American Idol (season 11)

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American Idol
Season 11
Broadcast from January 18, 2012 – May 23, 2012
Judges Randy Jackson
Jennifer Lopez
Steven Tyler
Host(s) Ryan Seacrest
Broadcaster Fox Broadcasting Company
Finals venue Nokia Theatre Los Angeles
Winner:
Phillip Phillips
Phillip Phillips at the American Idols Live! Tour 2012 at Seattle Center's Key Arena, July 2012.jpg
Phillip Phillips at the American Idols Live! Tour 2012 at Seattle Center's KeyArena, July 2012
Origin Leesburg, Georgia
Song "Home"
Genre(s) Rock
Runner-up
Jessica Sanchez
Chronology
2012

The eleventh season of American Idol premiered on Fox on January 18, 2012. The show aired on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c.[1] Ryan Seacrest returned as host,[2] while Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler,[3] and Jennifer Lopez[4] all returned as judges. Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine, a songwriter and producer, also returned as an in-house mentor to work with the contestants on a weekly basis.[5] This season followed the same format as season 10, although a new title screen and logo were created, with a different font. Tyler and Lopez announced that they would be leaving the show two months after the finale.[6][7] Though Lopez later returned as a judge for the show's thirteenth season.[8]

The season set a record when 132 million votes were gathered for the finale. On May 23, 2012, Phillip Phillips became the winner of the eleventh season of American Idol, beating Jessica Sanchez, the first female recipient of the judges' save.[9]

Six contestants from this season were signed to record labels. The signed artists are Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Elise Testone, Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick and Heejun Han. Several contestants that were not signed by a record label have independently released music, such as Hollie Cavanagh, Erika Van Pelt and Jeremy Rosado.

Skylar Laine signed to 19 Entertainment's management and was in the process of finding a label, but she later parted ways with them.[10]

Regional auditions[edit]

Auditions took place in the following cities:[11]

Episode air date Audition city Date Venue Callback date Callback venue Golden tickets
January 18, 2012 North Charleston, South Carolina July 22, 2011 North Charleston Coliseum[12] August 17–18, 2011 Hyatt Regency, Savannah, Georgia[13][14] 42
January 19, 2012 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 15, 2011 Heinz Field[15] September 28–29, 2011 David L. Lawrence Convention Center[16] 38
January 22, 2012 San Diego, California July 8, 2011 Petco Park[17] October 9–10, 2011 USS Midway Aircraft Carrier[18] 53
January 25, 2012 Denver, Colorado July 29, 2011 Invesco Field[19] October 5–6, 2011[20] Doerr-Hosier Center, Aspen[21] 31
January 26, 2012 Houston, Texas August 26, 2011 Reliant Arena[22] August 30–31, 2011 Galveston Island Convention Center[23] 55
February 1, 2012 Portland, Oregon July 2, 2011 Rose Garden[24] October 1–2, 2011 Red Lion Hotel[25] 45
February 2, 2012 St. Louis, Missouri June 28, 2011 Scottrade Center[26] September 2–3, 2011 Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark[27] 46
a East Rutherford, New Jersey September 22, 2011 IZOD Center[28] September 24–25, 2011[29]
Total number of tickets to Hollywood 310
A helicopter view of American Idol auditions at Petco Park, San Diego, July 8, 2011
  • ^Note a The New Jersey audition episode was not aired due to scheduling changes.[30]

The New Jersey audition was a late addition to the schedule,[31] the audition was held although the attendance was reportedly low.[32] However, the audition episode was not shown, the first time that a scheduled audition that had taken place was not shown. Contestants known to have auditioned in New Jersey were listed as having auditioned elsewhere on the official American Idol website, for example Alex Wong who auditioned in New Jersey has San Diego listed as his audition city on the official website.[33][34]

Hollywood week and Vegas rounds[edit]

The Hollywood rounds of auditions were held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium starting December 12, 2011.[35] There were 309 contestants at the start of Hollywood Week. The contestants performed solo for the first round, and 185 made the cut. Amongst those sent home included actor/comedian Jim Carrey's daughter, Jane Carrey.[36] Another contestant, Symone Black, collapsed and fell on stage, but made the cut. The second round involved group performances, and a number of contestants became ill and collapsed in the auditorium. 98 contestants moved on to the third and final round, which were solo performances accompanied by a band or instrument. The contestants were then separated into four rooms, where one room of 28 contestants were all eliminated, while the 70 contestants in the other three rooms all advanced to the Las Vegas round.

After Hollywood, the contestants went to Las Vegas for a challenge round where they performed traditional late 1950s song in groups with Elvis Presley "Viva, Elvis!" show as the backdrop.[37] 28 of the 70 contestants were eliminated. Next came a solo round accompanied by an instrument at the stage for Le Rêve at the Wynn Las Vegas. After the 42 remaining contestants sang their last solo at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel, they were called one by one to hear the final judgement. Twelve guys and twelve girls were initially announced as the semi-finalists; however, the judges announced plans to add a thirteenth male semi-finalist between Jermaine Jones, Richie Law, Johnny Keyser and David Leathers Jr. The following week, after the male performances, Jermaine Jones was revealed to be the thirteenth performer.

