Twenty-one-year-old Phillip Phillips pulled out the stops Tuesday night and was crowned the winner of American Idol in an epic Season 11 finale Wednesday, beating out doll-faced 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez. Many predicted Phillips would win from the start of this season, though Sanchez’s impressive delivery on ballads throughout the season cast some doubt. Phillips’s win marks the fifth straight time a white male has walked away the winner of the reality show, a nod to its audience of mostly teen girls. The finale also featured an on-air proposal when Season 5 finalist Ace Young got down on one knee to propose to Season 3 runner-up Diana DeGarmo, who accepted her boyfriend’s request.
WINNING! Mark Davis/Getty Images