Phillip Phillips, a 21-year-old pawn show worker from Leesburg, Georgia, got the huge vote of confidence in the form of a standing ovation from the judges and the crowd alike for his rendition of Home, an acoustic song which included use of a marching band.
“I love the song, I love you, I love the production, I love the marching band … that was amazing,” Randy Jackson told him after the rousing performance, while J.Lo told him, “That was a Phillip Phillips song!”
On Tuesday, Phillip and Jessica, a 16-year-old San Diego native, performed three songs apiece: one picked by show creator Simon Fuller, one that was their favorite song from this season and one earmarked as their first single, should they win the show.
Phillips also sang Billy Joel‘s Movin’ Out and Ben E. King‘s Stand By Me Tuesday. Jessica was on and off in her performances of Whitney Houston‘s I Will Always Love You, The Prayer and a piano tune called Change Nothing.
American Idol‘s 11th season winner will be named Wednesday in a two-hour special, beginning at 8/7c on Fox.