Semi-finalists[edit]

The following is a list of semi-finalists who failed to reach the finals:

Females
Contestant Age at time of show Date of birth Hometown Audition location
Baylie Brown 22 January 6, 1990[38] Krum, Texas Houston, Texas
Hallie Day 24 April 6, 1987[39] Baltimore, Maryland Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jen Hirsh 25 June 25, 1986[40] Agoura Hills, California Houston, Texas
Haley Johnsen 23 January 3, 1989[41] Beaverton, Oregon Portland, Oregon
Chelsea Sorrell 23 June 30, 1988[42] Stokesdale, North Carolina Charleston, South Carolina
Brielle Von Hugel 17 May 4, 1994[43] Staten Island, New York Rutherford, New Jersey
Males
Contestant Age at time of show Date of birth Hometown Audition location
Adam Brock 27 May 29, 1984 Washington, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Creighton Fraker 28 May 12, 1983 Queens, New York Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Eben Franckewitz 15 June 13, 1996[44] Loveland, Ohio Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reed Grimm 26 April 12, 1985 Ellsworth, Wisconsin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Chase Likens 21 February 15, 1991 Point Pleasant, West Virginia Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Aaron Marcellus 27 July 25, 1984 Atlanta, Georgia Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Semi-finals[edit]

The semi-finals round started on February 28. Below are the two semi-final groups (males and females) with contestants listed in their performance order. The top five males and top five females, along with the three wild card choices by the judges, advanced to the finals. The males started the semifinal round, and the females continued on following night's episode, the contestants perform songs of their choice (there was no particular theme). This season, long-time vocal coach Debra Byrd was replaced by Jimmy Iovine's own team in the live shows.[45]

Males[edit]

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Reed Grimm "Moves Like Jagger" Wild Card
2 Adam Brock "Think" Eliminated
3 DeAndre Brackensick "Reasons" Wild Card
4 Colton Dixon "Decode" Advanced
5 Jeremy Rosado "Gravity" Wild Card
6 Aaron Marcellus "Never Can Say Goodbye" Eliminated
7 Chase Likens "Storm Warning" Eliminated
8 Creighton Fraker "True Colors" Eliminated
9 Phillip Phillips "In the Air Tonight" Advanced
10 Eben Franckewitz "Set Fire to the Rain" Eliminated
11 Heejun Han "Angels" Advanced
12 Joshua Ledet "You Pulled Me Through" Advanced
13 Jermaine Jones "Dance with My Father" Advanced

Females[edit]

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Chelsea Sorrell "Cowboy Casanova" Eliminated
2 Erika Van Pelt "What About Love" Wild Card
3 Jen Hirsh "One and Only" Wild Card
4 Brielle Von Hugel "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" Wild Card
5 Hallie Day "Feeling Good" Eliminated
6 Skylar Laine "Stay with Me" Advanced
7 Baylie Brown "Amazed" Eliminated
8 Hollie Cavanagh "Reflection" Advanced
9 Haley Johnsen "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" Eliminated
10 Shannon Magrane "Go Light Your World" Advanced
11 Jessica Sanchez "Love You I Do" Advanced
12 Elise Testone "One and Only" Advanced

Wild Card round[edit]

Following those ten singers advancing on Thursday, March 1, six of the remaining 25 semi-finalists were selected by the judges to compete in the Wild Card round. The Wild Card round immediately began, following the announcement of the ten finalists. Following another performance by each Wild Card contender, the judges then selected three contestants to advance to the final group of 13.

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Jen Hirsh "Oh! Darling" Eliminated
2 Jeremy Rosado "I Know You Won't" Advanced
3 Brielle Von Hugel "Someone Like You" Eliminated
4 DeAndre Brackensick "Georgia on My Mind" Advanced
5 Erika Van Pelt "The Edge of Glory" Advanced
6 Reed Grimm "Use Me" Eliminated

Finalists[edit]

Phillip Phillips

Phillip Phillips (born September 20, 1990) is from Leesburg, Georgia. He attended Lee County High School. He graduated Albany Technical College, but had to miss the graduation ceremony due to being on American Idol. He auditioned in North Charleston, singing "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson's "Thriller" with the guitar.[46] He performed "I Only Have Eyes For You" with Heejun Han, Neco Starr, and Jairon Jackson during Hollywood Week. Many people have compared his vocal style to that of Dave Matthews, whom he has also noted as an influence. Phillips was announced the winner on May 23, 2012. Philips' coronation song, "Home", was a great success with sales 4 million copies in the US.

Jessica Sanchez

Jessica Sanchez (born August 4, 1995)[47] is from San Diego, California. Sanchez auditioned in San Diego. She performed "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" with DeAndre Brackensick and Candice Glover in Las Vegas. During the Sing For Your Life green mile round, Sanchez performed "The Prayer" by Andrea Bocelli. Before Idol, she was known for her appearance on the first season of America's Got Talent where she was brought back by judge Brandy during the show's wildcard round. Sanchez also participated in the YouTube edition of "We Are the World" along with 56 other YouTube artists, including American Idol season 10 finalist Thia Megia. She was saved from elimination by the judges after receiving the lowest number of votes in the top seven round, making her the first female contestant to be saved by the judges. Sanchez was announced the runner-up on May 23, 2012.

Joshua Ledet

Joshua Ledet (born April 9, 1992) is from Westlake, Louisiana. He writes songs and lyrics for and attends the House of Prayer Holiness Church. He auditioned in Houston, Texas. He originally auditioned for American Idol season 10, but he did not make it past the audition stage. He was dubbed "Mantasia" (as being the male version of American Idol season three winner Fantasia Barrino) during the semi-finals. He performed "Blue Suede Shoes with Shannon Magrane, Amber Holcomb, and Curtis Finch Jr. " His musical influences are his mother, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Fantasia Barrino, James Brown, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder and Elton John. He was eliminated on May 17, 2012 and came in third place.
Hollie Cavanagh (born July 5, 1993) is originally from Liverpool, Merseyside, England but grew up in McKinney, Texas. She originally auditioned for season 10, but she was eliminated in the green mile round and was encouraged by Jennifer Lopez that she could win the competition in a couple of years with practice. Hollie sang "Mr. Sandman" with Naomi Gillies and Marissa Pontecorvo in Las Vegas. Hollie's only appearance in season 11 was during the Top 42 green mile round. She sang "Change" by American Idol season four winner Carrie Underwood for the Sing for Your Life round. She was eliminated on May 10, 2012 and came in fourth place. She auditioned in Galveston.

