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'American Idol' finale: Can Jessica Sanchez be first 'save' to win?

May 22, 2012 |  2:37 pm

Who will win "American Idol" -- Phillip Phillips or Jessica Sanchez?
It's decision time on "American Idol" on Tuesday night as the final two contestants give the performances of their careers for the judges. The first part of "Idol's" big blow-out 11th season finale airs live on the East Coast at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox and then will be rebroadcast three hours later, at 8 p.m. PDT, for the West Coast audience.

So who will it be? Phillip Phillips or Jessica Sanchez?

No matter who wins during the final results Wednesday, "Idol" history has already been made. This is the first year the recipient of a judges' save has made it to the final two.

INTERACTIVE: "Idol" vs. "The Voice"

Sanchez has received the blessing of TV reality competition judges twice now -- she was also a contestant in "America's Got Talent's" first season and was brought back during the wild card round by "AGT" judge Brandy. (She was only 11 at the time.) Sanchez is also the first female tobe saved by the "Idol" judges.

"Idol" historians will remember that the "save" has only been around since Season 8. The "Idol" website notes that three out of four times the save has been used, Jennifer Hudson — whose early exit in Season 3 remains one of the show's most shocking eliminations — was back on stage to perform.

Phillips, a 21-year-old from Georgia, seems to be the odds-on favorite going into the finale. Before the finals, he was the only contestant to avoid placement in the bottom two or three.

For the last nine weeks, we've asked readers to vote for the best of the best on both "American Idol" and NBC's rival singing competition, "The Voice." Readers correctly predicted "Idol's" top three. In our poll, Sanchez, a 16-year-old San Diego native, takes the top slot as of Tuesday afternoon.

Do you think Sanchez will take it all, breaking a long streak of male winners?

There's still time to cast your votes in the poll below, which contains this season's top 15 reader vote-getters.

RELATED:

Full coverage: 'American Idol'

'American Idol' recap: Joshua Ledet goes out with style

'American Idol' recap: Top three's unexciting fight for the finale

— Patrick Kevin Day and Megan Garvey

Photo: Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox.

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