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Phillip Phillips wins ‘American Idol’

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LOS ANGELES — Bluesy guitar man Phillip Phillips is the new “American Idol,” defeating teenage songbird Jessica Sanchez.

Phillips, a 21-year-old pawn shop worker from Leesburg, Ga., received more viewer votes than 16-year-old Sanchez of Chula Vista, Calif.

Phillips’ victory Wednesday extended the “American Idol” winning streak for males to five consecutive seasons. The last female to win was 17-year-old Jordin Sparks in 2007.

During the three-song showdown Tuesday between Phillips and Sanchez, the show’s judges praised his performance across the board. Sanchez was faulted for a lackluster rendition of her final song, “Change Nothing.”

It was a star-studded event featuring performances by Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, John Fogerty, Chaka Khan, Reba McEntire and Aerosmith.

Phillips, who was a top vote-getter throughout the season, gets a recording contract along with bragging rights.

The top 12 Idol finalists go on tour later this summer.

Credit: The Associated Press