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MAY
22
2 YEARS

Top 4 Reasons Why Phillip Phillips Will Win 'American Idol' (And Why He Won't)

The final 2 square off at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater tonight, will Leesburg, Georgia's favorite son reign supreme?

Phillip Phillips performance final 4 p
Michael Becker / FOX

He's also proven to be among the more creative contestants American Idol has ever seen, in every aspect except his clothing, and now Phillip Phillips the risk-taker could end up being Phillip Phillips: the American Idol. We'll find out soon enough, as the 21-year-old looker takes on diva-in-training Jessica Sanchez on Wednesday night's show, but history can give us a few clues for who will ultimately prevail.

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And here's something else to consider: Phillip Phillips has never been in the bottom, while Jessica Sanchez has already effectively been eliminated. Not that she deserved to be -- as the judges thought, in opting to use the save -- but you can't rewrite the past and that result continues to glare even six weeks later. 

One thing is for sure: it will be a tight race if both bring their A-game. And while their styles may be drastically different, they have something in common: the desire to win. Here are four reasons why Phillip could be tomorrow's victor and as many reasons why he won't...

Why Phillip Phillips Will Win

1. The Chick Factor: You’d have to be blind not to notice Phillips’ good looks -- from those baby blue eyes to that adorable drawl to the aw shucks shuffle he displays both onstage and off, the 21-year-old has undoubtedly won over loads of female viewers, but are there enough to carry him through this one last step? If history is any indication, yes. The last six five seasons of Idol have all seen male winners -- and at least two runners up, Adam Lambert and David Archuleta -- who were, in a word, cute. And with Idol’s audience being overwhelmingly female, they’re a formidable force.

2. He’s a WGWG -- not that there’s anything wrong with that... Once again, history stands to repeat itself if white guy with guitar No. 5 takes the crown. David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze and Scotty McCreery all paved the way for a Phillip Phillips win and if he is the last man standing, it will surprise almost no one. It may, however, further infuriate critics of Idol’s apparent sexism. After all, why can’t a girl win? The way this Idol worshiper sees it: if America votes through Phillips then it’s clearly looking to its singer-songwriter roots -- as opposed to ready-made power ballads and the like -- for inspiration, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

3. He’s original. Traditional rhythm and melody are no match for Phillip Phillips’ musical sensibility. Putting his own twist on pop and rock classics like the Box Tops’ “The Letter,” Genesis’ “That’s All” and Billy Joel's “Movin' Out,” he’s also bravely taken on R&B (Usher’s “U Got It Bad”) and Damien Rice’s “Volcano” for a dose of originality we haven’t seen since, well, season 8.

4. The South is on his Side: With the exception of season 6’s Jordin Sparks and season 9’s Lee DeWyze, every Idol winner has hailed from the South which certainly bodes well for Leesburg, Georgia native Phillips. For proof, look no further than his hometown visit whose turn-out, at least at quick glance, seemed to far out number his fellow finalists.

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Why He Won’t:

1. It’s Time for a Girl to Win. Plenty of Idol viewers have long complained of the voters’ tendency to go with the guy contestants, almost as if they stand a better chance at post-show success. But the opposite has proven to be true in recent years, as the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Kellie Pickler and others have notched successful singles and platinum-selling albums. So maybe it’s time to give another girl a chance, and her name could be Jessica Sanchez.

2. He Trails in Social Media: Jessica Sanchez is already a winner when it comes to Twitter followers, boasting 100,000 more than Phillip’s 320,000-plus. Not that it will mean she’s already clinched the crown. On season 2 of The Voice, finalist Tony Lucca have more than half-a-million followers on Twitter while winner Jermaine Paul had less than a tenth of that number.

3. Phillip Isn’t Everybody’s Cup of Tea: You won’t find it on these pages, but look around the internet -- especially at Idol mockers Vote for the Worst – and there’s plenty of anti-Phillips sentiment. At issue: his unorthodox singing style, facial expressions, the way his feet move to the groove and certainly the liberties he’s taken with melody. To which this worshiper says, you clearly don’t get it!

4. Jessica has Previous Talent Show Experience: If you’ve ever wondered how a 16-year-old can seem so poised on television, here’s one reason: Jessica has been through the TV talent show process before. On another FremantleMedia production, in fact:  America’s Got Talent in 2008. This is a huge advantage because she knows, and has been taught, what the audience looks for. Plus, she’s had those four-plus years since her TV debut to contemplate her performance and practice, practice, practice!

What do you think Worshipers? Who’ll take the season 11 title tomorrow night and why?

Twitter: @shirleyhalperin