And Then There Were Two: "American Idol" Finalists Named; Auditions for Season 12 Begin in June

News   And Then There Were Two: "American Idol" Finalists Named; Auditions for Season 12 Begin in June Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez were named the Top Two finalists on the May 17 broadcast of the famed singing competition "American Idol." (Joshua Ledet received the fewest number of votes and was eliminated from the competition.)  

“I’m just a normal guy who loves to play music,” said Phillips in a statement. “I just happened to get lucky and I'm so blessed by it. I'm so excited.”

“Being in the position I'm in now is more than I could have ever asked for,” added Sanchez. “I've been looking forward to auditioning for 'American Idol' ever since the first season. And now, the first season that I’m eligible, I've made it to the Top Two! It's crazy what you can do when you put your mind and heart to it! I don't know what could be better than this.”

The two finalists will battle it out May 22 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE; Fox will air the singing competition live beginning at 8 PM ET.

The Season 11 grand finale will air May 23 at 8 PM and will feature special performances by Rihanna, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery and other surprise guests.

Audition cities and dates for "American Idol" Season 12 include Los Angeles, CA, on June 7; Newark, NJ, on June 23; and Chicago, IL, on July 12. Additional cities, dates and details will be announced on www.americanidol.com. To find out more about the finalists, visit www.americanidol.com.

Former "American Idol" contestants who have taken to Broadway after their stint on "Idol" include Fantasia Barrino (The Color Purple), Clay Aiken (Spamalot), Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages), Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray), Frenchie Davis (Rent) and Jordin Sparks (In the Heights) as well as former "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi (Chicago), among others.

"American Idol" is produced by 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc. and FremantleMedia North America, Inc. The series is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, CEO, XIX Entertainment, and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, CEO, Nigel Lythgoe Productions.

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