Phillip Phillips’ win, Ace Young’s awful proposal to Diana DeGarmo end Idol’s lowest-rated finale ever

Phillip Phillips won American Idol 11 last night, and though he beat Jessica Sanchez by earning the majority of “a world record 132 million votes,” according to vote-counters, it was the series’ lowest-rated finale episode ever, following the lowest-rated performance episode ever. That may be because his win was rather predictable, or because this season had talent but no soul.

About 20.7 million people watched, and among viewers 18 to 49, that was a drop of “32% from last year’s finale and is the lowest-rated finale ever for the series,” according to TV By the Numbers. It still remains the number-one show on television, though, having regained that spot from The Voice.

Phillip’s win was unsurprising and the finale was surprisingly low-key. The predictably awful group numbers (including a “tribute” to The Bee Gee’s Robin Gibb by the men) outnumbered the actually entertaining segments, which included a couple funny bits (Randy Jackson’s lack of creativity in his language prompted a sketch of the finalists actually singing the phone book, with Joshua making fun of himself by taking over).

Worst of all was American Idol 5‘s Ace Young, dressed in tattered sheets, proposing to season three runner-up Diana DeGarmo, for which he got a sponsor, because the best way to class up a classless public, man-centered marriage proposal is to include advertising. Obviously, he learned well from the machine that created him.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.