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Phillip Phillips Wins American Idol

24 May 2012
Heejun Han gives his pal, the new 'American Idol' Phillip Phillips onstage during FOX's 'American Idol 2012' results show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 23, 2012 -- Getty Images
Heejun Han gives his pal, the new 'American Idol' Phillip Phillips onstage during FOX's 'American Idol 2012' results show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 23, 2012 -- Getty Images

Looks like he'll be handing in his notice to the pawn shop. Phillip Phillips, 21, from Leesburg, Georgia has been crowned the newest "American Idol."

It was an emotional victory for the young man, who beat out 16-year-old Californian Jessica Sanchez for the top prize.

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Immediately after learning the news, Phillip's pal on the show, Heejun Han, raced over and embraced the singer, who took a moment to process the news.

After hugs from the Top 12 group, Ryan Seacrest handed the new "Idol" a guitar and he was put in front of the mic to sing the tune that will be his first post-win single, "Home." Three-quarters through the song, though, the young man was overcome with emotion, and tears trickled down his face.

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Standing on stage as confetti rained down on his head, Phillip stepped back from the mic and attempted to keep his emotions under control.

Eventually, he left the stage and went into the audience where he embraced his family, and later, the judges.

Shortly before the results were announced, Phillip gave his last "Idol" speech, using it to thank the crew, and the fans.

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"It's been such an honor to be up on this stage, playing with everybody," Phillip said, paying tribute to the "Idol" band and crooners like John Fogerty, whom he sang with at Wednesday's finale. "We wouldn't have sounded so good without them.

"Thank you all for voting for us," he added, for the fans. "It's just been crazy."

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More than 132 million votes, a worldwide total, were cast.

AH Nation Poll: Did the right person win "American Idol"? Click HERE to vote!

Jessica may not have won, but she brought the house down, performing "And I'm Telling You, " with Jennifer Holiday during the finale.

The commanding rendition left not only the audience at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on their feet, but it resonated with Jennifer Hudson, who Tweeted about it.

"Alright Jessica n jennifer !!!!!" the Oscar and Grammy winner (and "Idol" alum) wrote.

Several other stars also chimed in on the passionate performance.

"Ok WOW that was the best performance I have witness on idol Jennifer and Jessica #Americanidol woohooooi tears !!" "So You Think You Can Dance" judge Mary Murphy Tweeted.

Juliette Lewis was also prompted to Tweet about it, writing, "#JenniferHoliday Miss legend just blew my mind. Singin it hard. Nasty. REAL. Thank you."

So did Phaedra Parks, from "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."

"Jennifer Holiday & that cute young gal just SANG that song-I thought I was in church for a minute *waves prayer cloth* #American Idol," she wrote.

Catch "Idol" winner Phillip Phillips on Access Hollywood on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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