It's been 5 months of auditions and tears and laughter and singing on American Idol, and tonight it was down to just the final 2 and OK! was live in the audience for the final performance between Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips.
The Nokia Theater at L.A. Live was packed to the gills with 7,000 fans and many former Idols from Pia Toscano to Jason Castro as Jessica and Phillip took the stage to sing for America's votes one more time.
First up, they each had to sing a song chosen for them by Idol creator Simon Fuller. Jessica was up first with Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" and Jessica gave us chills and goosebumps all at the same time as she showed us why she is standing on that stage. This girl has an incredible control over her vocal prowess. Phillip was up next with Ben E. King's "Stand by Me." Many different artists have taken on this song and Phillip slowed it down and sounded great on his rendition of the classic tune. We are split on round one, they were both great but we give the edge of Jessica.
For round two, they each picked their favorite song from the season. Jessica took on "The Prayer" and while slow and kind of boring, you can't doubt the insane vocal ability that Jessica has inside that little body. Phillip chose Billy Joel's "Movin' Out." This is was not the song from the whole season that we would have chosen for Phillip, by far. But the energy that just oozed from Phil as he sang, the smile that just wouldn't leave his face. It was absolutely infectious. This round was definitely tied for us.
They closed the show with the coronation song, the tune that will become the single, for whichever of them wins. Jessica's tune "Change Nothing" gave her a little more excitement in her performance, it wasn't another powerhouse ballad but this was just not a good song. Very often these coronation songs just aren't good and this was not a positive note for Jessica to end on. Phillip's coronation song was "Home" and the complete opposite from Jessica's. This was a great song and the amazing drum band joining him on stage just added to it. it even earned Phillip the only standing ovation from all the judges throughout the whole night. It was original and a wonderful performance! Phillip may have just sealed the win with that final number.
Being in the audience was quite a different experience than watching it at home on TV. The countless signs for both Phillip and Jessica, the makeup artists continually touching up Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler loving all the crowd attention. But the one thing that really stood out to us were the audience cheers. While the crowd was impressed by Jessica, the screams every time Phillip sang, let along graced the stage, were deafening. They would last 3x as long Jessica's and the applause for Phillip just went on and on.
But does this mean Phillip will win? Will this be the fifth year in a row that the cute guy on guitar takes home the crown? We will find out tomorrow night on the grand finale. Don't miss it at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. OK! will be there catching it all from the audience!