IDOL WATCH: And the Season 11 Winner Is...
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by Kelsey Denette
To get the show started, the top twelve (minus Phillip and Jessica) perform a pretty horrific medley, then they do the usual intro except Ryan's wearing a snappy bow tie and both of the contestants are clad in all white. Fancy. Luckily, Phil didn't let me down: he still looks like he pulled his clothes out of the bottom of his dresser ten minutes before going on stage. I love that even when there were enough votes cast for about one in every three people in the country, he still wears whatever he feels like.
Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty performs with Phillip. They do two songs: "Bad Moon Rising" and "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?"; then Joshua Ledet's back (Ryan says everybody was shocked as his elimination, but...not really), performing Elton John's "Take Me to the Pilot" with Fantasia, who's dressed like sparkly skin suit Morticia Addams. I really do like these finale duets, though, because you can just tell how starstruck and all the contestants are.
The top 6 girls perform another horrible group number, joined at the end (much too late to save it) by Chaka Khan, then Phillip and Jessica talk about their music influences. Phil chooses his brother as his biggest influence, and Jessica chooses a family friend - both receive two tickets to the finale. Oh yeah, and all four get a new Ford Focus, prompting a shocked look from Jessica's friend, a huge hug for Phil and his brother and Jessica to smile peacefully like she just found a dollar on the ground.
Rihanna performs, then Skylar takes the stage with Reba McEntire for "Turn On the Radio," Jessica sings "I Will Always Love You," and the top 6 guys (well, five - Jermaine Jones wasn't invited back) perform another really terrible group number, joined at the end by Neil Diamond.
Ace Young proposes to Diana DeGarmo with the lights and "results" soundtrack and all playing, which is actually totally fitting and kind of cute in a super sappy way, and all the best to them - although they weren't actually on the same season of Idol, the two were co-stars in Hair on Broadway. Hollie performs "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel with Jordin Sparks, and Jessica performs "And I Am Telling You" from Dreamgirls.
Jessica's joined by Jennifer Holliday. Both of them seem like they're not at all willing to be outsung by the other, which spawns a performance of crazy good vocals and facial expressions that make both look absolutely insane. Finally, Aerosmith performs (it's...slightly better than I thought it'd be given the average age of the band), and Jessica and Phillip sing a duet of "Up Where We Belong," then it's at last time for results.
And the Season 11 American Idol is...Phillip Phillips!
I mean, I knew that Phil was going to win (I totally called it), but American Idol has probably been a huge dream of Jessica's since she was, like, five. So I can't help but feel a little badly for her - but I really do feel like both of them were deserving in different ways and Phil breaks down during his finale song for a touching finish to the finale. What do you think? Did America make the right choice? Sound off below!