Skylar Laine

Skylar Laine (born February 1, 1994)[48] is from Brandon, Mississippi. She is the second finalist to hail from Mississippi, with the previous one being Jasmine Murray from season eight. She auditioned in Galveston, singing "Hell on Heels" by Pistol Annies. In Las Vegas, she performed "Dedicated to the One I Love" with Colton Dixon, Chase Likens, and Cari Quoyeser. Her musical influences include George Jones, Waylon Jennings, and Miranda Lambert. She was eliminated on May 3, 2012 and came in fifth place.
Elise Testone (born July 29, 1983) is from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She auditioned in North Charleston with the song "Get It While You Can" by Janis Joplin.[46] Prior to Idol, she was a voice instructor in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina,[49][50] and she performed regularly, either solo or with one of several bands, in Charleston, South Carolina.[51][52] In 2011, her band, the Freeloaders, won the Funk/Soul/R&B Artist of the Year award in the Charleston City Paper’s Music issue.[50][53] Testone received additional recognition from the Charleston City Paper in 2011, winning the staff pick for Best Tribute for Elise Testone’s James Brown Dance Party.[54] She has performed as an opening act for various other artists, including Snoop Dogg, Nappy Roots, Seven Mary Three, and Kevin Costner’s band, Modern West.[55] She was eliminated on April 26, 2012 and came in sixth place.[56] Her debut album, In This Life was released on February 11, 2014.

Colton Dixon

Colton Dixon (born October 19, 1991[57]) is from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He auditioned in North Charleston with his younger sister, Schyler. He originally auditioned for season 10 along with Schyler in the Nashville, Tennessee, auditions, but she was cut in the group round and then he was cut in the green mile round. Dixon returned in season 11, however he did not plan to audition, initially planning to simply accompany his sister Schyler to her audition. The judges implored Dixon to audition as well, where he sang David Cook's "Permanent". Colton performed "Dedicated to the One I Love" with Skylar Laine, Chase Likens, and Cari Qouyeser in Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, Schyler was eliminated, bringing Colton to tears. He performed the Coldplay song "Fix You", and dedicated it to his sister. He was eliminated on April 19, 2012 and came in seventh place. Prior to his elimination, Dixon had never been in the Bottom 3. His debut album A Messenger was released on January 29, 2013.
DeAndre Brackensick (born October 21, 1994) is from San Jose, California. He auditioned in San Diego, California. He originally auditioned for American Idol season 10, but he was cut in the green mile round. He performed "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" with Jessica Sanchez and Candice Glover in Las Vegas. He is an active participant in Oak Grove High School's Theater Arts program and is the president of the school's Polynesian Club. He was eliminated on April 5, 2012 and came in eighth place.
Heejun Han (born April 20, 1989 in Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea) is from Flushing, New York. He and his family migrated to Queens, New York when he was a child and then moved to Flushing, Queens, New York during his teenage years. Before American Idol, he was a non-profit organizer, working with children with special needs. He has spoken of suffering from emotional depression and credited the children that he worked with for helping him to recover from his illness. He has also said that the children motivated him to audition for American Idol. He auditioned in Pittsburgh with "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You". His audition brought Jennifer Lopez to tears, and Steven Tyler stated "I think you are really great. I think you could be the American Idol". He is the first Korean American to make the finals on American Idol. He was eliminated on March 29, 2012 and came in ninth place.

Erika Van Pelt

Erika Van Pelt (born December 12, 1985[58]) is from South Kingstown, Rhode Island. She auditioned in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with song "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by The Shirelles. She draws her influences anywhere from Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Joss Stone, Jill Scott, and Kim Burrell. She has a passion for rhythm and blues, soul, country, jazz, rock and classical. She was eliminated on March 22, 2012 and came in tenth place. Her debut album, My Independence was released on October 8, 2013.
Shannon Magrane (born October 21, 1995[59]) is from Tampa, Florida. She is the daughter of Tampa Bay Rays broadcaster and former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Magrane.[46] She auditioned in North Charleston, South Carolina, with the song "Something's Got a Hold on Me" by Etta James.[46] She was eliminated on March 15, 2012 and came in eleventh place.[60]

Jermaine Jones (born November 18, 1986) is from Pine Hill, New Jersey. He auditioned in Portland, Oregon. He attended Overbrook High School. Before Idol, he worked as a vocal instructor at Highest Praise Performing Arts Center.[61] Jones was not originally chosen for the semi-finals, but he was called back after the top 24 selection filming, making him the 25th semi-finalist and thirteenth male semi-finalist. Standing 6 feet 8 and a half inches tall, he was dubbed "The Gentle Giant" on the show. His musical influences are his mother and John Legend. On March 13, 2012, he was disqualified for concealing arrests and outstanding warrants.[62] He is the second American Idol contestant to be disqualified during the finals, as Corey Clark was disqualified in the second season, and he came in twelfth place.

