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'American Idol' winners give solid, upbeat Nassau Coliseum concert

Phillip Phillips performs during the "American Idol" Live!

Phillip Phillips performs during the "American Idol" Live! tour at the Nassau Coliseum in East Garden City. (Aug. 22, 2012) Credit: Yana Paskova

Though the "American Idol" world is in upheaval, with questions still swirling about who will actually judge the show this season, the show's most recent graduates are as steady as they come.

Led by laid-back winner Phillip Phillips, the Season 11 "Idol" class took over Nassau Coliseum Wednesday night with a timely, upbeat showcase of mostly current material that confirmed the show's ability to spot talent, despite its ratings issues and the growing cultural heft of its competitors.

Though much has been made of his Dave Matthews-ish vocal delivery and musical inventiveness, what made his set work, especially his recent hit "Home," is his considerable charm.

Runner-up Jessica Sanchez displayed a different kind of star power in her skillful version of Beyoncé's "Best Thing I Never Had" and a slowed-down, soulful reading of Prince's "How Come You Don't Call Me."

There was also plenty of bench strength -- with Skylar Laine's fiery "Gunpowder and Lead," Elise Testone's raucous version of "Whole Lotta Love" and Colton Dixon's original "Never Gone."

Flushing's Heejun Han was thrilled to be back on his home turf and made the most of the concert, pulling out all the stops in front of the Coliseum audience and a contingent of more than 70 relatives and friends. His take on LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" and especially John Legend's "Green Light," showed off both his smooth R&B vocals, as well as his unique personality that he hopes will land him his own TV show.

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