Jessica almost there; finale May 23

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‘MY ALL’ Wearing a gown by LA-based Filipino designer Oliver Tolentino, Jessica Sanchez sings during the Top 3 performance show of “American Idol” on Wednesday night. Photo taken from americanidol.com

NEW YORK—And then there were two.

Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips are left to battle for the “American Idol” season 11 crown on next week’s finale after Joshua Ledet, who brought the “American Idol” judges to their feet many times over, couldn’t win over fans and was sent home from the top-rated TV talent show on Friday.

Sanchez has impressed the judges from the beginning of the current season with her technical mastery of music, despite being the youngest contestant at 16. The other night, the judges cheered the Filipino-Mexican when she sang Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” leading Steven Tyler, the rock band’s lead singer, to say “you just took a great song and made it greater.”

Singer-songwriter Phillips has won plaudits for bringing his own distinctive style of guitar-playing music to other artists’ songs. Mentor Jimmy Iovine and judge Randy Jackson agreed that Phillips’ performance song “We’ve Got Tonight” was his best performance to date.

Ledet was gracious in defeat. He closed the singing contest on Thursday with his rendition of “It’s a Man’s World,” replicating one of his most popular performances of the season.

Friday’s results show included performances from two artists with new albums out this week—Lisa Marie Presley and “Idol” season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert. Presley sang “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” off her album “Storm and Grace” and Lambert did “Never Close Our Eyes” from his sophomore album “Trespassing.”

Audience voting was based on Wednesday’s episode that included three performance rounds of contestants singing songs chosen by the judges, songs of their own picking and a tune chosen by Iovine.

Palace support

Hours after Sanchez reached the “Idol” finals on Friday, Malacañang appealed to Filipinos in the United States to vote for the Philippine bet.

“Please show your support in any way possible for Jessica Sanchez. This is the last stretch and we know that when Filipinos gather and put their minds into it, it will happen,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte during Friday’s news briefing.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement that Sanchez “inspires us to pursue excellence in everything we do—no matter how big or small the stage may be.”

From Orani, Samal

The frenzy surrounding Sanchez is spreading to the towns of Orani and Samal in Bataan province—where her mother Editha Bugay and maternal relatives hail—as residents hope and pray that her “Idol” journey ends in triumph.

“Our support here is solid. Everybody loves her,” said Manny Morales, 32, a tricycle driver in Orani town.

Morales said a tarpaulin is displayed in front of the town plaza showing their support for Sanchez. A lot of people have also come looking for the house of her grandparents there since she became an “Idol” finalist.

“She has really become well known, even if she hasn’t been here,” he added.

The house of Sanchez’s grandparents in Barangay Apollo in Orani has become a local landmark as Sanchez advanced to the finals.

Orani residents interviewed by the Inquirer said even before Sanchez joined the popular singing competition, the Bugay family was already known in the town. Morales said one of Sanchez’s relatives, Rene Bugay, is a longtime councilor and politician in the town.

Morales said they were hoping Sanchez would visit Bataan after her “Idol” stint.

Orani Mayor Benjamin Serrano Jr. said he had been asking residents of Bataan, who have relatives in the United States, to urge them to support Sanchez and vote for her to become this year’s “American Idol.”

In a text message from the United States, Dinalupihan Mayor Joel Payumo, president of the Bataan Mayors’ League, said the Filipino community in the United States is behind Sanchez all the way.

Payumo’s brother, Jojo, a member of the provincial board, said the provincial government filed a resolution in support of Sanchez three weeks ago.

Free ‘Idol’ viewing

In this town, the local government had prepared a free public viewing of “Idol” through Cignal, a cable TV provider, on Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday night, almost 1,000 Samal residents flocked to the town plaza to watch her perform.

Samal Mayor Generosa dela Fuente said Sanchez had become an inspiration to the youth in their town.

