IDOL WATCH: And the Season 11 Winner Is...
American Idol, Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips
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.