American Idol 2012 Finale Recap: A Tearful Winner is Crowned

American Idol 2012 Jessica and Phillip Top 2

American Idol 2012 came to an explosive conclusion tonight after two-hours packed of special guest stars and an emotional crowning.

During the night we saw appearances by John Fogerty, Reba McEntire, Chaka Kahn, Neil Diamond, Rihanna, Jennifer Holliday and Aerosmith.

And while Jennifer Holliday and Jessica Sanchez’s spectacular duet of “And I Am Telling You” might have been the highlight of the night, there was one more emotional moment that stood out: The crowning of the American Idol 2012 winner.

Phillip Phillips was named the winner of American Idol 2012, becoming the fifth male in a row to win the Idol title. Jessica finishes the season as runner-up, but we can expect to hear a lot more from both of the Final 2.

Earlier in the night, the Top 12 kicked off the show with¬† an opening medley. That was followed with a cool duet with Phillip and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogherty. The duet, which almost felt like father and son, took on CCR hits “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” and “Bad Moon Rising.”

Top 3 finalist Joshua Ledet comes out next with Elton John hit, “Take Me To The Pilot” and I thought for sure we were going to get a surprise appearance by Elton himself, but instead it was Joshua’s idol, Fantasia. They commenced a five-minute SCREECHFEST that ended only when Idol cut to commercial while they were still going at it.

The Top 12 ladies took the stage next for a medley of songs with who was either Chaka Kahn or a dreaming newborn baby. Not sure which. That was only a little bit painful. That was followed by a performance by Rihanna.

And then we got what I’ve been waiting for all season. A duet with Skylar Laine and Reba McIntire. I was hoping for some “Fancy” or “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” but I had to settle for “On The Radio.” And it was a very fun performance.

Jessica came back out and re-delivered one of her best performance of the season, “I Will Always Love You” just before the guys took the stage for a medley along with Neil Diamond.

Jennifer Lopez performed again. I thought once a season would’ve been her limit. But she couldn’t let Steven Tyler take all the spotlight with his Aerosmith performance.

Hollie Cavanagh got her finale number and they paired her with Jordin Sparks. And they did the whole “Ladies and Gentlemen, Jordin Sparks!” thing. Does she really warrant that? And what an odd pairing. I guess maybe Celine Dion wouldn’t sign on? Because that would have been a proper pairing.

In honor of the late Robin Gibb, the guys take on a medley of Bee Gees hits, ending with one of Joshua’s best songs of the season, “To Love Somebody.”

After that we get what I’m currently calling the best performance of any season on American Idol ever. Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday’s duet of “And I Am Telling You” blew my mind. If this wasn’t a family site, I would have inserted an F word in that last sentence just to stress how much my mind was blown. So anyone who accused me of being a Jessica hater this season, try to make me out to be a hater now. Amazing performance. If that happened last night, she would have won this thing.

Aerosmith finally takes the Idol stage just before Phillip and Jessica take on the 80s duet “Up Where We Belong.” And then Ryan gets right down to business. It’s time for the results.

“The winner of American Idol season 11 is …. Phillip Phillips,” Ryan reveals. Scotty McCreery passes on the Idol trophy and Phillip’s first single “Home” starts. Phillip gets about halfway through before he bursts into tears and if I didn’t know any better, I’d almost think that put a lump in my throat. You know, kind of like when the dog dies in a boy-and-his-dog movie. Yeah, that’s a weird analogy. So what.

So there you have it. Your new American Idol is Phillip Phillips. Are you happy with the outcome? Will you be supporting Phillip after all this?

Don’t forget to grab your free Idol summer tour tickets. The tour begins July 6th!