holliday. That single performance should’ve won her the entire competition. It was AMAZING! I got chills. J.Lo and Rihanna, though entertaining, can’t sing (I’m pretty sure J.Lo was lipsynching). Jordin and Hollie were incredible too. Reba and Skylar looked and sounded like the mother-daughter team I’d always said they would look and sound like. And yes, Skylar should’ve gotten one more solo number, same as Elise and Colton. But overrall, it was a good finale. Not great. Just good.

  44. Chuck says:

    Congratulations to your new American Male Singer Who Plays A Musical Instrument, And Preferably Is Also From The South!

    • Jaxguy says:

      LOL. And I’m not supposed to laugh I’m suppose to be slitting my wrists. I want to slit them because I wasted two nights and 3 hours a week to see another WGWG win Idol. Over way better contestants. (Josh should have been in the finale with Jessica)

  45. tarc says:

    I’m really happy the best contestant won this time. Phillip is damn amazing and he’s ready to record. Jessica (and all the rest of the Top12) were excellent (even, surprisingly Shannon), and you could literally see Jessica growing on stage tonight. She was so genuninely happy for Phillip, she totally convinced he that she has the heart to be huge in a few years. The finale was probably the best ever overall, and I hope Phillip sticks to his guns and puts out the album he wants to release.

    • Jaxguy says:

      I can see how people would like Phillip. He’s easy to listen to No challenge whatsoever. He’s a pale imitation of Dave Matthews and others. Has an average singing voice. Didn’t sing but one original, which was written with him in mind. So what really makes him the best contestant? I”m really serious. Help me get because I just don’t. I have an extensive music collection. I have several thousand CD’s. Hundreds of vinyl. I like almost every kind of music imaginable. My cd player in my car has the latest Springsteen, Arcade Fire Suburbs, Florence & the Machine and Adele. Bought Haleys album. Love Patty Loveless, k.d. lang Hank Williams, The Beatles, the Stones, Stone Roses, Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Bruno Mars, R.E.M., John Mayer, Pasty Cline, Dusty Springfield, Duffy, Early Mariah, Early Whitney, The Who, Radiohead, Coldplay, Zepplin, Lynard Skynard, Adam Lambert, Donna Summer, Whtie Strips, Loretta Lynn Mumford and Sons, The Heart and the Head, Foster the People, David Grey….These are just names that popped into my head that I have listened to lately.Forgot Streisand and Garland, and Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Black Keys. I guess the point I’m trying to make is I like almost everything, I don’t dismiss anything until I’ve heard it. This year on Idol I like Colton, Hollie, Elise, Joshua (I loved Joshua) and as I have made it plain my favorite was Jessica, but I just don’t get Phillip Phillips. What am I missing? I am not trying to be a jerk. I almost feel like I’m missing something. I don;t mean to be disrespectful to Phillip. But the thing is I have heard performers like him in local coffee shops and bars that sounded better than what he did on idol. I love that people actually mentioned my name and think I have numbers user names, I don’t
      I sincerely want to know why so many people think he is best.
      And don’t give me the sincere stuff. Holly and Josh were sincere.
      And don’t give me he is a nice guy. I’m sure he is.
      I’m a nice guy but William Hung sings better than me.
      Win me over.
      I will never like him as much as Josh or Jessica, but why do so many think he was the best contestant?
      Looking for tangibles.
      Thanks everyone for your enlightenment.

      • Jaxguy says:

        that should be numerous not numbers

        • Jaxguy says:

          And I swear this is not a sarcastic post.
          I’m really serious.
          Point out a nuance.
          Give me a real reason he was the best.
          Why did you feel he was the best?
          PLEASE make me understand.

          • Jaxguy says:

            And please do not say Jessica was boring. Boring is not a critique. What’s boring to one may be thrilling to another. I NEVER THOUGHT PHILLIP WAS BORING. I just personally didn’t think he was anything but average.

          • Jaxguy says:

            And I have to add this. I did not like (talent wise) Phillip from the beginning. It’s not because he beat Jessica and Josh. Tarc will tell you I have never liked his style. Let me repeat I don’t dislike Phil as a person. He seems nice. It’s his music I don’t get.

          • tarc says:

            Seriously, Jax. Hospital. Meds. Now.

          • claire says:

            Want my honest opinion? I get why you don’t like him, that is fine. Different strokes, different folks. I don’t get your love for Jessica, but I’m not ratting on you for it. Personal taste, and she’ll be just fine without the crown. I like P2 because he plays guitar awesomely, he has an interesting voice (characterful, but not as powerful as Jessica or Joshua) and I love the little leg thing he does when he sings. It’s funny. I’ve also listened to his version of Eminem’s Lose Yourself on Youtube, and it’s a masterpiece. Seriously, amazing stuff.

            I’m not going to do what you do and bash Jessica, because I like Phillip. She’s fantastic too, and I’d have been happy if she had won. I had no true horse in this race, my favorite Colton went home too early, and should have been up there. Alas, I think all of the top 7 will have careers doing what they love to do. They may not all end up superstars, but I think they’ll all pull a decent living out of it.

