So the utterly predictable happened. Phillip Phillips, herein known as P2, is the Season 11 American Idol champ. As predictable as a giant nose zit at prom time, P2 was propelled over the finish line by millions of teenyboppers and cougars with flames bursting from their cell phone speed dials.
I won’t belabor P2’s lack of singing ability other than to say he agrees, as he observed last Thursday with Jay Leno: “As everyone knows with me, it’s not about the singing.” I’m glad he agrees.
The last performance night saw Jessica Sanchez singing the daylights out of everything and P2 doing his usual hipster Mumble Pop bit. Why he chose his atrocious cover of Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out” as his best performance to repeat will remain one of life’s enduring mysteries. If he had chosen his audition version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” I would have said great choice. I was at first intrigued with P2 based on that—I attributed the less than stellar singing to nerves—but as the season went on, I grew tired of his one-note parade and especially tired of the high praise from judges who really should have (and probably do) know better.
But the third and last song for each was telling. This was the song they would personally choose to be their first single if they won the contest. (Allegedly. More on that in a bit.) After wowing us all season with her powerful, clear vocals, Jessica chose “Change Nothing” written by Jaden Michaels, Joleen Belle and Harry Sommerdahl. Um, no. This was her last chance to impress the judges and the fans, and she chose a really blah song. The judges didn’t like it, and neither did Jessica, apparently. How much a role the producers played in this will probably remain an Ultra Double-Dog Secret for all time, because it sounds like Jessica wanted to do something more urban, more “me,” as she put it. How much did Jessica’s relative lack of maturity play in her giving in to what the producers wanted?