Predictably coming short of seasons past, the "American Idol" finale did score a sizable victory on Wednesday night, pulling a 6.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 20.7 million viewers according to fast affiliate ratings.
History shows the Fox broadcast will likely add one or two tenths of a point to its demo score and nearly one million viewers once final numbers are in, but it is still a far cry from last year's rebounded finale, which brought in a 9.2 demo rating and outpaced 2010 by more than 10 percent.
Last night's score was a 32 percent drop from 2011. "American Idol" did manage to repeat its typical ratings arc of the season, however, rebounding in the finale for highest scores since week two. It improved on Tuesday's performance show and last week's results, which each pulled a 4.4. in the demo, by nearly 40 percent.
The Season 11 finale episode crowned folk rocker Phillip Phillips the winner over 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez. It featured performances by Rihanna, Aerosmith, Jennifer Lopez and more, plus a proposal by Season 5's Ace Young to Season 3's Diana DeGarmo.