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May 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Phillip Phillips

Go figure. Final Nielsen ratings for Tuesday night’s last performance episode of the season of American Idol put the number of viewers at 14.85 million, down a whopping 28 percent from last year’s 20.57 million and the smallest number to view a final performance of Idol since its first season in 2002, when 18.69 million tuned in. (Wednesday night’s results show drew 21.91 million viewers, down from 29.29 million a year ago — and below even the first year’s results of 23.02 million.) Nevertheless, on Wednesday night, when Phillip Phillips, a 21-year-old singer from Leesburg, VA was crowned the new Idol over 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez, host Ryan Seacrest announced that 132 million votes were cast after the show (versus 122 million last year), a new record. Experts have not yet explained the apparent discrepancy between the lower audience count and the higher vote count.