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 for $14.99.”)


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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  1. darcy's evil twin says:

    I was thinking about the group numbers today and I must say I was disappointed with the group numbers. Last year the group numbers were quite good for the finale – the guys did the Tom Jones medley (with Tom Jones) and the girls did the Beyonce medley (with Beyonce). Both medleys were very good and entertaining, and even included some of the guys doing the Carlton during “It’s Not Unusual”. Last night we had a Top 12 that is consider to be the best Idol’s ever had and the group numbers were awful. The sum was certainly not better than the parts. Not sure what went wrong but there’s no excuse for the group numbers not being better.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      Seriously. The opening number alone set the tone for what the group numbers would be like and it was not pretty. All the group numbers looked like they were not rehearsed. Last year, the “Born This Way” opening number was fabulous. Even the hot and quirky Paul McDonald didn’t seem awkward at all doing Lady Gaga. The guy’s number was fun and the ladies’ Beyonce performance was superb. I had never liked Thia, Haley and Ashthon more. Even though I never was a fan of Scotty and Lauren was WAY overpimped, I thought last year’s group was better.

  2. Realist says:

    “Skylar’s just gonna sell a lot of records.”

    Idol predictions, particularly in regards to sales, is a fool’s game.

  3. cimi says:

    Ok… I just have to comment one more time. Why in the h@@l does everyone, (who doesn’t know a d@@ng thing about kids who are home schooled), have a naieve comment on it??????????????>>>>>??????? yeah, i spelled nieve wrong, and i just did it again. If you haven’t read, or heard, or seen ANYTHING about home schooled children WHY would you even dare to comment?????????? In my book , you all are just as idiotic as the home schoolded kids you’re referring to.

    • smidnite says:

      I worked with someone who was home schooled. He had a hard time working and playing with others. He actually had a couple of tantrums. He was 29 at the time.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I worked with hundreds of people when I worked in corporate America that threw temper tantrums, lied, were lazy, were chronically late, and were self-serving backstabbers. All were educated in either the public education system or in expensive private schools.
        I’ve posted this before but I have several friends that home-schooled their children. The children turned out perfectly fine. They chose to do so due to either living in a sub-standard school district and not having the financial means to move or send the kids to private schools, or they lived in a sub-standard school district and could afford to move but didn’t want to move away from extended family and their church, or they got tired of the schools bombarding their kids with a bunch of liberal nonsense. Again- this is not a political discussion board. I am only stating what I was told by my friends – I’m not trying to start an argument.

        • Marsaili says:

          As a homeschooling mom since 2001—I can say easily that most parents chose to homeschool because they don’t want their kids stifled by the system—rather than “liberal nonsense”–it’s about giving a child the opportunity to grow on their own time, in their own way rather than being another sheeple. The only “conservative” homeschoolers I have met are typically Christian fundamentalists and they are generally exclusive, they do not permit anyone who is not of their ilk into their homeschooling world—your average homeschool families usually are more left-leaning—granola, crunchy types who want a child who is well-rounded and loving and accepting and theses families are usually very active in their communities, active with other homeschooling families. I don’t know the context of how Jessica was homeschooled—but the fact that she has spent her entire life on stage would lead ME to believe that she isn’t as “sheltered” as we assume and she’s probably been pretty out there in the world. Clearly she has friends and does the usual teenage activities—so this is a normal kid, with a huge talent who just happens to school at home.

          • smidnite says:

            He claimed that he was home schooled because his parents felt that the local school system was too orient to our large Hispanic population.

          • Marsaili says:

            Who’s he? I was talking about Jessica.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Ha ha, different strokes, I guess. I have friends of both political persuasions that home schooled. My Christian friends aren’t really fundamentalists – they’re more middle of the road. All the kids turned out just fine. I did forget to mention the fact that kids are pigeonholed in the public school system and it’s difficult if your children are exceptionally intelligent or need extra help. Public education tends to be “one size fits all”.

