Sixteen year old Jessica Sanchez from San Diego, California went head to head with Phillip Phillips, a 21-year-old from Leesburg, Georgia for the title of season 11 American Idol.
Last night, John Fogerty played two Creedence Clearwater Revival classics, Aerosmith debuted their new single, and Chaka Khan wowed with a medley of hits in a star-studded finale.
Phillip Phillips was joined by John Fogerty, singing “Have You Ever Seen The Rain.” Then they went into “Bad Moon Rising” after Phillips expressed what a great honor it was to be singing with Fogerty. It was a timely appearance for Fogerty, who releases a new album, Wrote A Song For Everyone, in the fall (which sees him re-recording his classics in new collaborations).
Joshua Ledet who was eliminated last week returned to the stage to sing an Elton John classic “Take Me To The Pilot.” Shortly into the song he was joined on stage by past Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, the two of them bringing the crowd to their feet.
The ladies of the Top 12 took the stage next to sing a montage of Chaka Khan hits including “Ain’t Nobody” and “Through The Fire”. Khan then joined the ladies on stage to finish off “I’m Every Woman” which they started just before introducing her to the stage. Jane Lynch from Fox’s Glee was shown on screen dancing along to the performance.
After that, top two contestant Jessica Sanchez took to the stage to sing a song she sang this past season, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Followed by the guys of the Top 12 singing a montage from Neil Diamond including “America,” “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “I’m A Believer.” Diamond was introduced to the stage to sing “Sweet Caroline.”
Paying tribute to Robin Gibb, the Top 12 guys sang some of the Bee Gees greatest hits. It was then Jessica Sanchez’s turn to sing with a musical icon, Grammy winner Jennifer Holliday singing “I’m Telling You.”
Idol judge Steven Tyler performed with Aerosmith on the show for the first time ever, debuting their new single “Legendary Child” (which is available on iTunes today). After that, they went into to the more familiar “Walk This Way.”
After that, the final two contestants sang “Up Where We Belong” (originally by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes), recalling the finale of season 4, when Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood performed the same song before Underwood was declared the winner. This time around though, Phil Phillips won, ending the show’s latest season.
– Cherise / Q104 Cleveland