After tens of thousands of Idol hopefuls auditioned and competed, America has finally whittled it down to the final two contestants who will battle it out on tonight’s part one of the two part American Idol finale. Last week, we said goodbye to third place finisher Joshua Ledet as it was announced that he had received the lowest number of votes, much to the surprise of many. This left 21 year old, raspy voiced Phillip Phillips and 16 year old power vocalist Jessica Sanchez as the final two who would compete to earn the title of the 2012 American Idol.
Throughout the competition, Phillip has been battling painful kidney stones and as recently as last week, refused surgery to correct the problem until after the finale. This has affected his performance at times, however, he has managed to hide it well enough to stay out of the bottom three and make it to the final two. With last week’s performances being some of his strongest of the entire season, it seems Phillip is gaining momentum and, if he keeps it up, is looking pretty good going into that finale night.
It’s been a rocky road for Jessica Sanchez, having been voted off the show, only to be saved by the judges. Since her near departure, Jessica seems to have been growing in confidence, trying to connect more with the material and improve her performances. It seems to have paid off, having beat out several other contestants many expected to see at finale night, only to be standing as one of the final two Idol hopefuls.
The final two contestants couldn’t be more different even beyond the age and gender differences. Phillip’s more bluesy style is certainly more subtle compared to Jessica’s huge vocals and emotion laden song choices. Even the American Idol site itself is referring to them as “the musical artist” and “the big ole voice” in teasers for tonight’s episode. With such differences in style and persona, most viewers seem to feel strongly one way or the other about the two contestants.
This is not the first time, however, that we’ve seen such variance among the finalists on the American Idol stage. How quickly we forget the days of Taylor Hicks vs. Katherine McPhee and Kris Allen vs. Adam Lambert. With last season’s two young country inspired finalists, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery, it is easy to forget that this formula of complete opposites battling it out is not a new one. In fact, it’s something that the Idol producers, most likely, live for, as it brings it two vastly different audiences to vote for the winner and pump up ratings.
Tonight’s performances will be make or break for Phillip and Jessica, with one mistake being the possible deciding factor in who will be the last one standing to claim the title of American Idol. Watch the final two fight to the finish tonight at 8/7c on Fox.
Image via Fox