American Idol: The Voice vs The “It” Factor

American Idol has set its final and ironically the two people standing at the end could be the poster children for two other singing competition shows.

Jessica Sanchez:

Throughout the season, the 16-year-old California native has been “The Voice.” From her early days of slaying Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to last night’s performances of Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey, she’s proven no one has stronger pipes. Both sweet and powerful, it’s amazing to think that ginormous voice comes from such a tiny little body!

If American Idol picked its’ winners solely on voice (more along the lines of what NBC’s “The Voice” does) Sanchez would be a lock. But as we’ve seen for years on AI, it’s not just about the voice. Contestants such as Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry were sent home before their time. While the angelic-voiced Katherine McPhee finished second to Taylor “Personality Plus” Hicks in season 5.

So while Randy Jackson might have called Sanchez, “one of the best singers in the entire world” her victory is not a lock. In fact, she was set to be eliminated earlier this season only to be rescued by the judges. Will her fan base be there this time?

Phillip Phillips

From day one of the competition, no contestant better defined themselves than Phillip Phillips. The pawn shop worker from Georgia knew who he was and hesitated veering from it. Even saying a polite “no” to a shocked (but still dapper) Tommy Hilfiger’s wardrobe suggestions.

And while he has defined himself as Phillip Phillips, the audience is still trying to figure him out. Is he part Dave Matthews, part Bruce Springsteen? No matter the case, fans like what they see. In fact, he’s one of the few contestants who has never been in the bottom three. (Carrie Underwood boasted a similar honor the year she won.)

His strength is not the voice. Sometimes, he sounds great. But other nights frankly, it’s been a little cringeworthy. But Phillips seems to get away with it because, in my opinion, he has the “it” factor. (Close enough to Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” for me). Phillip is the good-looking, aw-shucks, guy next door. But there’s more. A certain star power, charisma that was perhaps most evident in last night’s rendition of “We’ve got tonight” by Bob Seger. Swoonworthy, for sure.

“OnTV’s” Bottom line:

Jessica Sanchez: Sanchez will benefit from the loss of Joshua Ledet. She’s more likely to pick up his voters than Phillips who isn’t know for his vocal strength. She also benefits from Hollie Cavanaugh’s departure two weeks ago.

Phillip Phillips: Phillips has recent history on his side. Since 2008, voters have awarded top honors to cute, young guys. Some of whom, didn’t boast the best vocal chops in their seasons either. Will Idol voters carry on their streak?

What wins this year? The Voice or The “It” Factor? You decide.