Out of all the American Idol hopefuls, it’s been narrowed down to the final two, Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips. Jessica Sanchez, although only 16, isn’t new to the industry, while Phillip Phillips is a favored contestant and has never been in the bottom two or three during the season.

Even though Sanchez has a large celebrity following, according to many local radio personalities, Sanchez won’t be the next American Idol. Wild 94.1’s DJ Coz and Scantman, believe Phillip Phillips will take home the title in this week’s season finale. Kristy Valderama of 92.5 Maxima FM thinks Sanchez is very talented but says, “I really like Phillip.”

Phillips has the advantage over Sanchez. With his all American boy appeal, scores of young girls drive home the numbers when it comes to voting for their favorite idol. Q105’s Nikki Cruz agrees that in order to be successful on American Idol, contestants need those dedicated fans. Cruz is rooting for Sanchez, though, and says, “We need to get some girl power in there.” Cruz plans on doing a little voting herself; “I’m going to vote for her about 50 times, just to be sure.”

Local singer/songwriter Jeremiah Pagan, who was a contestant on Fox’s The X Factor, can relate to the anticipation felt by both Sanchez and Phillips as the finale approaches. Pagan says the finale is anyone’s game at this point. When it comes to each contestant Pagan say, “Jessica has the voice. She has so much talent. Phillip has that appeal that a lot of people like, but there hasn’t been a girl winner in some time. I think it might just happen this time.”

Florida had its own spotlight during season 11 of American Idol. Jeremy Rosado of Valrico made it into the top 13, while Tampa’s very own Shannon Magrane made it into the top 10. Even though both were eliminated, the judges had nothing but good things to say about each contestant. Randy Jackson told Magrane, “You have mad potential. You’re fearless.” While Jennifer Lopez had praises for Rosado saying, “I love your interpretation of songs.”

Rosado and Magrane, along with the other top 15 contestants, will be returning to the Nokia Theater to support Sanchez and Phillips during the finale. Rosado took to his Twitter during rehearsals to show his excitement.

The season finale will be Rosado, Magrane and the rest of the eliminated contestant’s first return back to the ‘Idol’ stage since being eliminated. The American Idol season finale airs tonight at 8 pm on Fox.


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