Jessica, Joshua, Phillip last 3 standing on ‘Idol’By Nimfa U. Rueda
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LOS ANGELES—It’s going to be a race to the finish for Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips—the last three standing on “American Idol” season 11—after Hollie Cavanagh was sent packing in the reality singing competition’s elimination night on Thursday (Friday in Manila).
Philippine bet Sanchez, who got her fourth standing ovation this week, thanked her followers on the social networking site Twitter, saying it’s an honor to land on the Top 3. “Just hit 300k followers :) Love you,” posted the 16-year-old high school student from San Diego, California, with Mexican and Filipino heritage.
Sanchez’s father Gilbert is a Mexican-American originally from Texas while her mother Editha Bugay is a Filipino who hails from Samal, Bataan province.
Sanchez got no less than US Ambassador Harry Thomas cheering with Filipino-Americans after she earned a slot in the final three and a ticket to homecoming week, during which she will return to her hometown in Chula Vista, San Diego.
“I hope she wins,” said Thomas, who met with Fil-Ams at an evening meet-and-greet event hosted by the US Pinoys for Good Governance at Carla’s Café inside CBS Studio in Studio City, California.
Should Sanchez fail to make it to the top, Thomas said she is still poised to have a stellar career. “Jessica is a winner no matter what,” he said.
Sanchez is the second contestant of Filipino descent to get elevated to the Top 3 of “Idol.” Filipino-American Jasmine Trias finished third on the competition’s third season.
The Fil-Am artists who performed at the community event had high hopes for Sanchez.
Multiawarded jazz singer Mon David, who won the 2006 London International Jazz Vocal Competition, said that as a performer, he was amazed by Sanchez’s voice range, “the emotion, the passion and the way she interprets the songs.”
“Jessica, we have faith in your wonderful talent,” said David. “We’re proud of you. We pray for your success.”
Another jazz singer, Charmaine Clamor, said that while the likes of Lea Salonga, Charice and Arnel Pineda have already brought the spotlight on the Filipino talent, “Sanchez will give us even more visibility internationally.”
“I hope Sanchez takes it all the way,” said musician Abe Lagrimas. “She is proof that Filipinos are the most talented people out there.”
Community leader Lydia Solis said that Fil-Ams should continue the campaign to get more votes for Sanchez, noting that she voted two hours, using speed dial on two phones.
On Twitter, celebrity followers of Sanchez celebrated her victory:
“Thank You, oh merciful God 4 making sweet Jessica ‘safe,’” wrote international singer Jennifer Holliday.
“So happy for @JSanchezAI11 on @AmericanIdol. Still rooting for her! Hope everyone keeps voting,” posted Fil-Am “Idol” alumna Jasmine Trias.
“Jessica Sanchez made it to the top 3 of American Idol! Yay! Let’s go, Jess,” said actress Maxene Magalona.
From radio DJ Andi Manzano @andimanzano “Whoohooo! @JSanchezAI11 made it in the TOP 3 :) No more Hollie!”
On Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) Sanchez received a standing ovation from “Idol” judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez for her rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” a torch song from the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls.”
Cavanagh, 18, was sent home after singing “I Can’t Make You Love Me”—a song choice that proved prophetic. Ledet wept as a composed Cavanagh closed out the results night show by performing Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”
Almost 70 million votes were cast to determine yesterday’s outcome. Audience voting was based on performances night, during which contestants sang songs by artists from California, followed by songs they wished they had written.
Cavanagh first belted out “Faithfully” by rock band Journey, and the show’s judges marveled that she was hitting her stride. The judges, however, were less enthusiastic about her second selection, Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which judge Randy Jackson called “the wrong choice at the wrong time.”
Most watched reality show
On elimination night, Lopez rose from the judges’ seat to perform her new song “Dance Again.” Season 7 winner David Cook also stopped by to serenade audiences with his “The Last Song I’ll Write for You.”
“Idol,” which first aired on Fox in 2002, has launched the careers of singers Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson, among many others. Now in its 11th season, the show continues to be the most watched reality show in America.
Audiences vote for their favorite performers by phone and text message each week as contestants are challenged by a variety of musical styles. The winner receives a recording contract following the final episode on May 23. With reports Inquirer Research
Recent Stories:Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.