“Even though Samal is relatively smaller and poorer than the other towns in Bataan, we are slowly becoming well known because of Jessica,” she said.

Dela Fuente said she had organized little gatherings to watch Sanchez’s performances.

“In the beginning, we only had a small projector that we used to show her performances in the plaza. But now, we have support given to us by Cignal so that a lot more people can watch her,” she said.

Sanchez’s great, great grandfather was a former Samal councilor and a musician. Her grandfather, Eddie, is a retired US Navy personnel.

“They bought a house in Orani; that’s where they live now. But their ancestral home is here,” Dela Fuente said.

Mass for Sanchez

Fr. Paul Bugay, head of the finance ministry of the San Pablo diocese in Laguna, has been closely following the show and is rooting for his second cousin Sanchez.

A Catholic priest in Laguna, who traces his roots to Samal, Bataan, Bugay has offered prayers and Holy Masses for her to win.

Bugay said his father and the grandfather of Sanchez are cousins.

Since Sanchez became one of the “Idol” contenders, he said the Bugay clan in the United States as well as relatives living in Germany, United Kingdom and Australia had been in close contact with each other through the social networking site Facebook.

He said all the Bugays scattered throughout the world are now unanimous in their campaign to vote for Sanchez.

“They have been encouraging and appealing to fellow Filipinos to vote for her through phone or the Internet,” he said.

The finale will consist of a two-hour performance episode on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), followed by a results episode on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), with guest performers Rihanna, Jason Derulo, Aerosmith and the “Idol” season 11 Top 10.

The face-off between Sanchez and Phillips will be aired in the Philippines via satellite on ETC on May 23 at 6 p.m. The season’s grand finale will be broadcast live on May 24 at 8 a.m., with replays at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. also on ETC. With reports from Norman Bordadora, Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon,  Romulo Ponte, Southern Luzon Bureau

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IMP53NGOUAROYSVNIHUSNWDEYY Jhie Reyes

    pumapapel na man ang palace yot! nuong hindi pa nakasali si jessica sa top 2 walang imik at support ngayon magsabi na they will support! gusto nila ngayon makishare sa success ni jessica! pwee!

    • magcalasL

      MASYADO KA NAMANG NEGATIVE….HAVE LIFE

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Glen-Villanueva/100001445601527 Glen Villanueva

       Ganyan ang pulitica…. ganun ka rin naman ah. Wala tayong pinag ka iba lahat….. Sakay ka na lang.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lito-Marso/100001228405439 Lito Marso

      Mars Marcelo….ok lang pumapel ang Palasyo basta Ikararangal ng  lahing Pilipino. “MANALO MATALO KAY JESICA TAYO”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IZNIGZPEEVE5LIE76TMKNTKM3U T

    the finale is Tuesday ..watch and vote.. Wednesday is the proclamation..please correct and ensure your votes count..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TCQMRK4HVOSF2IGML46TAGKMXU Benjamin

    Correction… The finale is Wednesday 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time here in U.S. while it will be 8:00 a.m. time Thursday there in the Philippines.  Nagsisimula ang Idol tuwing Wednesday, 8:00 ng gabi dito sa U.S. I am contributing this blog where I live here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  I voted probably 50 times last Wednesday for Jessica.  

    • hershey00

       nope.. the finale will be held on tuesday, and result will be on wednesday. This was announced by Ryan Seacrest. so don’t miss that… I voted Jessica probably almost 1000 times until midnight. That’s how loyal I am to our fellow filipino :)

    • Ulipur

      Tuesday, not Wednesday (US)

    • Expatnyc

      ‘Tol…. mahina ka… auto dial mo ang cell phone mo and also log in to Facebook if you have an account…. but only if you have an AT&T with unlimited calls, text and or landline… ang Inay kahit may arthritis nakaboto ng mas marami keysa sa yo.

