The 21-year-old singer defeats Jessica Sanchez in the finale that is jam packed with performances by such big stars as Chaka Khan, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith.
"American Idol" season 11 came to a close by declaring Phillip Phillips as the winner on Wednesday, May 23. The 21-year-old singer beat out Jessica Sanchez after earning a standing ovation from the judges with his performance of winner's song "Home" on the Tuesday final performance show.
Last season's winner Scotty McCreery was on hand to present the microphone trophy to Phillip. Looking overwhelmed, the Georgia boy broke into tears as he repeated his performance of "Home" under the confetti.
Earlier that night, Phillip had a duet with John Fogerty to sing "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising". Jessica and other female finalists joined Chaka Khan for a medley of "Ain't Nobody" and "I'm Every Woman". The Top 2 contestants later joined forces to sing "Up Where We Belong".
Third-place finisher Joshua Ledet also returned to the stage to sing "Take Me to the Pilot" with "Idol" alumna Fantasia Barrino. Making the night merrier, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and her collaborator Wisin & Yandel, Steven Tyler-fronted band Aerosmith, Reba McEntire, Jordin Sparks as well as Jennifer Holliday took turn to rock the stage before Ryan Seacrest announced the winner.