Phillip Phillips Is American Idol Season 11 Winner

Phillip Phillips Wins American Idol Finale
Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips
Michael Becker/FOX (2)

updated 05/23/2012 at 09:55 PM EDT

originally published 05/23/2012 10:15PM

Ryan Seacrest is in a tux – and American Idol has a winner!

Season 11's finalists, Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips, both had a big night on Wednesday. In addition to seeing their fellow top 12 contestants (and future tour mates) perform with the likes of Chaka Khan and Neil Diamond, they heard performances by some of the biggest names in music today – Rihanna, Reba McEntire, judge Jennifer Lopez.

They also shared the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE stage with legends: Phillip sang "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising" with Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty. And Jessica performed "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" with original Dreamgirls star Jennifer Holliday. Both to impressive results.

And then there was that little business of announcing the new American Idol. Keep reading to find out who won ...





"After a record breaking 132 million votes," Seacrest said at the end of a two-hour broadcast, "the winner of American Idol season 11 is ... Phillip Phillips!"

As the top 12 crowded around him, the judges gave a standing ovation and last year's winner Scotty McCreery handed Phillip his trophy.

Then Phillip performed his new single, "Home." But as confetti fell, the former pawnshop employee got choked up and couldn't finish the song, opting to hug his parents and the judges instead.



MORE ON: Rihanna , Ryan Seacrest

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