'American Idol' Season 11 Finale Recap

‘American Idol’ was the place to be this week! As always, the finale drew in all the big celebrities, whether they were actually performing or just enjoying the show from the audience. It was one of the best finales I’ve seen in years. It was filled with so many amazing performances, from celebrities to the top 12 contestants to celebrities AND contestants, and of course the revealing of our new American Idol. Since it was the finale this week, they didn’t go over the judges and Jimmy’s opinions on the results night. So here’s a little recap of this week’s performance night.

Jessica and Phillip each sang three songs Tuesday night. Producer and creator of Idol Simon Fuller chose the first songs they sang. The song he chose for Jessica was Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” This was an absolutely beautiful performance. It was a great song for her, and she looked amazing. Simon’s choice for Phillip was “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. He did a wonderful job with this song. It didn’t really have a climax, which could be very boring to some people. I thought it was really good though. I’ve always loved that song, and Phillip is a sort of calm/chill performer, so I thought it was a great rendition for him.

Jessica performing Tuesday night.

Round two of the final performance night was the contestants’ favorite songs of the season. Jessica chose “The Prayer” by Celine Dion. This was another great performance from Jessica, and very fitting for her. I wish she had picked something a little more upbeat though. I feel like we don’t get to hear her sing those kinds of songs enough. Phillip’s choice was Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out.” I didn’t enjoy this as much as his first performance, but it was still very good. He is definitely growing on me more and more each time I hear him.

The final round had Jessica and Phillip singing what would be their first single if they win. Jessica’s was called “Change Nothing.” This was definitely not her best performance, at all. The song did not fit her and it just didn’t song good whatsoever. Phillip’s song, however, was a different story. It was called “Home.” This was PERFECT for him. Seriously. I don’t know if Phillip and Jessica wrote these last songs, but whoever wrote his did a fantastic job. It fit his style, his personality, everything perfectly.And that was the end of Tuesday night’s final performance night of season 11! Now onto Wednesday night’s result show.

The top 12 performing Wednesday night.

The finale opened with the top 12 singing Bruno Mars’ “runaway baby.” They seriously had some super talented contestants this year. They sounded amazing together. I was very excited to see Colton, Skylar and Hollie again. I can’t wait to see where they go. In the middle of the song they had a breakdown type thing where professional dancers came in and did a great job. It was a wonderful way to open the finale!

When Ryan came out he announced that a world record was broken with the final week’s votes. An amazing 132 million votes were cast Tuesday night! That’s incredible! I’m kind of sad I didn’t vote this week. It would have been cool to say I played a part in that world record. Phillip and Jessica then came out, and Ryan asked them how they were feeling. Surprisingly, both said they were feeling really good and excited to find out the results. I for one was expecting them to be really nervous.

Phillip was first to perform with many of the big names Wednesday night. He had the honor of performing with CCR’s John Fogerty. I have to admit they were a great pair. They sounded amazing together! I was too familiar with the songs they sang, but they sounded great! The songs they sang were “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and “Bad Moon Rising.”

Phillip performing with John Fogerty

Next up, we got to take a look back at all the great/hilarious moments of the auditions! I always enjoy this part of the finale. It’s fun to remember all the crazy people, like the lady who accidentally punched Ryan. I can’t wait to see what great moments come with season 12! Speaking of next season, auditions are coming up soon! Go to americanidol.com for details.

Joshua was back next! He got to perform with Fantasia. I didn’t know the song they sang, but I really liked it! They brought out the gospel choir, which added a great element to the performance. I’m not sure what was going on with her outfit though. She was wearing a full body suit that was not at all flattering in my opinion.

Next was a hilarious video of Jimmy’s bloopers. Every time he mentioned Jennifer in his critiques of the performances, he would say Jessica instead. Apparently his daughter’s name is Jessica, so he kept getting it mixed up for some reason. One time he even said “Joshica.”

The top girls performed next. They performed with Chaka Khan, who also came out in a body suit. What is with all these body suits? They are not flattering at all. The performance was very good, however. They had everyone in the crowd dancing and singing along.

Instead of Phillip and Jessica doing the Ford music video this week, Ford put together an extra special video for all of the finalists. This was really cool, to see all of the finalists together again. This was followed by a video of the top two talking about their mentors, who each received their own brand new Ford Escape. Phillip and Jessica then received the keys to their very own Ford vehicle, one of their choosing.