            You don’t need to bash other contestants to show your love for Jessica, that’s just wrong. She’s sixteen, and she’s taking this with more grace, dignity and humility than you are. Did you really think that she was going to win? I didn’t for a second, because P2 had never even been in the bottom throughout the entire show. You’re welcome to want a different outcome, but fact is fact. He was running away with this the minute he picked up that guitar and started grooving to Thriller.

            I think anyone out of the top 7 was a worthy winner, which is why I can’t hate the outcome at all. You may say P2 will flop, but I don’t think so. He’s not the type to be railroaded into something he’s not happy with. They couldn’t even force him into a suit let alone changing up who he is as an artist. I love that about him. I love the fact that even when he’s pressured to do something else, he stays true to himself, and his own ideals. I love his humbleness, and his humor. I don’t always appreciate what he does with songs, but the past few weeks he’s brought it home, and then some. Volcano was a stroke of genius, and Begging set the studio on fire. Then he did a very subtle, very sentimental rendition of We’ve Got Tonight and I think Jimmy just proved why he’s the perfect guy to produce Phillip. He gets him.

            After all, he was the only contestant on top 24 night (when they were finding out top 12) who Jimmy said he would sign on the spot. Jimmy hasn’t faltered in his admiration, and appreciation of Phillip. Like I said, I wanted Colton to win, and was really upset with America when he was eliminated. I cried for like a week, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m 24, and I cried like a little baby. But, Phillip’s reaction to Colton’s elimination did him a great service with Colton’s fanbase, and won him a lot of our votes. After all, he was always a second fave for me with Skylar cutting a close third.

            I do wish the hate would stop from both sides. We all like different things. Let’s not ruin this perfect moment for Phillip, or Jessica. Bashing one of her friends is not “cool” and I’m fairly sure she wouldn’t appreciate it one second. If she can accept it, and be gracious about it, why can’t you be? It was her career, after all, not yours. We know she can sing, but in a few more years she’ll have grown into who she is as a person. As an artist. The foundations are there for an extraordinary diva, the brickwork just needs built up now.

            Too much hatred, too much rubbish is spewed on boards like this about it being a racist thing, when it clearly isn’t. The only focus on race appears to be that P2 is a white guy, with a guitar. Also, I wish people would cut the he won because he’s hot, and the whole objectifying him thing. If it were a girl we were talking about, everyone would be up in arms about making her an object, but because it’s a guy, it’s alright.

            I didn’t know what to expect from this finale, but I had a sneaking suspicion from Colton’s elimination that P2 was gonna take it. Why? I always said that if it were a Colton v Phillip thing, that whichever one remained after the other went home, they would win. I was right. Colton went, P2 won. I wish it was the other way, but I’m bias. I’d like to congratulate all of the top 12 on making a great season for us all to chitchat about, and become invested in. I’ve made lots of new friends through Idol, and it’s been a great ride whether you liked the destination result or not.

          • 5talentgirl says:

            @ Jaxguy
            I understand where you’re coming from. I think Phil was NICE, his voice was OKAY, his performances a BIT WEIRD, but sometimes good fun. But the Idol WINNER???? Incongruous. Some performances were exciting, with his musical ability and intensity, but in fairness I don’t think he should have been crowned the best of the bunch. He was not. And I’m pretty sure he knows it and that was, maybe, the partial reason for the tears. But, all the best wishes to him and ALL the idol contestants. May they all benefit in their singing careers from having been on Idol.

      • FreeHaley says:

        “This year on Idol I like Colton, Hollie, Elise, Joshua (I loved Joshua) and as I have made it plain my favorite was Jessica”

        Nice set, my favorites too, I’d probably add P2 to the end of that list and switch Elise above Jessica.

      • Marsaili says:

        Jaxguy–you haven’t been a nice guy. You are CONSTANTLY mean and rude in your opinions about Phillip. The thing is—no one expects everyone to like the same thing—I agree with you about Joshua, and I strongly disagree with you about Phillip. Don’t worry about having people explain why they like Phillip—you obviously don’t get it and that’s cool—but the thing that isn’t cool is how you constantly dis him—constantly. And you constantly dismiss the people that like him—that is not cool. You feel Jessica should have won–we get that—and many, many people agree with you. The thing that has had me so surprised and happy since the reveal—MANY of Jessica’s fans, even ones who were previously dismissive about Phillip—said they were happy for Phillip, even though they wanted Jessica to win. THOSE people are the winners tonight—because they could see that Phillip is a deserving winner and they gave him kudos even as their hearts were breaking for Jessica–that is what a class act is all about. Jessica is going to have a fabulous career—it doesn’t matter that she didn’t win—it’s probably better—hopefully the Mottola will keep his hands off of her and help her create a album worthy of a Mariah or a Whitney. And hopefully Phillip can break the whole “wgwg” curse and have a huge career. You don’t have to like that he won, you don’t have to like or understand why others love his music. But it would be nice if you could just be nicer about dealing with it.

        • tarc says:

          Yeah, I’m not replying. I think he’s lost his marbles.