          • Marsaili says:

            Exactly—and most homeschooling parents don’t want their kids pigeon-holed, they want them to be able to develop their own creativity and “being”. My thought about Jessica is that she is probably homeschooled because it offers flexibility for her singing “career”. Many kids who are uber talented—whether it’s sports or artistically—are now homeschooling via online charter schools. It makes it possible to do schooling where ever they are as long as they have a computer and access to the internet. Of course, this is all speculation—but I find that the issue of flexibility with kids like her is the general reason for homeschooling!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Good point, hadn’t thought about that, and choir/band/orchestra have been cut from so many public schools due to lack of money. So, unless you have a nearby performing arts school, homeschooling is probably the way to go.

          • FreeHaley says:

            In my public school, chorus was actually mandatory (unless you were tone deaf and then you got out) until you got into the high school grades. They had band at all levels. Marching band at the HS level. Orchestra had already been cut from HS level by the time I was there but they had it all the pre-HS levels. AFAIK, it’s still the same today in all regards.
            But I do read about it getting totally cut out, at all levels, all three, in many areas. A shame.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        smidnite – your temper-tantrum throwing co-worker probably had some sort of anxiety disorder. He needed medication, I’m sure. It had nothing to do with being home-schooled. Perhaps he was home schooled because the public schools threw him out, or maybe his parents didn’t want to medicate him so they home schooled him. Believe me, there’s a reason corporate America sends everyone to those “How to deal with difficult people” seminars on a monthly basis. It’s because way too many people have some sort of psychiatric disorder.

  4. Blank Slate says:

    Would have loved to see Elise get a spotlight number… Hmm. Why not with Aerosmith? She seemed lost in the finale. More Jeremy Rosado airtime than Elise? Eh!

    By the way, which finalists will be the ones on the summer tour?

    • FreeHaley says:

      For whatever reason Nigel and co. have little respect for the Elise and Haleys. pretty sad. I mean she not only didn’t get a spotlight she was basically buried.

      • cimi says:

        come on people. do you really think that the judges and iovine had a choice? whether you all believe it or not, This. Is. a. reality show. The audience gets to choose.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Idol didn’t have a choice to give her a spotlight on the finale? Not even a duet with say Colton? They gave others below top 5 spotlights at times in the past, even just last season. What the heck does that have to do with audience?

          And running a bus over Haley has to do with the audience? The producers were not responsible for that?? They didn’t even prepare some of the video they needed for top three for her even though they had it ready for contestants who didn’t even make it. They gave everyone else minutes on the phone home time and cut Haley off after like two seconds. They re-filmed a close up scene of her thanking her fans for coming out in the rain and she was shaking hands, and her received her song choice in front of them etc. and then stuck her alone in a car and re-filmed it. They so play favorites and judge everyone on totally different and ever changing standards. Even one of the idol vocal coaches said it was all BS. Heck even some of her fellow contestants such as Lauren said it was all total BS. And any contestants, in general, have noted afterwards that in the end they’d all just have to try to laugh and roll their eyes behind the scenes at the scripting BS pulled by producers all the time, since you either do that or cry or try to stand up against it and then get labelled a cry baby or bit##. Even for Elise this year like one week they say one thing and then the next week or even the same week but one singer later they say something 100% in contradiction. What the heck does that have to with the audience??

      • Blank Slate says:

        I guess Nigel doesn’t have a thing for Ryan introducing singers as “Can you believe it, America?! THIS is 28-year old Elise Testone!” Ya gotta be 13 and pre-puberty to get the prodicers’ affection!

    • MamaLis says:

      Was hoping for more Elise, too. I would even have liked more ‘spotlight’ Joshua. The amount of time that was wasted parading “the elder’s” new material (i.e. Steven, JLo) was REALLY a disappointment, not to mention annoying. It felt very: “Look at me! Look how good Mommy & Daddy are, children!” Not to mention a desperate attempt at relevance. One song, okay. And JLo, you already had yours! But two songs each? Since when did a lip-synching JLo become so exciting as to deserve 4 songs in 4 weeks? This should have been the contestants time to celebrate and shine!!! Who knew Simon and Paula could be so sorely missed?

  5. smidnite says:

    I’m having a flashback; During Season 3 girls totally dominated the competition; which was rumoured to be the reasoning behind having half the finalist be girls and half boys. When Season 5 rolled around it was noted that no White Guy had ever won….

