Phillip Phillips, the pawnbroker's son from Georgia with big dreams, had his biggest realized Wednesday: He's "American Idol's" 11th-season winner.
Jessica Sanchez, the precocious 16-year-old from Chula Vista, Calif., with the polished voice -- who was saved by "Idol's" judges in mid-April -- did not get a reprieve from voters.
Among those who follow the show closely, Phillips, 21, has been the presumptive winner for so long this almost seemed to induce a yawn before it was announced. Bloggers, analysts and oddsmakers had Phillips at the top simply because he fit a trend: a nice kid with Southern or Midwestern roots and a voice that reminded millions of voters of their favorite singer -- in this instance,Dave Matthews (or John Fogerty, who sang with him Wednesday night).
Or as a writer for Buddy TV, a popular website, put it: "Phillip Phillips is what you'd get if you put Scotty McCreery, Lee Dewyze, Kris Allen and David Cook into a blender." (Those were the last four "Idol" winners.)
Funny line, and you can't argue with a trend. Nevertheless, Phillips is a good musician with a lot of heart and talent. Plus -- as it turns out -- he knows how to close out a good run, too. His last song Tuesday night, "Home," was a huge crowd-pleaser.
Written by songwriter Drew Pearson, it included these apparently prophetic lines: "Hold on to me as we roll down this unfamiliar road [and] don't pay no mind to the demons/They fill you with fear [and] the trouble might drag you down."