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American Idol Winner: Phillip Phillips Crowned Season 11 Champion
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Published on May 23, 2012
Unlike the actual "American Idol" results show, we don't intend to keep you in suspense about the winner with two hours of filler. After 132 million votes cast last night , the 11th winner of the juggernaut reality competition is ... Philip Philips
The White Guy With Guitar strikes again! Looks like that stereotypical streak isn't being broken any time soon. Whatever else you might say about P-squared (and I fully expect you to in the comments section), the ladies seem to love him. He's got a radio-ready sound, especially with his Mumford & Sons-esque winner's song, "Home," and he probably has the greatest chance of making an impact on the charts, as so many previous "Idol" winners have failed to do.
Did he have the best vocals, an impressive range or the ability to work the stage? No. But that doesn't preclude him from being a successful artist, I suppose. He can at least play his own instruments and write his own songs, and he's had a firm grasp of his identity all season long, which certainly differentiated him from raw and malleable Jessica. He's not the surprising choice, but perhaps he's the most logical choice, since "Idol" has always been a popularity contest more than a talent contest.
Both finalists have the talent (or at least the "right sound") needed to have successful careers, although I'll be interested to see how Phillip does under Jimmy Iovine, since he's seemed so anti-establishment, in terms of resisting the image and vocal make-overs the producers have been pushing on the contestants all season long. I actually think he might have benefited from escaping the show's gravitational pull if he hopes to be an original and distinctive artist (and Jessica probably could've used Jimmy's hand-holding), but time will tell.
I really had no horse in the race once Elise was eliminated, and Phil-Phil's WGWG credentials paired with Jessica's diva belting made this a fairly obvious Final Two right from the start. That being said, I predicted Colton Dixon going further than he did, with Joshua Ledet potentially poised to steal an upset slot in the finale. But let's face it, both Jessica and Phillip are ideal representatives of their chosen brands, and both would've had a future in the music industry regardless of the outcome.
The rest of the evening was populated with the usual musical filler, interspersed with embarrassing skits from the judges and inescapable Ford product placement. The Top 12 (sans Jermaine Jones, naturally) kicked things off with a shouty rendition of Bruno Mars' "Runaway Baby," presumably just to remind me how much I hate group numbers and hadn't really missed any of the other contestants.
Phillip dueted with John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival for "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising," while Jessica paired with ... herself for another haunting rendition of "I Will Always Love You," perhaps as compensation for her horrible winner's song? Bronze medalist Joshua Ledet had the opportunity to sing with his personal idol (and former "Idol") Fantasia Barrino on "Take Me to the Pilot," which was every bit a screechy as you'd expect. Chaka Khan and the Top 6 ladies performed a medley of Khan's songs, while the guys (featuring far too much DeAndre Brackensick for my liking) took on a selection of Neil Diamond hits with Neil Diamond. Thrilling, no? No.
Rihanna, channeling Lady Gaga and sporting trippy fake deadlocks, gave a laser-powered performance of "Where Have You Been," and Skylar Laine got a chance to duet with Reba McEntire on "Turn on the Radio." And that was all in the first hour! Ugh.
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