      Martes ang finals hindi Mierkoles…. Mierkoles… announcement kung sino ang panalo so don’t get confused!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MIQDQTQUTZG2IKF73OODCLQMPY R

    50 times is the max to vote On-line through Facebook. I am not sure if Pinoys can vote in the Philippines starting 10am to 6pm Thursday. (US Eastern to Hawaii time)!

    • Expatnyc

      R…. Wednesday May 23, 800 AM the show begins and ends at 10 AM Philippine Local time… so voting starts at 10 AM to 12 PM Wednesday morning / noon Philippine local time… don’t get confused… Philippines is ahead 12 hours if you are living in the US East Coast! They will announce the winner Thursday 800 AM May 24 Philippine local time!

      Pinoys can vote if they have Facebook account… YES!!!!!! (that’s what I heard from here in the US….)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Glen-Villanueva/100001445601527 Glen Villanueva

    Matatalo si Jessica sa Final. Taga mo sa bato.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NHR5PHABMUMPBZAEYKP2SROOTQ Jon

      In love ka kay Phillips, ano?  OK lang yan kasi ang fans nya ay mga bakla at teen girls!

    • Guest

       I hope you’re right!

    • akimaxx

      Sige nga , give me just 3 reasons why na dapat matalo si Jessica. Glen Villanueva, I have 10 reasons why she should win.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NHR5PHABMUMPBZAEYKP2SROOTQ Jon

    Can Pinoys in the Philippines vote online?  I don’t know!  If they can, let’s flood the internet with votes for Jessica. Pinoys are computer nerds, why not use that skills to mass vote for Jessica.
    Sige na mga kababayan!  Boto kayo kay Jessica!

    • Expatnyc

      Yes you can vote if you have a Facebook account… here in the US all of us are going nuts literally… the finals will be on Tuesday 800 PM Eastern Time so since Philippines is ahead by 12 hours, it will be 800 AM Wednesday morning Philippine local time… voting will begin after the show and you have at least 2 hours to do it!

      Use your Facebook account to vote and spread the info around…

  • Guest

     Some comments here are so hateful. Jessica fans, if you want her to win, please be civil. The insults and negative comments you’re throwing at few commentators here are so low.. I’ve been called moron by some of you for no reason. Let’s just hope Jessica will win. After all, it her life and success,  not yours, so cool down.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NHR5PHABMUMPBZAEYKP2SROOTQ Jon

      You only have one comment here! I don’t understand what you mean?  You must be referring to another comment section.  Go back and check, no one called you a “moron” here, at least not yet.
      Yes you are correct that it is her life and success but it is innately Filipino to support our kababayan where ever they may be. I thought you knew that?

      • Guest

         Ah, waste of time!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/FUFSDWUH7AILQ4FUH3ULQW4HK4 Roualde

        typical crab… 

      • Victoria

         I wasn’t referring to Jessica as my waste of time. It’s people like you I’m referring to. Crab you say? Right back at you, Turd!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Sleeter/100003707805623 Andy Sleeter

      Why would there be hateful comments from Jessica fans? She has been winning and winning.  I have only seen anti-Jessica posts that are hateful.  Some people would even pull the race card against her.  One poster even complained that she was called a racist by posting anti Jessica comments.  But I have not seen a single post calling her a racist.
      So basically she is calling herself a racist to generate sentiment against Jessica’s fans.  That’s really low.

  • http://www.facebook.com/norman.deguzman.90 Norman de Guzman

    guys we want jessica to win.i believed all of you have facebook or twitter account now if have friends or relatives in the us woo them to vote for her.if by chance you make with celebrities on facebook or twitter like nicole schezinger of pussycat(maybe my spelling is wrong) the guy from film animal i forget his name,lou diamond philips,tia carrera,darren criss or even marquez woo them to vote her. its a long shot.thanks.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2USYKJSRCTWVWNXXSXL6DH6EWQ frank

    di naman puro pinoy poh mexican diba din poh sya

    • luwii

       oo nga poH. di ba poH

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