Jeremy Rosado (born March 24, 1992) is from Valrico, Florida. Rosado previously auditioned for American Idol four times. He was eliminated on March 8, 2012, and came in thirteenth place. He is the fourth wild card finalist to be the eliminated first in the finals, with his female predecessors being Leah LaBelle (season three), Jasmine Murray (season eight), and Ashthon Jones (season 10). His musical influences are Francesca Battistelli, Kirk Franklin, and Israel Houghton. His debut single, Don't be Afraid was released on April 2, 2013.

Finals[edit]

In this season, maintaining the previous season's format, there are 12 weeks of the finals and 13 finalists, with one finalist eliminated per week based on the American public's votes (exceptions include Top 13-week, where the judges were able to decide who would go home based on the lowest votes between the male and female contestants, and Top 12-week, where Jermaine Jones was disqualified). Previous season's winner Scotty McCreery recorded the Tim McGraw song "Please Remember Me" as the send-off song played when a contestant is eliminated. Jimmy Iovine resumed duties as a weekly mentor to the contestants, frequently assisted by guest mentors. This season, the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and Soyon An were employed as image advisers for the Top 10 finalists.[63]

Top 13 – Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder[edit]

On March 7, 2012, the women performed Whitney Houston songs and the men performed Stevie Wonder songs. Ryan Seacrest stated that it will be a competition between the male and female contestants. As a result, the bottom three of each gender, as well as the male and female contestant who received the lowest number of votes amongst their gender, were announced the next night, and the judges chose who went home. However, this will not count as the supposed "Judges' Save" which can only be used once in the competition before the Top 5. Between Jeremy Rosado and Elise Testone, each of whom received the lowest number of votes for their respective gender groups, the judges used the Top 13 Save on Elise Testone and chose to eliminate Jeremy Rosado from the competition.

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Joshua Ledet "I Wish" Bottom 3 (M)
2 Elise Testone "I'm Your Baby Tonight" Saved
3 Jermaine Jones "Knocks Me Off My Feet" Bottom 3 (M)
4 Erika Van Pelt "I Believe in You and Me" Bottom 3 (F)
5 Colton Dixon "Lately" Safe
6 Shannon Magrane "I Have Nothing" Bottom 3 (F)
7 DeAndre Brackensick "Master Blaster (Jammin')" Safe
8 Skylar Laine "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" Safe
9 Heejun Han "All in Love Is Fair" Safe
10 Hollie Cavanagh "All the Man That I Need" Safe
11 Jeremy Rosado "Ribbon in the Sky" Eliminated
12 Jessica Sanchez "I Will Always Love You" Safe
13 Phillip Phillips "Superstition" Safe
  • Group performance: "As"

Top 11 – Year They Were Born[edit]

Due to a hidden criminal past, Jermaine Jones was disqualified prior to the Wednesday performance show.[64] Footage of executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick confronting Jones was shown in what would have been his performance slot, in between Van Pelt's and Laine's performances.[65] A clip of his rehearsal, singing "Somewhere Out There", was shown after his removal from the competition. Voting continued as scheduled with one of the remaining 11 contestants eliminated in addition to Jones, unlike the season 2 disqualification of Corey Clark.

Order Contestant Song Year Result
1 Phillip Phillips "Hard to Handle" 1990 Safe
2 Jessica Sanchez "Turn the Beat Around" 1995 Safe
3 Heejun Han "Right Here Waiting" 1989 Safe
4 Elise Testone "Let's Stay Together" 1983 Bottom 3
5 DeAndre Brackensick "Endless Love" 1994 Safe
6 Shannon Magrane "One Sweet Day" 1995 Eliminated
7 Colton Dixon "Broken Heart" 1991 Safe
8 Erika Van Pelt "Heaven" 1985 Bottom 3
9 Skylar Laine "Love Sneakin' Up on You" 1994 Safe
10 Joshua Ledet "When a Man Loves a Woman" 1992 Safe
11 Hollie Cavanagh "The Power of Love" 1993 Safe

Top 10 – Billy Joel[edit]

Order Contestant Song Result
1 DeAndre Brackensick "Only the Good Die Young" Bottom 3
2 Erika Van Pelt "New York State of Mind" Eliminated
3 Joshua Ledet "She's Got a Way" Safe
4 Skylar Laine "Shameless" Safe
5 Elise Testone "Vienna" Safe
6 Phillip Phillips "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" Safe
7 Hollie Cavanagh "Honesty" Safe
8 Heejun Han "My Life" Bottom 3
9 Jessica Sanchez "Everybody Has a Dream" Safe
10 Colton Dixon "Piano Man" Safe

Top 9 – Their Personal Idols[edit]

Order Contestant Song Personal Idol Result
1 Colton Dixon "Everything" Lifehouse Safe
2 Skylar Laine "Gunpowder & Lead" Miranda Lambert Bottom 3
3 Colton Dixon, Phillip Phillips & Elise Testone "Landslide" / "Edge of Seventeen" / "Don't Stop" N/A N/A
4 Heejun Han "A Song for You" Donny Hathaway Eliminated
5 Hollie Cavanagh "Jesus, Take the Wheel" Carrie Underwood Bottom 3
6 DeAndre Brackensick "Sometimes I Cry" Eric Benét Safe
7 Jessica Sanchez "Sweet Dreams" Beyoncé Safe
8 DeAndre Brackensick, Heejun Han & Joshua Ledet "The Lady in My Life" / "Rock with You" / "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" N/A N/A
9 Phillip Phillips "Still Rainin'" Jonny Lang Safe
10 Joshua Ledet "Without You" Mariah Carey Safe
11 Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine & Jessica Sanchez "Like a Prayer" / "Borderline" / "Express Yourself" N/A N/A
12 Elise Testone "Whole Lotta Love" Led Zeppelin Safe

