The 11 Best Moments of the American Idol Season 11 Finale

I’ve been having a little trouble with my house which forced me to flee for an extended period of time. On top of that, I decided that after six years of marriage it was time to finally collect all my old belongings from my mother’s apartment. No big deal right? Huge deal, especially since it meant missing the American Idol finale after faithfully watching all season. After nearly two days of steering clear of any and all spoiler danger zones, I finally got the chance to catch up on what I missed – the performances and the finale itself. It was worth the wait. Let’s look back at the 11 best moments of the American Idol season 11 finale.

Steven Tyler and his sloth. (image source: American Idol/Fox)

11. Steven Tyler’s sloth.

The whole “Inside Steven Tyler’s dressing room clip package was kinda lame mostly because it just seemed to be one weird cliche after another but the sloth made it all worth while. I freaking loved that thing and Steven carrying it around was just too cute. We all know Steven Tyler is a weird, weird guy but somehow Steven and the sloth just seemed to make sense. Also, there really needs to be a cartoon based in that relationship simple titled “Steven and the Sloth”. Just imagine the adventures they could go on. Just please, leave the Playboy Playmates out. Steven Tyler has a bunch of Playmates in his dressing room – little too obvious for me.

10. Phillip Phillips performs Have You Ever Seen the Rain and Bad Moon Rising with John Fogerty

I wanted to love this a lot more than I did but I don’t necessary think it was as great as it could have been vocally. Phillip wasn’t really harmonizing all that well with Mr. Fogerty and that was a little distracting at times. Let’s remember though, Phillip has some pretty serious health problems going on and had to sit out much of the show. That had to have some impact on his voice. All the same, it was still really cool to see Phillip up there on stage with a legend such as Mr. Fogerty and clearly, Phillip was basking in the moment, as well he should. I think my favorite part of the performance though was John taking a moment to address one of the most famous misheard lyrics of all time when he sang “there’s a bathroom on the right” instead of “there’s a bad moon on the rise”. Always nice to see an artist who has a sense of humor.

09. 10 of the Top 12 perform Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars

I’m not a huge fan of pop music but I absolutely love this infectious tune by Bruno Mars. You will be seeing Joshua Ledet’s take on it on my best performances of the season list but I liked the finale performance by the top 12 (minus Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez) as well. Vocally, it wasn’t spot on, but it was still a lot of fun and the dance break was cool to watch. It didn’t really seem to fit in with Idol but it was entertaining at least.

08. Ace Young proposes to Diana DeGarmo

I wouldn’t ranked this a bit higher on the list had Ace not decided to name drop his jeweler as he proposed. The little product placement probably got him his engagement ring for free but it seemed a little insincere. Aside from that though, this was a great moment. I was a big fan of Ace Young during his time on the show so it was nice to see him again and it’s especially nice to see Ace and Diana doing so well and looking for happy together. Good for them and good for the show, I’m sure.

07. Aerosmith perform Legendary Child and Walk this Way

I wanted so badly to put this higher on the list because it was a performance two years in the making but too many other great moments deserved to rank higher, in my opinion anyway. I have to say, I’m loving Legendary Child. Classic Aerosmith. Probably my favorite part of the performance other than watching 60 year old Steven Tyler own that stage like a man half his age was hearing the lyrics”until you’re down on a muff” and “hey diddle diddle with your kitty in the middle” on the Idol stage. It was also incredibly cool to see Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on stage with all that chemistry they have. I love Aerosmith and have since I was but a young lass so this was definitely a very cool performance for me.

06. The contestants actually sing the phone book.

One of the things I hate most about Randy is his constant use of catch phrases. I can deal with “Yo!” as it’s short and sweet, plus I love the pin. I can’t deal with “In it to win it”, “He/she wants it” and yes, “(insert name) could sing the phone book so it was nice to see Randy get called out for that. In all honesty, Randy annoys the holy heck out of me but he, at the very least, has a sense of humor about himself and that’s redeeming. Plus the entire package was actually funny. The line about the spicy bratwurst made me laugh and the whole bit about Joshua going overboard was funny. Side note: Am I the only person that noticed the random dude ‘tebowing’ in the background? Maybe they could’ve, ya know, told him to move as it was just the tiniest bit distracting.

