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'American Idol' Finale Mega-Diary: A Note-by-Note Account of Phillip Phillps' Big Win

Andrew Payne Andrew Payne
5/24/2012 11:07am EDT

Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez

Welcome to the American Idol finale Mega-Diary! Our annual blow-by-blow recap of what used to be the third-biggest night in television and is now somewhere between the 14th Monday Night Football game and the 15th Monday Night Football game.

But no bother! We’ll press on. And here’s a prediction before the show even starts: The contestants will start singing a song and mid-way through they’ll introduce the original artist to join them onstage. Sorry if I just ruined the show for you.

8:03 – What more could I want to start off the finale than my favorite contestant from this year, Heejun Han, screaming entirely out of context and as creepily as possible? The answer: Nothing.

8:04 – I like the poorly lit shot of the break dancer in an area that isn’t apparent at all. Was he backstage doing that? He didn’t seem involved in the actual performance.

8:05 – And Joshua Ledet attempts to do the splits. Falls. Attempts to get up. Falls again. DeAndre carries him off. Hey! He’s a great singer not a dancer.

American Idol Finale

8:06 – All I can think of with this all-white wardrobe is Mormonism. Lots of Mormonism.

8:07 – Hey! It’s Dean Cain in the audience! I haven’t seen him since…Actually I don’t think I’ve ever seen him unless he was a punchline on Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.

8:08 – 132 million votes? By my math that means each viewer voted…132 million times. Oooo, declining ratings joke!

Phillip Phillips and John Fogerty

8:14 – My biggest question with this John Fogerty performance is whether or not he’s going to get sued by his old record label for playing CCR songs on television. Also, I think he chose “Mangy Dog Fur” as his shade of Just For Men. Not really working.

8:16 – Is it just me or did Phillip Phillips just introduce Bad Moon Rising as though it were his song? It sure sounded like it.

8:18 – I’m almost 100% certain that on the second-to-last refrain they both sang, “There’s a bathroom on the right.” And you can’t prove they didn’t.

8:20 – Whenever they show the clip package of the audition rounds on the finale it just feels like it was a year ago that we were watching this. Maybe because it almost was. Maybe because this show is too long.

8:22 – Joshua Ledet introduced Fantasia as the biggest inspiration in his life. After America has seen her looking like the first-ever drag queen super hero and screaming like Edith Bunker, I think she might be the biggest inspiration…of nightmares.

8:30 – I have no joke for the Jennifer Lopez/Jimmy Iovine outtake reel. It was funny enough on its own.

8:33 – I think we have a new world record for least-inspired choreography. Skylar and Shannon literally walked across the stage in turn and then walked back. That was it. Walking at the camera in turn.

8:34 – What in the world is going on with the ridiculous sequined jumpsuits tonight? First Fantasia and now Chaka Khan? Is this the new “in” look? Should I be buying stock in lycra and bedazzlers?

8:41 – Just kept my perfect record intact of fast-forwarding through every Ford Music Video. I don’t think I’ve watched one since the invention of the DVR.

8:42 – Either that’s a gigantic couch or Jessica’s friend is really tiny. He looked like a Muppet sitting on there.

8:43 – I like getting free stuff, but I can’t imagine having anywhere near the reaction of the two “music mentors” at getting a Ford Escape. It was like they just won an Oscar, Grammy, Nobel Prize and The Publisher’s Clearinghouse at the same time.

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Photo Credits: Michael Becker/FOX