Top 8 – Songs from the 1980s[edit]

Order Contestant Song Result
1 DeAndre Brackensick "I Like It" Eliminated
2 Elise Testone "I Want to Know What Love Is" Bottom 3
3 Colton Dixon & Skylar Laine "Islands in the Stream" N/A
4 Phillip Phillips "That's All" Safe
5 DeAndre Brackensick & Hollie Cavanagh "I'm So Excited" N/A
6 Joshua Ledet "If You Don't Know Me by Now" Safe
7 Jessica Sanchez "How Will I Know" Safe
8 Phillip Phillips & Elise Testone "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" N/A
9 Hollie Cavanagh "Flashdance... What a Feeling" Bottom 3
10 Joshua Ledet & Jessica Sanchez "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" N/A
11 Colton Dixon "Time After Time" Safe
12 Skylar Laine "Wind Beneath My Wings" Safe

Top 7 (first week) – Songs from the 2010s[edit]

  • Guest mentor: Akon
Order Contestant Song Result
1 Skylar Laine "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You" Safe
2 Colton Dixon "Love the Way You Lie" Safe
3 Phillip Phillips & Elise Testone "Somebody That I Used to Know" N/A
4 Jessica Sanchez "Stuttering" Saved
5 Joshua Ledet "Runaway Baby" Bottom 3
6 Colton Dixon & Skylar Laine "Don't You Wanna Stay" N/A
7 Hollie Cavanagh "Fuckin' Perfect" Safe
8 Phillip Phillips "Give a Little More" Safe
9 Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet & Jessica Sanchez "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" N/A
10 Elise Testone "You and I" Bottom 3

Top 7 (second week) – Songs from Now & Then[edit]

Each contestant performed two songs: a Billboard number-one hit from the 21st century and a song from the classic soul era. Normally two finalists would be eliminated the week after using the judges' save, however, only one finalist was eliminated.

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Hollie Cavanagh "Rolling in the Deep" Bottom 3
2 Colton Dixon "Bad Romance" Eliminated
3 Elise Testone "No One" Bottom 3
4 Phillip Phillips "U Got It Bad" Safe
5 Jessica Sanchez "Fallin'" Safe
6 Skylar Laine "Born This Way" Safe
7 Joshua Ledet "I Believe" Safe
8 Hollie Cavanagh "Son of a Preacher Man" Bottom 3
9 Colton Dixon "September" Eliminated
10 Elise Testone "Let's Get It On" Bottom 3
11 Phillip Phillips "In the Midnight Hour" Safe
12 Jessica Sanchez "Try a Little Tenderness" Safe
13 Skylar Laine "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" Safe
14 Joshua Ledet "A Change Is Gonna Come" Safe

Top 6 – Queen / Contestant's Choice[edit]

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Jessica Sanchez "Bohemian Rhapsody" Safe
2 Skylar Laine "The Show Must Go On" Bottom 3
3 Joshua Ledet "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Safe
4 Elise Testone "I Want It All" Eliminated
5 Phillip Phillips "Fat Bottomed Girls" Safe
6 Hollie Cavanagh "Save Me" Bottom 2
7 Jessica Sanchez "Dance with My Father" Safe
8 Skylar Laine "Tattoos on This Town" Bottom 3
9 Joshua Ledet "Ready for Love" Safe
10 Elise Testone "Bold as Love" Eliminated
11 Phillip Phillips "The Stone" Safe
12 Hollie Cavanagh "The Climb" Bottom 2

Top 5 – Songs from the 1960s / British Pop[edit]

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Hollie Cavanagh "River Deep – Mountain High" Bottom 2
2 Phillip Phillips "The Letter" Safe
3 Skylar Laine "Fortunate Son" Eliminated
4 Joshua Ledet & Phillip Phillips "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" N/A
5 Jessica Sanchez "Proud Mary" Safe
6 Joshua Ledet "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" Safe
7 Hollie Cavanagh "Bleeding Love" Bottom 2
8 Phillip Phillips "Time of the Season" Safe
9 Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine & Jessica Sanchez "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" N/A
10 Skylar Laine "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" Eliminated
11 Jessica Sanchez "You Are So Beautiful" Safe
12 Joshua Ledet "To Love Somebody" Safe

Top 4 – Music of California / Songs They Wish They'd Written[edit]

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Phillip Phillips "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" Safe
2 Hollie Cavanagh "Faithfully" Eliminated
3 Joshua Ledet "You Raise Me Up" Safe
4 Jessica Sanchez "Steal Away" Safe
5 Joshua Ledet & Phillip Phillips "This Love" N/A
6 Hollie Cavanagh & Jessica Sanchez "Eternal Flame" N/A
7 Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips & Jessica Sanchez "Waiting for a Girl Like You" N/A
8 Phillip Phillips "Volcano" Safe
9 Hollie Cavanagh "I Can't Make You Love Me" Eliminated
10 Joshua Ledet "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" Safe
11 Jessica Sanchez "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" Safe

Top 3 – Judges' Choice / Contestant's Choice / Jimmy Iovine's Choice[edit]

Order Contestant Song Chosen By Result
1 Joshua Ledet "I'd Rather Go Blind" Randy Jackson Eliminated
2 Jessica Sanchez "My All" Jennifer Lopez Safe
3 Phillip Phillips "Beggin'" Steven Tyler Safe
4 Joshua Ledet "Imagine" Self Eliminated
5 Jessica Sanchez "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Self Safe
6 Phillip Phillips "Disease" Self Safe
7 Joshua Ledet "No More Drama" Jimmy Iovine Eliminated
8 Jessica Sanchez "I'll Be There" Jimmy Iovine Safe
9 Phillip Phillips "We've Got Tonight" Jimmy Iovine Safe

