American Idol Review: Who Can It Be Now?

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It's the American Idol performance finale. Finally! Months of preparation, nearly a year's worth for Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez, come down to tonight.

As Ryan reminds us, this is the biggest event of the season.

There will be three rounds tonight, and after winning the coin-toss last week, Phillip, like a fan of football, has deferred to go second. Judges' comments will come at the end of each round. Let's get to it and see if we can pick a winner.

Phillip Phillips on American Idol Finale

Round One: Simon Fuller's pick

For Jessica Sanchez, Simon chose Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." This is a strong pick for her. She's got a big voice that needs a big song and Whitney songs certainly deliver. She sounds great, but for a song to open the night with, something about it lacks charisma. Maybe it's the arrangement, but it feels like the music behind the lyrics isn't big enough.

Phillip Phillips will be singing Benny King's "Stand By Me." This is a perfect song for Phillip. He dresses it up a little with a slightly different arrangement, but he sticks to the basic melody of the song. It's really simple and allows him to show off his skills on the guitar. Since he's being promoted as a singer-songwriter, this is smart.

J.Lo says this is tough because it's a battle of opposites. True words, J.Lo. America's job, she says, is to decide who makes you feel something and vote for that person. Randy says Round One went to Jessica. After a commercial break, J.Lo says she agrees with Randy. I now disagree with both of them. I think Round One went to Phillip.

Round Two: Contestant's Favorite From the Season

Jessica Sanchez has chosen to revisit "The Prayer" from her Top 24 journey. I don't remember when she sang this. It's a beautiful song, but I'm not sure it was the best choice. She hits a couple of monster-huge notes and sings the song well, but it was sleepy AND felt rushed at the same time.

Phillip Phillips' favorite number from the season was Billy Joel's "Movin' Out." Again, he's doing a great job of picking songs that showcase his style. His first time through this song was the moment when he first defied the powers that be and said "This is me. This is who I am." This song, again says "Here's who I'll be if you pick me, America."

Steven says Phillip has only hatched a little tonight and Jessica's taken Round Two. Randy called the round even. J.Lo says Phillip. I, again, say Round Two goes to Phillip, and I think it has everything to do with Jessica's arrangements and not her talent. Her talent is good, pure, and present, but the arrangements of these songs tonight are doing nothing to help her. Nor is she being helped by the fact that they have what feels like 60 seconds to sing.

Round Three: Potential First Hits

Jessica Sanchez' song is called "Change Nothing." The song's too low for her, first of all, which makes it so that I can't understand a word she's saying. Second, it's supposed to have some big moments but she's planted on the piano the whole time so the moments fall flat. Third, it's an awful song altogether.

Randy says he didn't love the song, but he loved that she made something out of it. J.Lo says she sang really well, but it was a pop ballad, which wasn't the right kind of song for Jessica. Steven dittos the other two.

Phillip Phillips' song is titled "Home." It's written so that he can play and sing, which is good since that's what he does. It's got a Mumford and Sons quality to it, which is a nice touch. It's not something we've heard from him yet, but it's current and relevant. It's pretty fantastic.

Randy loved the song and Phillip and the stage production and sounds like he's almost lost his voice. J.Lo said what was moving was that it was so different. Steven said Phillip has made the world his home.

Jessica Sanchez is talented, she's pretty, and, as J.Lo said, she'll no doubt make a record. Maybe even a lot of them. But I think Phillip Phillips might become the fifth consecutive male winner of American Idol, solely because he seems to really know who he is and what kind of records he wants to make. He has a level of artistry and confidence that Jessica seems to lack in clutch moments like tonight.

So... who will win, TV Fanatics?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


What I think was very unfair was the judges giving critique during the
finale and then going as far as to give a standing ovation to one
contestant and not the other. It is the "finale" which means that no
criticism could be taken to another round. In my opinion they tried to
derail Jessica Sanchez in favor of Phillip Phillips. As for who won,
that is a no brainer. Jessica can sing, Phillip cannot. Phillip has
presence and a certain following, but in the end you have to ask
yourself who's music would you pay for to listen to? Close your eyes
and listen to Phillips and you will be amazed at his lack of talent


I hope hollie wins she was so good last nite I liked her song Jessica song was a waste. Who ever win both these girls are good !


Terrie, yeah. Take it easy buddy.


For all you bashing Miranda YOU NEED TO JUST STOP. NOBODY makes you type in this website and read this review............ To the one that said out of five blogs only this one gives the nod to Phillip.....well, what I read was quite the opposite..........sorry but Jessica's last song most likely did her in.......I've seen her do better than she did this week and as a matter of fact even last week........ONCE AGAIN, it doesn't matter because she will have a record deal anyway.......... To the one that said vote for voice and don't go with raging hormones........LMAO........I'm 42 so I hardly think I have raging hormones for a 21 year old kid..........We can(and some do) debate all day about AI's voting system being is.....but until they change it....there's nothing that can be done about teenage kids and their cell phones..........


Honestly, what does Philip has to make it as the ultimate American Idol? Talent? It's MEDIOCRE people! It should have been Joshua, but since he's not in the contest anymore, Jessica is the closest thing that deserves to win. Vote with your ears not with your raging hormones, girls!


You ask an interesting question Tammy...nothing original at all about this wanna-be kid called Phillip, not even on the same planet as Joshua and Jessica, so why in the hell is Joshua not still in the competition....maybe he's just to good for idol do you think?


I forgot to say, Phillip is also humble, which makes him a winner! He is not afraid to cry, which I love about him, a truly great guy.


I love Phillip. Jessica is a great singer for 16, and she will be a hit no matter what, but Phillip deserves the title. He talks like Elvis, reminds me of Joe Cocker, and he has a great voice for rock. He can sing ballads too, and I vote for him. He has it all, looks, talent and originality with conviction. GO PHILLIP. I picked him as a winner from day 1.


Search: Greg Holden Home on YouTube. Phillip is a copycat.


Well there you go.... This SHOULD be an easy pick tonight. I certainly hope America gets it right! While Jessica came off sounding very amatuerish, and high-school-talent-show-like, Phillip came out and nailed all 3 songs like a polished pro! His rendition of Billy Joel's Movin Out was flawless and original, and one of my favorite songs of the entire AI season so I was really happy he picked that one... The round1 song Stand By Me was also fresh and polished and he nailed it! The original song really seperated Phillip from Jessica. While his song was totally original, arranged and sung like a pro, different from any top 40 crap you hear these days, Jessica's song was in a word, BORING. It sounded very unoriginal, and much like something that's been hear a million times before. In the end, while Jessica did the very best Whitney and Celine IMPWERSONATIONS she could possibly do, Phillip came through this finale sounding like a veteran pro performer: fresh, original ready for prime time!

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