Rihanna performing “Where Have You Been.”

Rihanna was up next, with a phenomenal performance. I always love seeing her performance. She has some of the best special effects, stage designs, dancers, just everything about her performances are out of this world. She did not disappoint this time either. She sang her latest hit “Where Have You Been.”

Skylar was up next! She performed with none other than her own idol Reba McEntire. I’m sure this was one of the best moments of her life. They sounded fantastic together! I’m not a huge country fan, and I don’t listen to Reba, so I didn’t know the song they sang, but it sounded so good!

Next up was an interesting look at Steven Tyler’s “dressing room.” He is, to say the least, one-of-a-kind. I don’t think there’s any other way to describe Steven Tyler. His “dressing room” was filled with a girl for every month, his sister making out with some guy, and a sloth, among many other random, weird, interesting things.

Next was one of my favorite moments of the finale. Jessica sang “I Will Always Love You” again. There wasn’t a single person sitting down in the audience by the end of her performance.

The guys of the top 12 were up next. They sang a medley of “Coming to America,” a second song I didn’t recognize, and “I’m a Believer.” Neil Diamond then joined them for “Sweet Caroline.”

The boys of the top 12.

If you pay attention to anything Randy says, you may have noticed he seems to say “you could sing the phonebook” a lot. They played a clip of him saying this to many contestants from past seasons (including David Archuleta and Adam Lambert). They decided to put Randy’s theory to the test Wednesday night, by having the finalists singing out of phonebooks. Surprisingly, it sounded pretty good for something so random! They even gave Randy his very own phonebook afterwards.

American Idol’s own Jennifer Lopez performed next! She performed her new singles “Goin’ In” and “Follow the Leader.” This was another great performance from her, full of wonderful dancers and two other guest singers. There was even some Spanish in one of the songs, which was really cool even though I didn’t understand any of it.

Next was probably the cutest American Idol finale moment I have ever seen! Anyone remember season 5’s Ace Young and season 3’s Diana DeGarmo? Well, apparently they’ve been dating and just recently moved in together. Ryan brought them on stage, where Ace proposed! Diana was speechless, and of course said yes. So now they are officially engaged. Congratulations to them!

Hollie performing with Jordin Sparks.

Hollie was up next! She sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” She performed with one of my favorite past contestants, Jordin Sparks. I loved every second of this performance! They both looked and sounded absolutely amazing. They also included a gospel choir, which was a nice touch.

Next up, the top 12 guys performed again. This time they were paying tribute to the late Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees. They had a slideshow of pictures and videos of Robin playing while the boys sang. Like most of the finale performances, I didn’t know any of the songs they sang, but they did a wonderful job.

Jessica performed “And I am Telling You” with the original Dream Girl herself, Jennifer Holliday, next. This was such an incredible performance. If you missed it, make sure to YouTube it or Google it or something. Just make sure you watch it! If you did watch it, how did you like Jennifer’s faces? I have to say she makes some of the best faces I’ve ever seen a singer make. At one point it almost looked like her eyes were going to pop out. But anyway, these two sounded amazing together. Just absolutely amazing.

Jessica and Jennifer Holliday.

Next up was the one and only Steven Tyler, performing with his band Aerosmith. I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen them perform. They were really good! I was very impressed. They performed a medley of their most popular songs.Jessica and Phillip performed a beautiful duet next. For two people with such different voices and styles, the song they performed fit them both very well. The song was “Up Where We Belong.”

And then it was time to reveal the winner… Mr. Phillip Phillips! Last season’s winner, Scotty McCreery, came on stage to present Phillip with his official trophy.  All of the top 12 also joined him. He then ended the show, and season, with his first single “Home.” About halfway through it started to hit him and he got teared up and was unable to finish the song. He went down to his family, where they took him in in a huge group hug.

Our new American Idol is Phillip Phillips! Congratulations for him on such a wonderful and huge accomplishment!

Phillip Phillips – our new American Idol!

And congratulations to Jessica for coming in runner up! Also, congratulations to everyone in the top 12. That really is such a HUGE accomplishment. So many people audition for American Idol, but only the most talented make it this far.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these recaps as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them! I can’t wait to see what next season brings!

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