Top 2 – Simon Fuller's Choice / Favorite Performance / Winner's Single[edit]

Order Contestant Song Result
1 Jessica Sanchez "I Have Nothing" Runner-up
2 Phillip Phillips "Stand by Me" Winner
3 Jessica Sanchez "The Prayer" Runner-up
4 Phillip Phillips "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" Winner
5 Jessica Sanchez "Change Nothing" Runner-up
6 Phillip Phillips "Home" Winner

Elimination chart[edit]

Females Males Top 25 Top 13 Wild Card Winner
Did Not Perform Safe Safe First Safe Last Eliminated Top 13 Save Judges' Save
Stage: Semi-Finals Wild Card Finals
Week: 3/1 3/81 3/15 3/22 3/29 4/5 4/123 4/19 4/26 5/3 5/10 5/17 5/23
Place Contestant Result
1 Phillip Phillips Top 13 Winner
2 Jessica Sanchez Top 13 Saved Runner-up
3 Joshua Ledet Top 13 Bottom 3 (M) Bottom 3 Elim
4 Hollie Cavanagh Top 13 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 2 Bottom 2 Elim
5 Skylar Laine Top 13 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Elim
6 Elise Testone Top 13 Saved Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Bottom 3 Elim
7 Colton Dixon Top 13 Elim
8 DeAndre Brackensick Wild Card Top 13 Bottom 3 Elim
9 Heejun Han Top 13 Bottom 3 Elim
10 Erika Van Pelt Wild Card Top 13 Bottom 3 (F) Bottom 3 Elim
11 Shannon Magrane Top 13 Bottom 3 (F) Elim
12 Jermaine Jones Top 13 Bottom 3 (M) Disq2
13 Jeremy Rosado Wild Card Top 13 Elim
14–16 Reed Grimm Wild Card Elim
Jen Hirsh Wild Card
Brielle Von Hugel Wild Card
17–25 Adam Brock Elim
Baylie Brown
Hallie Day
Creighton Fraker
Eben Franckewitz
Haley Johnsen
Chase Likens
Aaron Marcellus
Chelsea Sorrell

^Note 1 : The 'Top 13' results featured 'Bottom 3' groups for each gender, with Testone and Rosado receiving the least votes among their respective genders. The judges subsequently opted to save Testone, thereby eliminating Rosado from the competition.
^Note 2 : Jones was disqualified for failing to disclose his full criminal history prior to the voting rounds commencing.
^Note 3 : Due to the judges using their one 'Judges' Save' per season, in order to save Sanchez, the 'Top 7' remained intact for another week.

Results show performances[edit]

Week Performer(s) Title Hot 100 reaction Digital sales reaction Performance type
Top 13 Lauren Alaina "Georgia Peaches" did not chart 12,000 (+64%)[citation needed] live
Mary J. Blige "Why" did not chart live
Top 11 Demi Lovato "Give Your Heart a Break" did not chart live
Daughtry "Outta My Head" did not chart live
Top 10 Lana Del Rey "Video Games" did not chart 13,000 (+147%)[66] pre-recorded
Haley Reinhart "Free" 104 (debut)[67] 35,000 (debut)[66] pre-recorded
Top 9 Nicki Minaj "Starships" 6 (−1)[68] 204,000 (+17%)[68] live
Scotty McCreery "Water Tower Town" did not chart 15,000 (+3,519%)[69] live
Top 8 Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull "Dance Again" 27 (debut)[70] 118,000 (debut)[71] music video premiere
The Wanted "Glad You Came" 3 (+1)[72] 209,000 (+24%)[72] live
Kellie Pickler "Where's Tammy Wynette" did not chart live
Top 7
Week 1
James Durbin "Higher Than Heaven" did not chart live
Jennifer Hudson & Ne-Yo "Think Like a Man" 90 (debut)[73] 25,000, (+109%)[74] live
Top 7
Week 2
Kris Allen "The Vision of Love" did not chart 11,000 (debut)[69] live
LMFAO "Sorry for Party Rocking" did not chart 15,000 (−18%)[75] live
Top 6 Queen Extravaganza "Somebody to Love" unreleased unreleased live
Stefano Langone "I'm on a Roll" did not chart 20,000 (debut)[76] live
Katy Perry "Part of Me" 11 (+1)[77] 73,000 (−6%)[74] pre-recorded
Top 5 Coldplay "Paradise" 48 (re-entry)[78] pre-recorded
Carrie Underwood "Blown Away" 66 (debut) 66,000 (debut)[79] live
Coldplay "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" did not chart pre-recorded
Top 4 David Cook "The Last Song I'll Write for You" did not chart 15,000 (debut)[80] live
Jennifer Lopez "Dance Again" 17 (+3)[81] 104,000 (+39%)[80] pre-recorded
Top 3 Lisa Marie Presley "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet did not chart pre-recorded
Adam Lambert "Never Close Our Eyes" did not chart live
Top 2 Jason Derülo "Undefeated" did not chart live
Scotty McCreery "Please Remember Me" did not chart 16,000 (+302%)[82] live
Finale American Idol Top 12 (minus Phillip Phillips & Jessica Sanchez) "Runaway Baby" unreleased unreleased live
John Fogerty & Phillip Phillips "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" / "Bad Moon Rising" unreleased unreleased live
Fantasia Barrino & Joshua Ledet "Take Me to the Pilot" unreleased unreleased live
American Idol Girls & Chaka Khan "Ain't Nobody" / "Through the Fire" / "I'm Every Woman" unreleased unreleased live
Rihanna "Where Have You Been" 11 (+2)[83] 136,000 (+47%)[83] live
Reba McEntire & Skylar Laine "Turn On the Radio" unreleased unreleased live
Jessica Sanchez "I Will Always Love You" unreleased unreleased live
Neil Diamond & American Idol Boys (minus Phillip Phillips) "America" / "Cracklin' Rosie" / "I'm a Believer" / "Sweet Caroline" unreleased unreleased live
Jennifer Lopez, Lil Jon & Flo Rida "Goin' In" live
Jennifer Lopez & Wisin & Yandel "Follow the Leader" failed to chart 13,000 (+203%)[82] live
Jordin Sparks & Hollie Cavanagh "You'll Never Walk Alone" unreleased unreleased live
American Idol Boys (minus Phillip Phillips) "Words" / "How Deep Is Your Love" / "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" / "To Love Somebody" unreleased unreleased live
Jennifer Holliday & Jessica Sanchez "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" unreleased unreleased live
Aerosmith "Legendary Child" / "Walk This Way" did not chart 10,000[82] live
Phillip Phillips & Jessica Sanchez "Up Where We Belong" unreleased unreleased live
Phillip Phillips "Home" 10 (debut)[84] 278,000 (debut)[82] live
"—" denotes no figure was available.

