It’s finally that time of year, where tomorrow night America gets to vote ‘til they can’t feel their thumbs anymore for either Jessica Sanchez or Phillip Phillips to be the season 11 winner of American Idol. But before we get our say, the show’s executive producer Nigel Lythgoe shared his insight on the Final Two during a media call last Friday.
It’s not a huge surprise to see either singer competing during the final week of the competition. Sanchez has been an odds-on early favorite and Phillips never once found himself to be in the Bottom Three throughout the season. Combine that with the fact that they’ve been the judges’ darlings this season, and you get a broad idea about how the Final Two came to be. That and they both have delivered solid performances that people spend the next day talking about.
As far as how the duo match up, as of right now, I feel like they’re on a pretty level playing field. In a season that has been comprised of moments, Sanchez hit her stride earlier on in the live shows with her performances of “I Will Always Love You” and “Sweet Dreams.” She stumbled last week due to lackluster song choices, which included Mariah Carey’s “My All” (Jennifer Lopez’s song pick) and a song that’s performed on Idol since season two, Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” as her personal selection.
Phillips was another early favorite in the competition after his unique rendition of “Thriller” during his audition in front of the judges and his performance of Usher’s “Nice and Slow” during his “Sing For You Life” moment in Las Vegas. During the live shows, his performances have been pretty hit or miss, but he’s been carving out moments at the most crucial of times, like during Top 4 week with his emotionally gripping performance of Damian Rice’s “Volcano” and last week’s performances of Four Seasons/Madcon’s “Beggin’” (Randy Jackson’s song pick) and Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight,” which was selected for him by the show’s in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine.