Dream Boy vs. 'Dreamgirl': Who will win 'American Idol?'
The stage will be bigger, the stakes will be higher, and the songs will mean that much more, as the boyish charm of acoustically-inclined Phillip Phillips is pinned against the vocal prowess of youthful dynamo Jessica Sanchez on “American Idol’s” largest platform. They’ve passed their auditions, stood out in their groups, and survived (albeit barely) the top 12. It’s no longer about deserving to be where they are, but rather about deciding where they will go now that they’ve made it to realty television’s biggest night. Both will find stardom, but only one will find it with a crown on their head. Following the shocking sendoff of apparent front-runner Joshua Ledet last week, CTV.ca makes a winning case for each of the finalists, and looks at the decisions and dismissals that have made this season the most surprising yet.
Why Jessica Sanchez could win
Barely old enough to drive, teenage sensation Jessica Sanchez is speeding towards her goal. With a strong voice, stylish presence and seasoned flare, San Diego native Jessica Sanchez may very well be the one to beat heading into the final performances Tuesday night. What Sanchez has lacked in consistency, she has more than made up for through a dazzling array of show-stopping vocal clinics. While not all of her performances have been “Idol”-caliber, the ones she has nailed are deserving of platinum records. With comparisons likening her to a new-age Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, Sanchez may just be the next big thing to come from a show that already boasts four Grammy winners.
Her strongest performance: ‘And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going’ (from 'Dreamgirls') by Jennifer Holliday in the Top 4
Why Phillip Phillips could win
The pride of Leesburg, Georgia is not the strongest singer in the competition, or the best performer, or the best musician, but Phillip Phillips, with his dreamboat status and Dave Matthews-inspired style, is far-and-away the most consistent talent this season has had. What has separated Phillips from other contestants is that he knows who he is, and has never wavered from who he is. He is willing to go down in flames by taking risks and making each performance a creative and personal experience.
His strongest performance: ‘Volcano’ by Damien Rice in the Top 4
What we still don't know
One can only assume that nearly a third of the ninety-million votes cast last week were in Joshua Ledet’s name, and if that is the case it will be interesting to see which way his fan base sways (if they sway at all). If they were enamored by Ledet’s charm and charisma, they may lean towards Phillip Phillips. If they were blown away by his extravagant stage presence, they may make Jessica Sanchez the first female winner since Jordin Sparks took the crown in season six.
Bringing the excitement: Three twists that made Season 11 of 'American Idol' the most riveting one yet
THAT’S RIGHT. Far-and-away the strongest singer in the competition, Sanchez shockingly received the fewest number of votes in the top 7 elimination show. Thankfully and expectedly the judges used their save, cutting her off halfway through her elimination song to deliver the positive news. Her appearance Tuesday night marks the first time a contestant saved by the judges will appear in the '"American Idol" finale. It also makes you wonder how some past contestants would have fared if the judges’ save came into play sooner. Would Tamyra Gray have won the inaugural season instead of Kelly Clarkson? Would Grammy and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson have finished better than seventh?
Thought by many to be the front-runner in the competition, veteran (top 36 - season ten) Dixon received unfortunate news when he was voted off seventh this season. With plans to record an album in the near-future, do not be surprised to watch Colton find similar success to “Idol” alum Chris Daughtry. He knew his way around a piano and the hearts of American women, unfortunately they did not know their way around a phone to vote for him. What makes his elimination all-the-more interesting is knowing that had the judges not used their save on Jessica a week earlier, Colton may have found himself in the finale on Tuesday night.
His strongest performance: “Love the Way You Lie” by Skylar Grey in the top 7
British-born and Texas-raised Hollie Cavanagh left the competition the same way she began it, by singing Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb”. Unfortunately that’s the only climb she took on "Idol”, as her performances never seemed to find their way off the ground. Outlasting a number of performers who many felt were more talented and experienced than her (including the aforementioned Dixon), Hollie lacked consistency and stage presence, but peaked at all the right times, avoiding elimination despite being in the bottom two or three on five separate occasions before not being sent back to the couch.
Her strongest performance: Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” in the top 5
American Idol airs Tuesday night at 8/7C on CTV. The two-hour finale airs Wednesday night at 8/7C on CTV.