In a packed stadium of 7,000 die hard “American Idol” fans, Jessica Sánchez and Phillip Phillips once again gave it their all on Tuesday night, in the hopes of winning the coveted singing competition.
The next “American Idol” will be revealed Wednesday evening.
Sánchez and Phillips put on three powerhouse performances, but Phillips may have an edge over Sánchez after the judges gave the Georgia native a standing ovation for his last performance.
"This is a tough one because is a battle of the opposites,” Lopez said early in the evening.
Sánchez sang Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” during the first round and blew the judges away, as the three celebrities unanimously agreed Sánchez’s performance was better than Phillips’ rendition of Ben E King’s “Stand By Me.”
Still, Phillips came back in round two stealing Sánchez’s thunder singing Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out,” while Sánchez sang “The Prayer,” by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli.
“I’ve seen Jessica do that before, but I thought that was the authentic Philip right there,” Lopez said as to why Phillips did better than Sánchez in the second round. Meanwhile, music producer Randy Jackson thought both contenders did just as well.
For her third song, Sánchez sang a ballad titled “Change Nothing,” that left the judges wondering if the song was a fit for Sánchez.
“I’ll be straight up – I did not love the song,” said Jackson. “You brought the song to life, but the song was just okay,” he said.
JLO just didn’t think Sánchez was being herself when singing the third tune.
“If I was thinking about what your first single would be, I don’t think I would do that,” said Lopez, while rock star Steven Tyler felt it wasn’t the right song at all.
“I did want to do more urban something,” said Sánchez. “But, like this is the finale and I was trying to pick a winner song, something that shows my voice.”
“But definitely when I make my record, if I ever do, it’s going to be a lot more me,” she said.
Lopez reassured Sánchez that she will go far in the music industry.
“You will make a record,” said Lopez. “But it has to be you.”
Phillips sang Mumford & Sons Lite’s “Home” for his last song and left the judges giving him a standing ovation.
“I couldn’t think of any other singer or band you sounded like,” said Lopez.”That was a Philip Phillips song and there’s nothing on the radio that sounds like that,” she said.
“By virtue of your vulnerability and style you have made the world your home my friend,” Tyler told the 21-year-old crooner.
“I heard a little Paul Simon, and other god-like creatures on this planet, and you were perfect tonight. And I think you are the man,” added Tyler.
Performances included one from Jason Derulo and his single “Undefeated,” while American Idol season 10 winner Scotty McCreery performed “Remember Me,” before the night came to a close.