  6. the best performance would be J. Holliday & Jessica’s no question about that… as for Philips win, its the vote that matters in the end. Its a popularity contest won by votes & not won by sheer talent & vocals. I still personally feel Jessica deserved the crown as well but what can you do, she definitely wont win the hearts of America bec she aint white with a blonde hair. I bet she’ll go much much farther in her singing career than anyone else on the top 10 … Im just saying

  7. so, are you donating $250 (two hundred and fifty dollars)? :))

    • justafan says:

      i think he ought to double it just for having the unmitigated gall to pick/predict jessica as the winner!!!

  8. News flash: Season 12 audition on its way… cute, white boys with blue eyes and guitar/piano playing is a must.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Thank you – I have already predicted Johnny Keyser (remember him?) will win season 12.

      • Sha says:

        I remember him, he had a really good voice! I felt like they cut him because he may have split votes with Phillip if he made it through. Anyways, your prediction is spot on.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I hope, hope, hope he plays the guitar!

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          ATTENTION JOHNNY KEYSER – if you are reading this and don’t play the guitar, PLEASE LEARN TO PLAY THE GUITAR. You have a few months to learn three chords. That’s all you need. that’s about all Johnny Cash had – he was sure no Hendrix.

        • deedee says:

          He’s also the one who kept on singing after that poor girl fainted … or fell. Slezak and Melinda did a whole segment on it in an early season Idology, lol.

      • darcy the slutty twin says:

        He has a rocking bod, but I don’t think many people warmed up to him.

    • Tara says:

      David Cook and Kris Allen have brown eyes. Shoots your theory.

  9. vighorois says:

    Even Rihanna and J-Lo get graded, but not Aerosmith?

    • justafan says:

      that’s because rihanna and jlo suck with their lip syncing…and aerosmith is a R&R icon/legend

      • RodMod says:

        Rihanna sang live.

        She could’ve lipsynched, (…it would’ve better suited the performance…) but I can respect her live vocals!

  10. givemeglenn says:

    Let’s see; Phillip has the TOP SELLING song on iTunes PLUS TEN (10) MORE songs in the Top 200. Do you want to guess how many Jessica and Joshua have COMBINED? ONE, and it comes in around 157 for JOSHUA. So, out of these THREE Idol finalists, which of them sounds like the best bet to have commercial success? Looks obvious to me…

    • deedee says:

      No need to put down the other contestants. The competition is over and it doesn’t matter anymore. People will still like who they like, and chart placement won’t change that. Besides, as has been said here several times, the days after an AI win is not a good gauge of long term staying power. Hopefully, your guy will be one of the lucky ones, but I guess it will depend on how good his songwriting skills are. He’s already stated that “Home” is not his first single and doesn’t represent his style.

      • tarc says:

        He didn’t precisely say that. He said that he wouldn’t have written that song. He later listed three groups, including Mumford and Sons, and said that’s the direction he’d like to go for his fiirst album.

        • deedee says:

          What he did precisely say made me think he believed the song did not represent his style … that we should expect something different than “Home” on his original album. Here are some of his own words on the subject:
          “The song that I did tonight that supposedly is my single, it’s not really my single, I told them it’s not my single ”
          “They thought it was the right fit for me. I wanted to do one of my own songs that I had written, but with the short about of time [it wasn’t possible]. It’s a good song, but it’s not something I would write.”
          “It’s a little too pop for me. I don’t put in any of those “ooohs.” I’m a little more rock than that.”

          • tarc says:

            So, in short, he wants his first song to be one of his originals. Makes sense. It doesn’t mean any more than that. He wouldn’t have written the extended ‘ooohs’ which obviously doesn’t suit his voice or style. (That said, I’m sure he’ll be happy for the #1 song. :D ) I think the Mumford & Sons sound is a good one to look toward. Of Monsters & Men, Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers, and The Civil Wars are all on the iTunes Top 200 right now, and fall into Phillip’s wheelhouse.

          • deedee says:

            Yeah, exactly. So in short, he wants his first song to be one of his originals. Doesn’t mean any more than that. And as I said in my previous post – the song they saddled him with sure sounds like he thinks it’s not representative of his style. Isn’t that what I said? Isn’t that what Phil said? Maybe I’m reading too much into his words. Maybe “I told them it’s not my single” means something else that I’m not quite getting.