        • darcy the slutty twin says:

          You forgot the part about world peace. Marsaili for Miss Universe!

          Seriously, Jaxguy, chill. Phillip is a deserving winner. And Jessica and Joshua aren’t losers. They’re gonna have records in no time.

      • ilovefree says:

        “but why do so many think he was the best contestant?”

        Seriously, winning this show does not necessarily mean you are the Best (at least for Seasons 8 – 11)

        If P2 is not CUTE, not so many people would notice him. This is not about talent at all. That’s the truth for you guys

        • tarc says:

          Of course, it’s about talent. Unless you’re a 12 year old heterosexual girl, no one votes on appearance (sans talent). Lots of people of all ages groups obviously liked Phil’s music best.

          • FreeHaley says:

            You do have to admit that it a guy like him does have an advantage though. I mean I know you liked Haley and she sang circles around Scotty and yet…. and again 7 out of the last 8 winners on these types of shows have been guys. Yeah flip a coin and sure you will get 7 heads in a row at times, but looking at how good some of the female competition was, it does get a bit curious, sometimes the girls were favored by the pundits by a mile and still lost.

          • tarc says:

            I think Idol is very much a demo-driven contest, but most drastically overstate the influence of the ‘tweener’ or under 18 female vote.

  46. Davey says:

    Why did I ever think a woman of Asian descent could win American Idol?

    • Suggestor says:

      Jessica is about as close as you’ll ever see an Asian winning Idol. She had a military dad, she’s half Asian and she sang like an angel. She could also bring the growl and soul. That’s about it and I pity the Asians who think they have a shot at this show. Jessica had more tools in the toolbox than any of the previous Asian Idol contestants. Being 16 allowed her to be innocent enough to believe she could do it.

      • Jaxguy says:

        The sad truth is with the current voting rules very few talented people will have a chance. Just the cute guy. Girls sit and vote for the cute guy with the guitar. Guys and most adults don’t sit and power vote. they have better things to do with their time.

        • tarc says:

          And I don’t think you have any idea what goes on. I’m sure if they actually studied this, you’d be very surprised.

    • Marsaili says:

      Do you really thing race has to do with anything? I don’t—I think it’s all based on the type of music the Idols sing—and between Jessica and Phillip—rock and roll is more popular than R&B, always has been and always will be. I doubt and hope that this has nothing to do with race, because if it actually does—our country as a whole hasn’t come very far from the 60’s.

      • fiona says:

        On American Idol statistically 8 out of 11 winners were white, 3 were black; 8 were southern, 1 was from the mid west, 2 on the east coast (does north carolina count as east coast or southern? I’m not great with american geography); 3 R&B singers (who all are black), 5 indie/rock/blues singers, 2 country, 1 pop; oldest winner was taylor hicks and except for Rubben studdard, the rest were born in the 1980s; and 7 male winners while there were 4 female winners; the final two 13 have been male 9 female; 7 male-female finals, 3 all male finals, 1 all female final

  47. Josh says:

    Seeing all the season’s Idols come together is one of the best feelings after enduring many months long of an emotion roller coaster. While some of the medleys may not have been the most spectacular, I thought Skylar, Hollie, and Joshua solidified why the top 6 (why did Elise not get a moment tonight?!) will go down as the most solid to date and unarguably each and every single one won me over (a few more than others). I know Idol is something us fanatics love to hate at times but I know the season is successful when I come away from it feeling emotionally connected to these artists, obsessively replaying their performances, and celebrating their “Idol moments” as if they were my own. Everyone should know after a season like this, artists like Joshua Ledet have the potential to revive music from some of the pathetic chart toppers we hear on the radio. Michael, I love reading everything you have to write before and after all these episodes and the only way Idology could be better was if you made it an hour long each week.

    While I will give a million reasons why Joshua should have won this season, I wasn’t upset Phillip won. While I don’t know we will ever see a girl win this show again, Phillip is quite talented even if not fully inhabiting who I view the Idol should be.

    Michael, can’t wait until your recap! Thanks for all your efforts this season.

  48. cookielove says:

    How dull. This show needs to be fixed. New judges, new voting system…..new finale format (no suspense, too many stupid medleys, bad song choices….. Bleh. They get more boring every year. And no girl will ever win Idol again. GO MELANIE!!!!!!!

  49. Beck says:

    Yay for Phil. I have NEVER liked a WGWG before. This is the first winner I’ve rooted/voted for since Season 5. I watch every year. I’m sick of people trying to make me feel bad for my taste. Phil DESERVED to win. He was on the show. He got the votes every week. He put in the time. He just broke down at the end. He always acted so aloof but he wanted it sooooo bad and you could see that in the past three weeks especially. He was strategic. He earned it. Jessica lost herself in the end. It’s a shame… I still think someone else can win. This doesn’t say the show is broken. People like who they like and they can vote. That’s what American Idol has always been about. So try again next year.

  50. Sandi says:

    Oh how I wish Slezak had been right about Jessica winning but congrats to Phil Phil. Sorry to say but I think Jessica would have made a MUCH more marketable and successful Idol winner.

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