Phillip Phillips was crowned the winner of American Idol‘s 11th season last night, after fending off competition from rival singer Jessica Sanchez.
The 21-year-old guitar player emerged victorious in the two-hour season finale and fought back tears when his name was announced as the winner by host Ryan Seacrest.
Phillips is the youngest person to ever win the reality singing competition, and he will be hoping to follow in the successful footsteps of other past champs like Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, and Carrie Underwood.
The show was jam packed with celebrities like Reba McEntire, John Fogerty, Neil Diamond, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Holliday, and former Idol winners Sparks and Fantasia Barrino teaming up with this season’s finalists for collaborative efforts.
Judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler also performed, with Tyler hitting the stage with Aerosmith. Lopez performed her new single “Follow the Leader” with Mexican duo Wisin y Yandel.
There was also a special set from Rihanna, and the male finalists performed a medley of Bee Gees hits as a tribute to Robin Gibb, who last weekend.
The other big moment from last night’s season finale came with previous contestant Ace Young proposed to his girlfriend and fellow former contestant Diana DeGarmo live on the air.
After the DeGarmo accepted, she quipped, “I’m so speechless right now! And my make-up’s running…”
More in the video below.
- Phillip Phillips wins American Idol 2012 (guardian.co.uk)
- 21-year-old Phillip Phillips wins “American Idol” (fox6now.com)
- Phillip Phillips is the 11th American Idol Winner (rojan88.wordpress.com)
- Phillip Phillips Wins ‘American Idol’ (rollingstone.com)