“American Idol” Reveals Final Two After Sending One More Contestant Home

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Still intact is the possibility that the fifth consecutive “white guy with guitar” will win “American Idol.”

Phillip Phillips, who has been most likened to Dave Matthews but certainly fits the general demographic profile of winners like Lee DeWyze and Kris Allen, advanced to next week’s “Idol” finale on the heels of a powerful rendition of “We’ve Got Tonight.”

Easily the weakest vocal talent of the remaining three, Phillips nonetheless brought charm, good looks and a unique (by singing competition standards), very “current” style that resonated with the “Idol” voters. And next week, he’ll have a chance to win it all.

Standing in his way will be Jessica Sanchez, the pretty, young powerhouse who at sixteen can stand toe-to-toe with nearly any female vocalist ever to grace the “Idol” stage. Sanchez has occasionally been criticized for being too polished and robotic, but there is absolutely no question that she has the talent and personality to succeed in the music world.

Departing Thursday was Joshua Ledet, who had been considered a longshot to make the finale. While Ledet was likely the most talented vocalist and performer of the bunch–some would even say one of the best ever on “Idol”–his soul/gospel vibe has struggled to connect with the core “Idol” demographic in recent weeks. No matter how brilliant he was technically, there was going to be a portion of the audience who felt he was “screaming” and over-emoting.

And so the fact that he managed to advance to the top three with his style speaks volumes about his talent. Unfortunately, there was a limit on his success, and that limit kept him out of next week’s finale.