Controversies[edit]

Disqualification of Jermaine Jones[edit]

On March 14, finalist Jermaine Jones was disqualified for concealing arrests and outstanding warrants.[62] Jones, however, denied that he had concealed his previous arrests, as he admitted his arrests when he signed up for Idol.[85] A police official in a New Jersey town where he was the target of two arrest warrants said that "the case wasn't big enough to merit going after him in California", and a New Jersey legislator commented that for the show "to expose, embarrass and interrogate a young man without an attorney in front of 40 million viewers was an outrage".[86] Critics suggested that the show may have staged the disqualification to boost ratings.[87] When asked about speculations that producers had prior knowledge of his criminal past and that the producers were simply out to exploit him on-air, Jones replied that "I haven’t even taken my mind into that and why they did what they did, because then I’ll drive myself crazy".[88]

Jennifer Lopez music video[edit]

The music video of Jennifer Lopez's song, "Dance Again", which aired on the program, was criticized as inappropriate for younger viewers. Dan Gainor of the Culture and Media Institute wrote, "Even the supposedly family-friendly TV shows like American Idol are never safe in the hands of Hollywood," and went as far as saying her "skanky new video shows how desperate she is to retain her fame despite her fading relevance. Such sexualized videos aren't appropriate for any children to watch, including Lopez's own twins."[89][90] Jenna Hally Rubenstein from MTV Buzzworthy also commented about the video's content not being appropriate for a family show, "we thought "Idol" was a family show? This video is less "sit on the couch and chill with dad" and more "call your boyfriend over immediately."[91] Ed Masley from AZ central.com said that the video was on the verge of being too "steamy" for the show.[92]

Gender and ethnic biases[edit]

Phillip Phillips became the fifth consecutive white male to win the show, which led to some viewers and critics accusing American Idol of having gender and ethnic biases. The bias towards the so-called "white guy with guitar" (WGWG) has been widely commented on before and after the result was known, with some complaining about the predictability of the likely winner.[93][94][95][96] The string of white guitar-playing male winners includes David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, and Scotty McCreery who won seasons 7, 8, 9, and 10 respectively. Just hours before the finale, Richard Rushfield, author of the book American Idol: The Untold Story, said, “You have this alliance between young girls and grandmas and they see it, not necessarily as a contest to create a pop star competing on the contemporary radio, but as…who’s the nicest guy in a popularity contest,” he says, “And that has led to this dynasty of four, and possibly now five, consecutive, affable, very nice, good-looking white boys.”[96]

Other Idol contestants[edit]

Season 12 contestants[edit]

Thirteen of the contestants from season 11 auditioned for the subsequent season and made into the Top 40. Ten of them made into the voting rounds. On March 8, 2013, only Janelle Arthur, Candice Glover, Curtis Finch, and Amber Holcomb made into the Top 10 and have guaranteed a spot on the Summer Live Tour.

  • Amber Holcomb – auditioned in Houston, cut on the performance challenge in the Las Vegas rounds
  • Aubrey Cleland – auditioned in Portland, cut at the Top 24 selection
  • Bryant Tadeo – auditioned in San Diego, cut on the last day of Hollywood week
  • Candice Glover – auditioned in Savannah, cut on the performance challenge in the Las Vegas rounds,and won the twelfth season.
  • Cortez Shaw – auditioned in Houston, cut at the Top 24 selection
  • Curtis Finch, Jr. – auditioned in St. Louis, cut on the performance challenge in the Las Vegas rounds
  • Elijah Liu – auditioned in San Diego, cut on the group day of Hollywood week
  • Janelle Arthur – auditioned in Houston, cut on the performance challenge in the Las Vegas rounds
  • Johnny Keyser – auditioned in St. Louis, cut on the performance challenge in the Las Vegas rounds, however, Keyser was called for a surprise twist along with three eliminated hopefuls including Jermaine Jones, but Jones took the final spot
  • Mathenee Treco – auditioned in Aspen, cut on the performance challenge in the Las Vegas rounds
  • Nick Boddington – auditioned in New Jersey, called back for the judges in Portland, cut on the performance challenge in the Las Vegas rounds
  • Tenna Torres – auditioned in Pittsburgh, cut on the performance challenge in the Las Vegas rounds
  • Vincent Powell – auditioned in Houston, cut on the last day of Hollywood week

Season 13 contestants[edit]

Two of the contestants from season 11 auditioned for the subsequent season and made into the Top 30.