    • Eric says:

      Just b/c Phillip has all these songs in the top selling iTunes means nothing. That’s to be expected,

      HE LITERALLY JUST WON AMERICAN IDOL. Before you start putting down other contestants, you might want to try evaluating the situation better.

      We’ll have to see what his SOPHOMORE album sales will be to determine whether he be a lasting influence.

      For me for you, just keeping it real. (Lord I hate Randy Jackson)

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      We are all happy for Phillip but there is no need to put down other contestants. Most of the other winners had their studio versions charting right after the show. David Cook had the most. 14 or so in the Top 100, if I remember correctly.

  11. darcy's evil twin says:

    I came of age during the civil rights movement and grew up on Motown, Soul Train, American Bandstand, Midnight Special, etc., all of which featured plenty of black and white singers. Granted, there weren’t many (if any) Asian singers but I don’t think there was much of an Asian population in this country at that time so that was probably more of a statistical anomaly, and perhaps performing wasn’t as accepted or encouraged in the Asian communities. I’m not sure. But I just CRACK UP at all the racism comments.

    It would really be interesting to do a study on who is voting on American Idol – is it teens that are voting for the cute white guy? Or is it cougars? Do we really know? And, let’s say a young black guitar player that looked like Shemar Moore on “Criminal Minds” was on Idol. ALL of my friends of all ages and races think he is the sexiest thing on TV. Don’t you think he’d have a shot at winning? Just food for thought.

    • deedee says:

      The racism comments make me laugh too — especially when people are accused of being racist against white guys (with guitars)! LOL, madness. How did Jessica and Joshua outlast Hollie, Elise, Colton, Erika and Skylar!? How did Ruben Studdard push out Clay Aiken? How did Fantasia leave Diana DeGarmo in the dust? Racism!!
      I wonder if ‘First Tweens’ Sasha and Malia and Mama Michelle tied up the White House phone lines voting for the cute guy! (<– that's neither here nor there, but the image is funny to me :)).

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      Shemar Moore is fine, but I’ve always had the hots for the guy playing AJ Cook’s baby daddy!

  12. Karen says:

    Michael…I hope you do one more Idology video with Melinda. Soooooo entertaining!!

  13. Sheena says:

    when jessica sanchez joined america’s got talent when she was 11, AGT producer Simon Cowell (American Idol) called Jessica’s performance “one the best I have ever heard.”

  14. Sheena says:

    if simon cowell were a judge in american idol, jess might have won

  15. Mary B says:

    For those who are curious on itunes rankings:

    Congratulations to Phillip Phillips! His coronation single, “Home” is currently #1 on the Overall iTunes songs chart! What’s more, he currently has 20 of his Idol single charting in the Top 300 songs! And, his Idol compilation album Journey to the Finale is #3 on the iTunes overall album chart!

    Jessica Sanchez charts 3 songs on iTunes, her highest single is “The Prayer” at #107. The Season Finale album, featuring both Phillip and Jessica sits at #2 on the album chart.

    Philip Phillips iTunes Singles:

    #1 – Home
    11 – We’ve Got Tonight
    20 – Volcano
    24 – Stand By Me
    36 – Beggin’
    37 – Movin’ Out
    52 – U Got It Bad
    64 – Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
    69 – Disease
    89 – Fat Bottomed Girls
    98 – Time of the Season
    126 – Superstition
    136 – The Stone
    139 – That’s All
    150 – Still Rainin’
    159 – In The Midnight Hour
    173 – Give More
    176 – The Letter
    189 – Hard to Handle
    253 – This Love

    Jessica Sanchez iTunes Singles

    107 – The Prayer
    168 – Change Nothing
    274 – I Will Always Love You
    205 – I Have Nothing

  16. Blank Slate says:

    Phillip is the reason a show like The Voice doesn’t work. Phillip has a shy, sensual charisma coupled with a unique, recordable and performance-pleasing voice. I looked forward to seeing him every week on AI. I will miss him now that it’s done. His stage presence — bluesy soul– attracted me to sit up and listen. I don’t want pageant-perfect gown-and-bejewled voices. I want someone I can sink my heart into. Phillip has that special something that curls my toes and makes me want to watch and sing along. He brought us INTO the song. That’s what makes him a standout, AI title or not. I’m glad the show gave him a platform and an express ride to greater notoriety. He’s got it and we like it.

