(RNN) - They came, they cried, they literally sang the phone book. Somewhere along the way, there was even a proposal. And when the votes were counted and it was all over, they crowned a new Idol.
In one of the stranger finales in Idol history, Phillip Phillips took home the coveted title, going in a matter of seconds from pawn shop employee to American Idol.
The 21-year-old Georgia native fought back tears, struggling through his new single, Home, after host Ryan Seacrest announced he had defeated finalist Jessica Sanchez.
While it was the pinnacle of a two hour finale, it wasn't the only time tears flowed.
Season 3 runner up Diana Degarmo cried through an on-stage proposal from Season 5 contestant Ace Young. Young popped the question, saying "This has always been home for us and I thought it would be the perfect place to ask a simple question."
"Dim the lights," Seacrest said, referencing the stage lights going dark right before an Idol elimination.
In the end, Young didn't get eliminated. She said yes.
And the show, as it always does, went on.
The male finalists sang a medley of Bee Gees' hits, including "How Deep Is Your Love," in a tribute to Robin Gibb, who passed away on May 19.
Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Tyler momentarily exchanged their role as judges for performers, Tyler with his band Aerosmith and Lopez a solo act with "Going In" and "Follow the Leader."
In a nod to judge Randy Jackson's favorite compliment "You can sing the phonebook," the finalists did just that, singing out a medley of (literal) numbers from the yellow pages.
The win by Phillips makes it five straight for the guys. A girl hasn't won Idol since 2007, when Jordan Sparks beat out beat boxing Blake Lewis.
In all, 132 million votes were cast. Seacrest didn't announce how that broke down between Phillips and Sanchez.
Sanchez, 16, found herself in the finale after an early-season judge's save.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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