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Phillip Phillips beats Jessica Sanchez to win ‘American Idol’

LOS ANGELES CA - MAY 23:  ***EMBARGO: This image is embargoed until 10:00PM PT/ 1:00AM ET***  Winner Phillip

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 23: ***EMBARGO: This image is embargoed until 10:00PM PT/ 1:00AM ET*** Winner Phillip Phillips performs onstage during Fox's "American Idol 2012" results show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

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Updated: July 3, 2012 9:23AM



Jessica Sanchez couldn’t break “American Idol’s” white-guys-with-guitars winning streak Wednesday, when bluesy strummer Phillip Phillips, 21, was christened champ. Most of the record-breaking 132 million votes went to the jeans-and-T-shirt-wearing Georgia pawn shop worker, not the petite California teen who wouldn’t have made it to the finals without the judges’ save. Managing to avoid the bottom three all season, Phillip knew how to forge a connection with the audience, something he proved with Wednesday’s tearful acoustic performance of his first release, “Home.” Throughout the competition, Phillip didn’t always follow the melody, opting instead to follow his instincts and be himself — a formula that trumped Jessica’s superior vocals.



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