Of the least compelling finale in “American Idol” history (is anybody talking about it? Does everyone know the finalists’ names?), one of the two emerged as a clear winner.
Jessica Sanchez embodied all of what “American Idol” is about – a 16 year old who was raised watching the show – with a big voice on all of the big ballads you want to throw her way.
Opposite her, Phillip Phillips has gotten to the final with a goofy grin and the kind of mildly scruffy, nonthreatening personality that has brought a number of undeserving winners in the past from David Cook to Kris Allen to Lee DeWyze.
He accompanies himself with guitar and does a mellow thing with every song, changing or eliminating melodies, adding enough saxophone accompaniment to make it obvious that he was on his way to starring in a strong regional Dave Matthews tribute band.
But because he’s cute and nonthreatening, the girls love him, so they scream every time he’s on stage, singing or not. He’s made it to the finals and has never made it to the bottom three all season. He’s a lock for another boring, forgettable winner.
But vocally, Sanchez wins the crown, obviously. Which is not enough on the show. She was even eliminated midseason by voters, only to be save by judges, who were their nutty selves again Tuesday, saying she won the first round soundly, the second round probably but stumbled in the third round because of the song choice (which was made by Jimmy Iovine).
Sanchez may still have the successful career of a runner-up, or maybe just be content that, votes or not, she won it fair and square.