  17. WishesRandyCouldn'tSpeak says:

    Haley Reinhart had the most songs in itunes top 200 last year and she didn’t even win — before u take these into consideration for votes and well deserved winners etc…wait till everyone’s album comes out and see what happens. Note: Haley was #5 I believe for Listen Up! GO OUT AND SUPPORT HER :)

  18. Amy says:

    So where’s the interview with Nigel that was supposed to go up yesterday??????

  19. your “random note” about the sloth had me laughing for like 5 minutes straight!

  20. BBchezhairs says:

    I’d still blame everything to Kristy Lee Cook.

  21. Kimgel says:

    So PP is doing good on itunes,i just hope he will be consistent,it’s almost the same with past winners(david cook,kris allen).The songs they performed on AI are also doing good on itunes after their fresh win with their respective season where they start on TOP then fall to the bottom(sad but true). I just hope that PP will not have the same scene with this on his entire career.

  22. 30CamdenSquare says:

    1,300 comments..Whew, I’ll bet you guys are tired. Well I’m glad that’s over w/. And now for some real entertainment.


  23. LaddaLand says:

    1. White guy
    2. Come from Southern USA
    3. Playing guitars; song writing a plus
    4. Good looks
    5. Unique just like David Cook , Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips, Dave Matthews – yes many guys are “unique” in A.I. all over the country :)
    6. Teen sensation material
    7. Can sing but, this is not the priority because A.I. is a personality contest and not anymore a singing contest

    *If you have all of these qualifications, then you will be the next A.I. in 2013!

  24. jga94 says:

    Were you able to interview Hollie Cavanagh? MS always gives out the best idol interviews…

  25. jga94 says:

    I chuckle whenever I see comments here that so and so will sell more albums that this or that….I mean how do we know for sure. I mean even this high-profile music executives who were able able to produce music legends don’t really know for sure…what more us mere mortals?If there’s one thing for sure….AI has been able to showcase really talented people throughout the years….but as for selling records…it’s been a hit and miss esp. with the presence of the world wide web, youtube….I mean the world’s getting smaller and smaller….who would have guessed that a kid from youtube could be an overnight sensation….I mean a couple of decades ago, such an overnight success would have seemed unbelievable….

  26. alexander says:

    I don’t think that all who voted for Phillips certainly loves rock and roll type of music! Don’t hide the racism issue on this one because it literally is. If winning AI requires one to be ‘a true artist’ and doing his own thing without ‘singing’ credibility then the people who thought it was a singing talent competition must be watching the wrong show. Every legend got to start from ‘mimicking’ somebody else before they developed their own style. And somebody is claiming Phillip is all original – a true artist – just because he plays guitar, and sings ‘his own way’ – Have you ever seen the rain? What happens to AI that night to the eyes of the world is that the show loses more of its credibility. We can’t lose our homeboy to an Asian – the Home coronation song had served its purpose psychologically on the minds of the voting American public who voted for Phillips. It’s about real Talent we’re talking about here. Don’t mix it with artistry and rock n roll hype!!!

    • Marsaili says:

      I’m trying to decipher what you are saying–but in the long run—yes, Phillip is unique, yes Phillip is multi-talented. It isn’t about racism—I’m half Mexican—doesn’t mean I automatically vote for the half-Mexican—I voted for Joshua and Phillip because their music moved me. People trying to bring racism into it or blaming women and teenagers for lusting after him–you’re all a bunch of immature children–face the facts–many people like different things and if people voted for Phillip, it IS because they prefer rock and roll over R&B. Plain and simple. American didn’t get it “wrong”—America voted for whom they like—and they prefer Phillip over anyone else. People may not like that result, but it doesn’t mean anyone is WRONG!

