American Idol

Candice Glover won "American Idol" Season 12 over Kree Harrison as Psy, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, Adam Lambert and Aretha Franklin performed.

Phillip Phillips puts fresh take on 'Stand by Me' on 'American Idol'

Phillip Phillips is singing Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" on the "American Idol" finale, a song chosen for him by the show's creator, Simon Fuller.

He's compelling; slows it way down, meshes it well with his usual acoustic guitar sound. Has an interesting tone that, combined with some unexpected tempo choices, makes the whole performance feel fresh. Haven't been a big Phillips fan lately, but he did well.

They finally let the judges critique Jessica Sanchez, who went first tonight, and Phillips, but just for a few seconds total. I guess Randy Jackson speaks for them all when he says he thinks Sanchez won the first round, which I actually don't agree with.

PHOTOS: Season 12 highlights | Can you name all the "Idol" winners?

But none of the judges are effusive about either performance. Odd start to the night, it's like we're suddenly watching a different show. Maybe because they're trying to cram it into an hour.

Tags: American Idol , Finals , Jessica Sanchez , Phillip Phillips

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