By Andrew Gans
24 May 2012
Phillips, 21, from Leesburg, GA, received the majority of the record-shattering 132 million votes.
Prior to the announcement of the winner, two former "American Idol" contestants, who have both since played Broadway, became engaged on the stage of the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE. Ace Young got down on bended knee to propose to a teary-eyed Diana DeGarmo, who accepted his proposal.
Winner Phillips capped his coronation on the finale by singing “Home,” which is available for download on www.americanidol.com and iTunes. (The young singer was actually too overwhelmed by emotion to conclude the song, and he headed into the audience to be embraced by his family.)
The broadcast also featured performances by the reunited Top 12 finalists, as well as Aerosmith, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Neil Diamond and Chaka Khan. In a series of special duets, John Fogerty joined Phillip Phillips; Jennifer Holliday sang with Jessica Sanchez; Season Three winner Fantasia performed with Joshua Ledet; Season Six winner Jordin Sparks accompanied Hollie Cavanagh; and Reba McEntire paired up with Skylar Laine.
Phillips now joins past "American Idol" winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze and Scotty McCreery.
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.