Couldn't find a decent video, but this sums it up (source: American Idol/Fox)

05. Jimmy can’t get Jennifer Lopez’s name right.

I love Steven Tyler and I love Jennifer Lopez but my favorite ‘judge’ this season was definitely Jimmy. Jennifer needs to work out a way to stay, Steven needs to stay, Randy can go and they can bring in Jimmy to take Randy’s spot. With that said, I have to admit, I couldn’t stop laughing through this entire clip package. I’m talking tears streaming down my face laughter. The idea that someone could screw up the same name – and with Jennifer Lopez of all people – was just too much and Jimmy’s reaction to it all? Priceless. Even more priceless? “Joshica”. Ha!

04. Skylar Laine performs Turn on the Radio with Reba McEntire

There were some great contest/celebrity pairings over the last two seasons but this one was easily one of my favorites. I’m not a big fan of country music but I’ve loved Skylar since her audition and I’ve always loved Reba. They couldn’t have been more perfectly matched. More than that, Skylar didn’t seem the least bit intimidated by Reba, holding her own on stage with the country music diva easily. Skylar has always reminded me of Reba so it worked musically as well. Finally, Reba is the kind of performer that isn’t afraid to pull it back and let someone else shine which she really did with Skylar. I think Ms. Laine has a solid career in music to look forward to.

03. Joshua Ledet performs Take Me to the Pilot with Fantasia Barrino

I love, love, loved this performance. It was fantastic to watch and it proved, more than anything else on the show this season, how Joshua earned the nickname “Mantasia”. I really felt Joshua should’ve been this season’s winner (no offense at all to Phillip whom I adore) but his talent and charisma just sets the stage on fire. He didn’t win, of course, but this duet was easily one of my favorite moments of the entire night.  I have to admit Fantasia kind of outshone Joshua but I think it would be pretty hard to avoid that. Fantasia has a voice and a presence on stage few can match. Joshua came pretty darn close though. If this guy doesn’t get a record deal, I will absolutely be gobsmacked.

02. Jessica Sanchez performs And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going with Jennifer Holliday

I have to admit a few things before I rave about this performance. I’m a big Jennifer Holliday fan but I was hoping to see Jennifer Hudson tackle this one with Jessica simple because of Jennifer’s history with the show. Admission number two: I’m not a big Jessica Sanchez fan. She’s phenomenally talented and I will buy the albums I’m sure she’ll record but I just don’t feel a connection to her. I don’t know why. None of those things mattered when Jessica and Jennifer began singing. It was absolutely incredible – just ridiculous in how good it was. I had ‘goosies’ from head to toe. The passion and the emotion in the song was beautiful and the diva-off at the end? Fantastic. While I think Jennifer out sang Jessica I’m quite certain Jennifer could out sing nearly anybody. Not just one of my favorite contestant/celebrity pairing thus far but one of my favorite performances on Idol of all time.

01. Phillip takes the win.

I have been an unapologetic Phillip Phillips fan since his audition. I didn’t love all of his American Idol performances (Time of the Season really was rough) but I have always loved him as an artist. I love that he is who he is. I love that he is exciting to watch. Does he have a pitch perfect voice? No, but sometimes being an artist is about more than just a voice. What I loved most about his final performance on the Idol stage, however, was that he was so overcome by emotion that he couldn’t even finish his song. He can sometimes give off an air of not caring but in that moment, it was obvious how much this meant to him. I have never in my life shed tears over an Idol contestant’s reaction to winning but this one made my cheeks a little wet. It was a beautiful moment. You could almost see the moment that it really started to sink it – right around the time the fireworks started going off. It was incredible to see. Well done, Mr. Phillips and  a big, fat congratulations to you on a well deserved win.

Of course this is really only scratching the surface. I loved Rihanna’s performance. I loved Jennifer Lopez’s performances. I loved Hollie performing with Jordin Sparks. There were a lot of great things going on but these were my ten (okay, eleven) favorite moments from the American Idol season 11 finale. What was your favorite moment? What did you hate? Did the right person win? Sound off in the comment section below!