IMHO: Why Phillip won and Jessica didn’t

I just finished watching one of the most explosive finales in Idol history and I mean for the entire 11 seasons. I was one of the millions waiting with the rest of the Idol universe to see who will be crowned as the champ of Season 11.

At the finale results show, audiences were treated to the best performance of the season and arguably the best performance on the show- ever (yes, even rivalling Adam Lambert’s duet with Kiss)  — the duet between the original Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday and 16-year old phenom Jessica Sanchez. (Check out this link to view the performance)

Viewers were also treated to perfomances from Aerosmith (WOW) and music legends Reba McIntyre, Neil Diamond and John Fogerty.

If audiences were to judge based on the number of moments given to the Top 2, there was no wonder that Jessica was given more exposure and more time to shine, perhaps leading viewers to believe that she was going to be the eventual winner, but at the end of the show, of course, consistent frontrunner Phillip Phillips was crowned the winner, making him the show’s fifth straight white dude to win the honors since the show’s Season 7 David Cook.

Some would say that Jessica had the upper hand because she was more vocally powerful than Phillip and could wow the audiences with her powerbelting. Phillip took the more laid back route, and chose songs that suited his voice and style perfectly. They were so different and that was what made the finale so interesting to watch.

But here’s why I think Phillip won.

1. The show is called American Idol and between the two, Phillip is the true blue American. Jessica is a mix of Filipino, Mexican and American (because of her citizenship and upbringing) descent so its a bit too liberal for Americans to vote for her.

2. Phillip has a very solid fan base. While some would say he was the underdog in the finale, if one looks back at the entire run of the season, he was never once in danger of being eliminated from the show.

3. He is gorgeous. Let’s face it, American Idol is viewed by mostly young girls and these young girls — while they would admire Jessica for her talents and achievements, would still eventuallly vote for the guy who makes their little hearts go a flutter

4. Phillip is just the right age. When Cook and Archuleta faced off in the finale of Idol back in Season 7, the mom votes turned out to be the clincher for the rocker. Moms who were interviewed for the show thought that David A. had the vocal chops to make it big in the music world but felt guilty about having a crush on him because he was so young. Cook got the votes because he was legal. So is Phillip, and since he’s the only guy contestant, who would get the votes?

5. He is a charmer. Some say that Phillip will turn out to be another Kris Allen, but I strongly disagree. When Kris Allen won, it was like all the world spun out of its axis, because come on! Kris is a great guy and a good competitor but he does not have any real standout quality that would catapult him to stardom. Phillip has a great personality and an individuality that could separate him from the pack. Take note that even during the finale, he was wearing his usual long sleeved shirt on top of his regular one like it wasn’t a big deal. Typical non-conformist rebel attitude that has worked for the careers of indie rockers throughout history.Plus, his humility and aw shucks charm always sucks viewers in, myself included.

6. Leave us not forget that the dude is also very talented. He is a musician through and through and while he is not the best singer among the lot, he has the maturity to play to his strengths. He has a great sense in choosing songs and one of the factors that contributed to his victory is choosing an anthem song for his first single whereas Jessica chose a more funky R&B song that fit her voice like a glove but did not have the same impact or message that Phillip’s song had.

I believe that Jessica is awesome and is wicked talented. She is skilled beyond her years and I think that aside from being an Asian, the thing that cost her the victory was the song choice. She is still young at 16-years old and perhaps still lacks the perspective of the general impact of the songs that she will sing. After tonight, there will be a lot of people who will want to sign her up and I hope that one of them is Jimmy Iovine because he is an excellent mentor who can guide Jessica and give her a long and sustainable music career. I do believe that Jessica has the makings of the next American chart topper and Grammy superstar. A bit of polish on her performances and she’s ready to fill arenas with her performances. I think she can sell more tickets than J.Lo once she’s seasoned and ready. She has that kind of potential.

Being a Filipino, I am sad that Jessica won but in my heart of hearts, I already consider her being in the Top 2 and her awesome performances today already a victory in its own right. If those songs were not a statement, then I don’t know what is. I have high hopes for her career, and hope that she will get from the Grammy’s the trophy that she missed on Idol.

I don’t feel bad losing to Phillip. He’s a great guy and a true artist. Despite my earlier reservations (with the judges all being too easy to please), this still turned out to be a great season. I just don’t know what will happen to the next season with Aerosmith scheduled to go on tour and J.Lo planning to go on tour as well.

To cap off this entry, here’s Phillip’s moment of victory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ifNFk2M4YQ