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American Idol recap: 'American Idol' battle against Jessica Sanchez

Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips belt out an impressive finale

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American Idol

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
Reality TV

They’re from different coasts. They share the same drive. They share the same dream. They share the same overused turn of phrase about not letting said dreams slip out of their hands/slip away. They even share a love of the fountain pen and ornate writing on super heavy card stock. But wait. Oh no! Did the ink bottle fall over because it looks like it’s pouring out. Or is that blood? Is this a metaphor for Phillip Phillips’ future kidney surgery? Or is tonight going to turn into Hunger Games and only one person will survive? Is Jessica about to shoot a bees nest to make Phillip start hallucinating?

Phew. Nothing like the introduction of our judges to bring me back to reality. And there was Randy in a jaunty orange blazer, Jennifer Lopez wearing my 18 month-old’s onesie with one sleeve cut off and the rest of it covered in black lacy stuff. And Steven Tyler, fresh from being mocked by Mick Jagger on Saturday Night Live, in a delightful mauve patterned suit that seemed to clash with the mauve-colored tanner that La Lopez must have applied in a very poorly lit room. Ryan Seacrest was the sole beacon of style, in a slick suit, flash of tie square color, and a tie pin. Man, I love a good tie pin.

Even before the finalists Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips came out, the audience was going crazy. There were former contestants from the season, Jordin Sparks or someone who looked just like Jordin Sparks, and lots of people with fan posters. Or possibly just one person with a fan poster that read “Pheel Better Phillip.” Our friendly American Idol camera operator sure loved that one ’cause he or she cut back to it no fewer than three times.

And then it was time to see “our” top two. Out came the 21-year old pawn shop worker (how very cable channel series of him!) and the 16 year-old power singer and all I could think was how much I loved Jessica’s dress strapless black gauzy dress. Full disclosure: I wasn’t a huge Jessica fan until she sang “And I Am Telling You.” To me for me for you, it felt like the judges were hyping her a little too hard. Sure, she had a big voice, but no personality ever came across. But when she sang Jennifer Holliday proud, I was a convert. I was a crying lump of goosebumps after that performance and wanted to see her in the finale. Phillip, on the other hand, won me over early on and continued to impress me throughout the season. Not that I ever rewound his performances and watched them over and over (and over and, okay, over) as I did with Jessica’s. So my heart was up for grabs tonight.

NEXT: Does Jessica have nothing, nothing, nothing?