    • Bitsy says:

      AI is not and never has been strictly a singing competition. It’s a competition to find the best entertainer. A perfect voice is boring if no personality or charisma goes with it. [see Jessica]

  27. Rihanna says:

    Why didn’t they have a doctor come out to explain P2’s medical problems like Lauren got last year? Oh, because they wanted a GIRL to win. Got it. Too bad “Change Nothing” destroyed J-Sanch’s chances.

  28. 134 Freeway says:

    Both finalists were very talented and have potential careers. Clearly PP had more support, just look at iTunes today (4 days after the final), where several of his performances are top of the charts, way ahead of Jessica. Jessica has a beautiful voice and will need experience and the right material to move forward. There is no reason why big voices need to be stuck with only Whitney, Mariah, Celine songs…oh my. Please find something new for the girl to sing. Regarding the whole WGWG diversity thing, it seems to be getting overplayed. Idol has had a diverse group of winners, just not in the past five years. The Voice and X Factor have also had. Meanwhile, for all winners, actual sales success has been more elusive than votes. PP shouldn’t be so fast to disown the sound of “Home”.

  29. jagger says:

    Is there still an idology video for the finale?

  30. Clyreese Revilla says:

    I dont think Jessica mimics those artists (she just sounds really good .. a little bit of J. Hudson, Beyonce, Mariah & Whitney all rolled into one)… All contestants do cover of songs in their performances & most of them sound pretty much like the original artist so its unfair to say this. The single finale composed for Jessica was a crappy, awful song that did not fit her to begin with, so she had nowhere to go with it , she could not build a momentum to show her power vocals. While Philips single Home fit him perfectly like hand in glove (with a great production behind him — marching bands, back up singers mostly carrying him through the song)… Take off the marching drummers & the back-up vocals — I dont think it will achieve any great moment for him. Im just saying…

  31. Clyreese Revilla says:

    also, Jessica cant win American Idol… how can an Asian looking brown-skinned girl win it? ..It just wont happen.. Had jessica been a white girl with blonde hair , then the story would have been different I guess…

  32. Clyreese Revilla says:

    Did you see the Finale night (Jennifer Holliday & J. Sanchez) duet…. this was the highlight of the Finale show & it even had a glorious moment than the actual crowning of the winner. I believe Jessica will be much much better in the years to come, she will evolve & be her own true artist & singer. I just hope she does, bec she’s that good.

  33. Clyreese Revilla says:

    Jessica singing the National Anthem at the US Capitol this sunday with Pres. Obama viewing…. she will sing The Prayer in a mini concert with Daughtry also singing in the same event… Heard through the grapevine, that Jessica Sanchez will be the front act of J. Lo’s World Tour when they hit Philippines by Nov. 2012 ….And news going around that Jessica Sanchez will star as the lead role of Kim in the Broadway Musical, MISS SAIGON….this 16-yr old girl will be busy as hell and packing the big bucks —- and to think she only landed 2nd place on AI

  34. Clyreese Revilla says:

    I wish Philip and jessica the best though… I hope both do good & great in their own respective music careers… I bet they are all good friends on Idol, its just that the fans go crazy in their comments. We dont know who they really are as an artist & as a real person .. so we cant really make objective comments at times… Lets wish them both the best of success

  35. Mooseguy says:

    It’s incredible that a no-talent, no voice mediocre guitar-player beat out a young lady who was so much better than him. The judges were encouraging this all along and should be fired if the show is to be saved. Being impressed by a friggin’ marching band strutting around in an individual talent show was ridiculous.

  36. jen36 says:

    I have accepted the fact that Phillip won the crown… It was just sad watching Jessica being downplayed the last few weeks of the competition to obviously give way to the clear winner from the very start. Even the girl convinced herself that he deserved to win 100%. I hope she finds the right people to work with who will bring out the best in her. God bless you, Jay!

  37. jen36 says:

    I hope AI paid Jessica enough for using her with the “save” thing to increase their ratings. They should give her the best producer and record deal for that.

  38. Larali says:

    I stoped watching this show from top 4 week… from then on i could forecast this result. And that is why AI is out for me… it is soooo predictable it gets too boring. Sad because sometimes they do find real talent but we already know what they will do to those that are unpredictable… i just search for those i like on youtube and that’s it… no need to watch the show anymore!

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