Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips poured every amount of energy and emotion that they could onto the stage on Tuesday night. Now, it’s America’s job to determine who will become the next AMERICAN IDOL on Wednesday’s season finale.
The final two contestants each performed three songs:
* One chosen by the show’s founder, Simon Fuller
* One chosen by the contestants
* One written especially for the finalists to air on the radio
Fuller picked Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” for Sanchez and Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” for Phillips. After these performances, AI judge Randy Jackson ruled that Jessica probably won this first round, and fellow judge Jennifer Lopez agreed.
For the second round, Sanchez decided to perform “The Prayer” by Andrea Bocelli, a song that helped her obtain a spot in the Top 24, while Phillips covered his song choice from the Top 10, “Movin’ Out” by Billy Joel. There was clearly a divided opinion amongst the judges after these performances: Steven Tyler believed that Jessica won round two; Lopez disagreed, saying that round two went to Phillip; and Jackson referred to the second round as “a dead heat”.
In the third and final round of performances, Sanchez’s song was called “Change Nothing”, and Phillips’ song was titled “Home”. The judges were not strongly impacted by Jessica’s number, stating that “the song was just okay” and it “did not feel like it was the proper song for her. On the other hand, Jackson conveyed nothing but praise to Phillip, crediting it as his “best performance of the night”.
Aside from the finalists’ performances, pop star Jason Derulo returned to the stage with his newest song “Undefeated” after the first round, and last year’s winner Scotty McCreery capped off the episode with his cover of “Please Remember Me”.