John Shearer / Associated Press
May 23, 2012
It was a great night for Phillip Phillips, but for "American Idol," maybe not so much. Phillips, a husky-voiced troubadour, conquered Season 11 as expected on Wednesday night's two-hour finale, slipping past his last competitor, 16-year-old chanteuse Jessica Sanchez. But the Fox show itself slunk to the lowest "Idol" finale ratings ever, with 20.7 million tuning in, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen. That's an alarming 29% drop compared with last season and in line with "Idol's" overall decline this year, as audiences have seemed to tire of a glut of singing shows that includes NBC's "The Voice" and Fox's own "The X Factor."