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On the Scene at the 2012 'American Idol' Finale

Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Jimmy Iovine, Aerosmith and More Reflect on the Show's 11th Season
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Jessica Sanchez
Michael Becker/FOX

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Jessica Sanchez

Second Place, American Idol Season 11

How did it feel when they announced the winner?
When they announced that it was Phillip, I was so happy, and I knew it already. That's why I gave him a big hug and I was smiling the whole time. I was like, "This fool is going to win and I love him so much!" He deserved it. Like, literally, he has worked harder than all of us. We've all been working hard, but he's been having to deal with his health issues, with his kidneys, and I think he's been through a lot more than us mentally and physically.

Did you really think Phillip was going to win?
I did! I mean, I told him during Top Three results that it was going to be him and Joshua and I literally thought that Phillip was going to win the whole thing

How do you see yourself as an artist?
I want to be more like a Rihanna, Beyoncé kind of thing, but I don't want to compare myself to anybody, because I want to be somebody new, too. 

What was the most outstanding moment in this whole journey?
I think tonight, the best moment for me was seeing Phillip win, of course, and then performing with Jennifer Holliday was amazing. I love her so much. She's the sweetest and she is a monster of a singer.

Did you get to talk to the judges?
They just said, "Do you." Going back into the whole pop single kind of thing – "Do you. Don't let anybody tell you what to do. This doesn't mean it's the end of your career. You'll have a successful career." They're really excited for me and I'm excited too!

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