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Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez Vie for American Idol Crown

Phillip Phillips, Jessica SanchezJoshua Ledet had to have that sinking feeling on tonight’s “American Idol.” Despite strong performances over course of the show, he seemed to be nearly everyone’s pick to go home, and he did.

Now Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez will face off for the crown in next week’s season finale.

The competition between the final three this season was probably the closest in the show’s history. More than 90 million votes were cast, host Ryan Seacrest announced as the three awaited their fate.

Check out Idol Performances!

Judge Randy Jackson gave props Ledet, Phillips and Sanchez, calling them the “best we’ve ever had.” He predicted “big careers” for all of them.

In the end, the voting may have been swayed by the final song selection. Mentor Jimmy Iovine was quick to accept some of the blame.

He picked Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama,” for Ledet to sing, and the choice may have lacked enough punch to rally his fans.

“There was something missing, and I know it was the material. In fairness, I gave him a song that didn’t have enough melody. Joshua needs melody. I take 100 percent responsibility for that,” the record mogul said.

Phillips, of Leesburg, Ga., may have contributed to Ledet’s demise as well. He gave one of his best performances Wednesday night. Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight” was the right song at the right time and he nailed it.

Phillips has to be the odds-on favorite to win the crown. Sanchez, you may recalled was eliminated once, but saved by the judges.

Sometimes, though, a singer does so well early, fans become complacent and don’t vote; or don’t vote as much. Not this time. She definitely has the talent and an over-the-top performance can win it all for her.

In the charisma department, however, Phillips has the all-important edge. Sanchez is only 16, and she may still feel a bit inhibited because of her age. The Chula Vista, Calif., singer needs to play to the audience more, show more emotion and connect with viewers.

Adam Lambert , a second place finisher in Idol competition, perform “Never Close Our Eyes,” and was joined by Lisa Marie Presley who sang her new single “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.”

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