American Idol voting 'beats US presidential election'

Phillip Phillips won the 11th season of American Idol in Los Angeles Credit: Reuters

So Americans - and those of us who watch US telly - can now exhale and return to work. We finally know the answer: Phillip Phillips.

Last night he won American Idol, beating the other finalist, Jessica Sanchez. Phillips is a 21-old-year old from Georgia.

The talent show generated not just the usual hype but the most amazing and scary statistic of 2012:

  • 132 million people voted in American Idol

  • 122 million voted in the last US Presidential election

Well, granted that you can vote on American Idol even if you're under 18; granted too that you can vote multiple times, but still a pretty intersting glimpse into where the interests of Americans lie in this campaign season.

For Barack Obama and Mitt Romney that must be fairly disturbing.

Phillips performs after being named the winner Credit: Reuters

But don't be too quick to mock last night's winner: there is wide consent today - not least among the music critics - that Phillips is a serious talent.

Phillips is congratulated by producer Nigel Lythgoe Credit: Reuters