Top 11 Moments of 'American Idol' Season 11

Top 11 Moments of 'American Idol' Season 11

The 2012 edition of "American Idol" had what many called one of the most talented crop of singers in the show's recent memory. In the end, it was Georgia's guitar-picking Phillip Phillips taking home the victory , with young diva Jessica Sanchez claiming the runner-up spot.

IDOL FINALE: Phillip Wins | Photo Highlights | Rihanna Performs

Though the season may have gotten off to a slow start with fairly lackluster audition rounds (except for Pittsburgh, where a plethora of future top 25 contestants first auditioned), the show kicked into gear during its Hollywood week, with powerhouse performances proclaiming the arrival of a wide-ranging, if not eclectic bunch. Along the way, we were treated to bad auditions, kidney problems, masterful song choices and Lana Del Rey. What did we think were the best of these in season 11? Read on to find out, and be sure to let us know if you agree or disagree, or even what your rankings are for the season.

11. Skylar Laine - "Wind Beneath My Wings"

Skylar Laine is a country girl through-and-through, and tended to showcase that side with fitting song choices every week. But during the show's top eight episode, she toned down the country just a bit, though she still put a slight southern spin on "Wind Beneath My Wings." It proved to be the signature song for Skylar, who went on to finish fifth.

10. Jessica Sanchez Duets With Jennifer Holliday During Finale

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8. Ryan Seacrest Gets Punched

It's but a short moment that comes and goes with little fanfare, but for some reason, it just feels so gratifying. Let's watch it again. And again. And again.

7. Elise Testone - "Whole Lotta Love"

Elise Testone was rarely thought of as one of the show's frontrunners, even nearly getting eliminated early in the initial run of live shows. But when the 28-year-old South Carolina native finally lived up to the rocker persona many believed she could pull off, she delivered a phenomenal performance of

4. Groove Sauce - "Hold On I'm Coming"

Don't recognize the name? What about Reed Grimm, Creighton Fraker, Jen Hirsh, Aaron Marcellus and Nick Boddington? Four out of the five were considered early frontrunners and made it into the show's top 25 (sorry, Nick), and provided one of the magical moments of Hollywood with this group performance. Those harmonies! Those solos! If only the live show's group numbers could be something like this.

3. Phillip Phillips Sings "Home," Wins the Competition

The top two contestants have always received a song that will be their debut single if they win the competition, a tune which is often a bit lacking, if we can be frank. But finally, the "Idol" producers did something right for Phillip's song, "Home," which fit the singer like a glove. "Home" has a

1. Jessica Sanchez Gets the Save

No one knows how or why it happened, and most of us knew what the outcome was likely going to be before the judges rushed onstage, but saving Jessica Sanchez was one of the most important moments of the entire season. After faltering a bit the previous evening, the eventual runner-up was revealed as the lowest vote-getter, and since the judges hadn't yet used their save, began to sing for her spot on the show. The song ended prematurely, with J-Lo grabbing the mic and announcing the save, leaving Jessica seemingly truly flabbergasted and surprised. She'd already been counted as one of America's rising talents, but if she'd finished a mere seventh, chances are she may not have received the opportunities she's sure to now with finishing second. It just made sense to give her the save and allow her to continue to grow as an artist -- good thing the judges didn't waste the save early like last year.

What were your favorite moments of the season? Want to give us your rundown? Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading along during this year's recaps.