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Jessica Sanchez likely can't overcome Phillip Phillips for 'American Idol' crown

Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez are the two

Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez are the two finalists in season 11 of "American Idol." (May 17, 2012) Credit: Fox

Phillip Phillips most likely beat Jessica Sanchez for the "American Idol" title with a blockbuster version of "Home" -- complete with a troupe of drummers on stage -- to close the show, bringing the judges to their feet.

"Dude, I loved the song, I loved you, I loved the marching band production," yelled a perhaps over-the-top Randy Jackson, who ended by calling the performance (or Phillips himself?) "brilliant, genius."

Sanchez, who's been my favorite all season, didn't knock anything out of the park -- she's been undermined by weak song choice all season, which continued Tuesday night. Jennifer Lopez hit the nail on the head when she advised the 16-year-old to "know all your options as an artist" and make sure her people are playing to her strengths.

Sanchez needed a big moment for a shot at overcoming Phillips' loyal (obsessed?) tween girls fan base. She didn't get it, so despite her clearly superior vocal performance pretty much every week this season, I think he's going to be crowned champ.

Below's how I ranked the performances; put yours in the comments, or on Twitter using #ndidol.

1) Phillip Phillips' third song, "Home," had a nice urgency to it, and totally fit his vibe as an artist. As Jennifer Lopez said, "It was so different... there's nothing on the radio that sounds like that."

2) Jessica Sanchez's second song, "The Prayer," was sung perfectly, with just the right touch of emotion and pace and the right amount of star power on the high notes.

3) Jessica Sanchez's third song, "Change Nothing," was compelling, with lots of emotion in her voice and a great, crackly tone. Randy Jackson said it best -- "I did not love the song, but what I did love is you made something more out of the song."

4) Phillip Phillips' first song, a slowed-down, acoustic version of "Stand By Me" was surprisingly fresh. I thought it meshed well with his tone.

5) Jessica Sanchez did yet another Whitney Houston song for her first performance of the night, "I Have Nothing." For me it was nothing special, no emotional connection and not believable coming from a 16-year-old.

6) Phillip Phillips' second song was a hokey version of Billy Joel's "Movin' Out" that did nothing for me.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.


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