After four months of competition, only Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips remain. Who will be declared victor on Wednesday’s American Idol finale? That decision is in the hands of America, and Tuesday’s performance episode certainly didn’t make it an easy choice as both singers gave it their all. Viewers saw it all go down on television, but what didn’t they catch? Read on for THR’s glimpse inside Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater.
1. During a commercial break, Idol warm-up comedian Cory brought a succession of audience members directly up to the judges’ chairs for a hug-a-thon with Steven Tyler. The very game judge didn’t look like he minded one bit.
2. It’s prom season, and Cory hooks up two audience members with dates. Match.com has nothing on Idol.
3. The crew tests a steam affect prior to Jason Derulo’s unveiling of the song “Undefeated.”
4. Jessica Sanchez gets a last-minute wardrobe adjustment as she’s positioned on a white piano for her performance of the song “Nothing Changes.”
5. During Phillip Phillips’ coronation song, “Home,” the entire audience leaps to their feet to clap along.
6. Throughout the show, the mere mention of Phillips’ name evokes screams at dangerously high decibel levels.
7. All of Season 11’s top 12 finalists are in the house and Cory puts them to work. Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, and DeAndre Brackensick are especially skilled hurling prizes, T-shirts and other freebies to an excited crowd.
8. A fan in the audience tells Cory that they intend to vote for Jeremy Rosado as the next American Idol. No doubt, Rosado, who is seated along with his fellow eliminees, snickers in the audience.
9. After the show, the audience stays behind as a giant disco ball is erected onstage for a pre-tape of Wednesday’s episode: a segment involving Sanchez and Kristin Chenoweth performing a duet of the late Donna Summer’s “Enough is Enough.” Like a late 70s Barbra Streisand, who originally sang the disco classic with Summer, Chenoweth rocks the gold lame.
10. After his performance of send-off song “Please Remember Me,” season 10 winner Scotty McCreery greets reporters in the press room, where he plugs Haley Reinhart’s new CD, Listen Up!, out that very day. The country cutie also says he’s still in touch with runner-up Lauren Alaina.