It wasn't the ending I wanted, but it was the one I expected. And in its final moments, when Phillip Phillips was too emotional to sing his own song, "American Idol" had achieved one of its goals: A true unknown, a talented rustic, had come from nowhere to win.
I prefered Joshua Ledet or Jessica Sanchez, who finished third and second. With the exception of Adam Lambert (another runner-up) and maybe Carrie Underwood, they are the best "Idol" singers ever.
But the win seemed inevitable (see previous blog) as soon as the show broke all tradition by actually giving Phillips a good song for his potential first single. That's "Home"; he nailed it Tuesday, got too emotional to finish it Wednesday.
Those emotions reminded us that this slick money-machine still has a human core. The winner really is a 21-year-old from small-town Georgia, a guy who worked in his dad's pawn shop and missed his technical-school graduation to be on "Idol." He's no Joshua-Jessica-Adam-Carrie, but he is a talented guy with an authentic touch.
A few other notes:
1) Please note: If it's your big time to be in the spotlight, do NOT do it while standing next to Jennifer Holliday when she's singing her signature song. Jessica did a good job on "And I Am Telling You." Alas, Holliday first did that song to Tony-winning perfection 30 years ago; she knows how to blast that one into the stratosphere.
2) Most of the classic stars were in top form, including John Fogerty, Reba McEntire and a couple of the judges, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. The exception was Neil Diamond, who didn't seem that sharp on "Sweet Caroline."
3) The comedy bit involving Tyler was lame, or maybe sub-lame. The one built around Randy Jackson's "you could sing the phone book" was brilliant. The best part was when Joshua Ledet soared with part of one phone number, while the others shook their heads.
4) OK, I still wish Joshua won. And my second choice is still Jessica, who repeated her stunning version of "I Will Always Love You." But I'm learning to like Phillip ... and I'm expecting "Home" to be a hit.