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Even Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez can't save 'Idol' ratings

May 23, 2012 | 12:41 pm

Phillip Phillips sang "Stand by Me" -- but, still, relatively few viewers stood by "American Idol" on Tuesday. 

Tuesday's show -- the last before either Phillips or Jessica Sanchez is crowned the winner Wednesday -- delivered "Idol's" lowest-rated and least-watched performance finale ever, according to Nielsen.

"Idol" earned a 4.2 rating/13 share in the key demographic of adults aged 18 to 49, its worst outing since the show premiered back in summer 2002.

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The one-hour performance finale delivered 14.4 million total viewers, another record low for "Idol" and far worse than the two-hour season finale for "Dancing With the Stars" that started at 9 p.m. (17.4 million, also a new low for that show).

On the bright side for Fox, "Idol" easily won the 8 p.m. hour and provided a solid lead-in for the season finale for "Glee" at 9 p.m. (7.6 million).

Many fans and commentators have predicted Phillips will win the show, although Sanchez is considered the more accomplished technically of the two. On Tuesday, Phillips won plaudits for his new song "Home."

What did you think of "Idol's" last performance show? Why do you think the ratings were weak?


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--Scott Collins (

Photo: Phillip Phillips is facing off against Jessica Sanchez for the "American Idol" crown. Credit: Michael Becker/Associated Press.