American Idol: Who Do You Want to Win?
05/23/2012 AT 02:45 PM EDT
Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips had already come a long way before having to perform three songs each on American Idol's final night of competition Tuesday.
After the show, they spoke together with reporters about taking the stage on a night with the highest stakes yet.
"We feel like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders," Jessica said. "Tomorrow is the last episode of the season and we are just really relieved."
"It was so much fun," added Phillip, who admitted to pre-show jitters. "I was scared to death but finally loosened up through [my first song] 'Stand by Me'."
And in the Idol tradition, the contestants had nothing but praise for each other. When asked about his favorite performances of the night, Phillip answered, "Probably all three of Jessica's." And Jessica answered the same question, "I loved all of his performances."
Even last year's winner, Scotty McCreery, who sang "Please Remember Me" on Tuesday, can't decide who should win.
"I can't have a favorite because I really know how each and every one of those kids are feeling," he said backstage after the show. "I have been in their shoes and I know how their hearts are pounding before the show and the nerves and their stomachs are in knots."
But, he added, he's looking forward to finding out – along with the rest of us – who will be named the American Idol.
"They are two totally opposite artists but it's fun to watch," McCreery said. "It's going to be a tight race [Wednesday] night, so we will see."