  • Caleb Johnson – auditioned in Savannah, cut at the Top 24 selection, and won the thirteenth season.
  • George Lovett - auditioned in Savannah, cut at first day of Hollywood Week.
  • Neco Starr – auditioned in Savannah, cut at the Top 24 selection

U.S. Nielsen ratings[edit]

The premiere was watched by 21.93 million viewers. While at the time it drew the second largest audience of any entertainment program in the television season, it was down 16 percent from the previous year's premiere, which was watched by 26.23 million viewers.[97] After seven consecutive years as the most watched program on primetime television (eight years in the 18/49 demo), the eleventh season of American Idol came in second place to NBC Sunday Night Football in total viewers, as well as in the 18/49 demo.[98] The Wednesday episode averaged 19.811 million while the Thursday episode averaged 18.332 million.

Episode list
Show Episode Air date Rating Share Rating/share
18–49
Viewers
(millions)
Weekly
rank
Note
1 "Savannah Auditions" January 18, 2012 12.3 19 7.4/19 21.93 3 [99][100]
2 "Pittsburgh Auditions" January 19, 2012 10.3 16 5.7/15 18.02 4 [100][101]
3 "San Diego Auditions"a January 22, 2012 N/A N/A 7.9/21 19.70 N/Ab [102]
4 "Aspen Auditions" January 25, 2012 11.1 17 6.5/18 19.67 1 [103][104]
5 "Houston/Galveston Auditions" January 26, 2012 10.0 16 5.5/16 17.14 2 [104][105]
6 "Portland Auditions" February 1, 2012 10.6 17 6.0/17 18.48 4 [106][107]
7 "St. Louis Auditions" February 2, 2012 10.2 16 5.5/15 17.41 5 [107][108]
8 "Hollywood Week, Part 1" February 8, 2012 11.0 17 6.1/17 19.32 3 [109][110]
9 "Hollywood Week, Part 2" February 9, 2012 10.5 17 5.8/16 18.13 4 [110][111]
10 "Hollywood Week, Part 3" February 15, 2012 10.8 17 6.1/16 18.89 2 [112][113]
11 "Las Vegas Round" February 16, 2012 9.8 15 5.1/14 16.71 3 [113][114]
12 "Final Judgement Part 1" February 22, 2012 9.3 15 5.1/14 16.10 6 [115][116]
13 "Final Judgement Part 2" February 23, 2012 9.3 15 4.5/13 15.64 8 [116][117]
14 "Semifinalists Boys Perform" February 28, 2012 9.4 14 5.1/13 16.11 4 [118][119]
15 "Semifinalists Girls Perform" February 29, 2012 10.1 16 5.0/13 17.23 3 [119][120]
16 "Wildcard Results/Finalists Chosen" March 1, 2012 10.8 17 5.4/15 18.27 1 [119][121]
17 "Top 13 Perform" March 7, 2012 10.9 17 5.7/16 18.69 1 [122][123]
18 "Top 13 Results" March 8, 2012 10.2 16 4.9/14 17.27 2 [123][124]
19 "Top 11 Perform" March 14, 2012 10.7 17 5.4/16 18.38 1 [125][126]
20 "Top 11 Results" March 15, 2012 9.4 16 4.6/14 16.02 2 [126][127]
21 "Top 10 Perform" March 21, 2012 10.4 17 5.1/15 17.21 3 [128][129]
22 "Top 10 Results" March 22, 2012 9.3 15 4.2/13 15.58 5 [129][130]
23 "Top 9 Perform" March 28, 2012 10.5 17 5.3/15 17.87 3 [131][132]
24 "Top 9 Results" March 29, 2012 9.6 16 4.4/13 15.87 5 [132][133]
25 "Top 8 Perform" April 4, 2012 10.2 17 4.9/14 17.09 2 [134][135]
26 "Top 8 Results" April 5, 2012 8.8 15 3.9/13 14.34 5 [135][136]
27 "Top 7 Perform" April 11, 2012 10.0 18 5.0/14 16.81 2 [137]
28 "Top 7 Results" April 12, 2012 9.7 16 4.3/13 15.81 4 [137]
29 "Top 7 Redux Perform" April 18, 2012 10.7 16 4.8/14 16.89 2 [138][139]
30 "Top 7 Redux Results" April 19, 2012 9.2 16 4.0/13 14.99 4 [139][140]
31 "Top 6 Perform" April 25, 2012 10.2 16 4.8/14 16.87 2 [141][142]
32 "Top 6 Results" April 26, 2012 9.1 15 4.0/12 14.87 3 [142][143]
33 "Top 5 Perform" May 2, 2012 10.2 16 4.7/14 16.66 2 [144][145]
34 "Top 5 Results" May 3, 2012 9.4 16 4.0/13 15.56 4 [145][146]
35 "Top 4 Perform" May 9, 2012 10.0 16 4.5/13 16.46 2 [147][148]
36 "Top 4 Results" May 10, 2012 9.5 16 4.0/13 15.62 4 [148][149]
37 "Top 3 Perform" May 16, 2012 10.5 17 4.9/14 17.68 2 [150][151]
38 "Top 3 Results" May 17, 2012 9.8 17 4.4/15 16.40 3 [151][152]
39 "Top 2 Perform" May 22, 2012 8.7 14 4.4/14 14.85 4 [153][154]
40 "Finale" May 23, 2012 12.2 20 6.4/18 21.49 1 [154][155]

See also[edit]

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