Jessica Sanchez, ‘AI’ Top 10 here for only Asian concert date


‘AMERICAN IDOL’ LIVE TOUR Filipino-Mexican singer Jessica Sanchez, 17, arrives in Manila on Tuesday for a concert at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

“There are lots of casinos, and pretty girls,” quipped Heejun Han, one of the Top 10 finalists of “American Idol” Season 11, when asked of his first impressions upon landing on Philippine soil.

Heejun, 23, joined the rest of the youthful, bubbly “Idols” at a press conference Tuesday at the Manila Hotel for their concert on Friday, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. The show is the last and only Asian date of the group’s 45-city tour of the United States.

In 2010, the “American Idol” live tour—which featured grand winner Scott McCreery and 10 others, including 11th-placer Filipino-American Thia Megia—debuted in Manila for two nights, also at the Big Dome.

Friday’s concert is made more significant by the presence of another Filipino-American, Jessica Sanchez, the 2012 “Idol” runner-up who almost snagged the title from her main rival, Phillip Phillips.

Born and raised in the United States to a Filipino mother and a Mexican-American father, Jessica—easily the most popular among the Idols due to her local lineage and jaw-dropping vocal power—said she would be staying behind for about a week after the concert.

“I’ll be shooting some product endorsements,” she said, but expressed regret that she might not be able to visit her mom’s hometown in Bataan province.

She held back when the Philippine Daily Inquirer asked whether she would be doing a commercial for leading food chain Jollibee, explaining that she couldn’t reveal anything yet, except for clothing brand Bench which announced it recently on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.

Jessica likewise did not confirm whether she was indeed being considered to play the lead role of Kim in the film version of the award-winning stage musical “Miss Saigon,” although she said: “I would love to try (auditioning).”

Just turned 17

Regarding reports that she was set to appear in the popular musical-comedy-drama TV series “Glee,” Jessica replied: “Nothing’s confirmed … But it’s in the works.”

The petite powerhouse singer, who just turned 17 last month, showed none of the trappings of fame that came with her worldwide exposure on “Idol.”

Dressed in a simple, cut-off denim shirt and black shorts, the only noticeable pop-star item in her wardrobe was her pair of silver spikes-studded high-heeled shoes.

She pointed out that she ate more Filipino food than Mexican fare at home in San Diego, California. Asked what her favorite Pinoy dish is, she struggled with her Tagalog: “Sinigang na … the one with pork.”

She admitted that she couldn’t learn the Filipino language because it was not spoken at home, “although my grandpa does, but he speaks so fast.”

Life-changing status


If there was any instance during the “Idol” competition that made her realize that joining it had changed her life, Jessica paused for a moment before saying: “The gruelling moments … when we were all pushing to do something that we really wanted.”

Asked what would they be doing if they didn’t get into the show, each of the “Idols” gave different answers—except for Jessica, who said, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s been in my head since I was 10.”

The rest of the “Idols” affirmed the life-changing status they felt during and after the show.

“(After) being eliminated, we appeared on talk shows and people started noticing,” said sixth placer Elise Testone. A veteran of the South Carolina music scene, Elise, 29, is a vocal coach aside from being a talented musician who can play the piano, guitar, drums, cello and tambourine.

“Meeting the fans while on tour was definitely memorable,” admitted 10th placer Erika Van Pelt, a native of South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Apparently the most adventurous fashion-wise, Erika, 26, said she dyed her hair red because she was “feeling fiery” en route to the Philippines.


“Idol” title holder Phillip Phillips—who revealed that his debut solo album is due for release in December—confessed that “everything still isn’t real for me. I still get nervous when performing.”

But the 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Leesburg, Georgia, who stood out in the competition for his ability to arrange his material, added that “the tour has made me feel at home in the cities that we visit. It’s been a long year but a lot of fun.”

Eighth placer DeAndre Brackensick, 17, said he “can’t wait to eat balut.” Born in San Jose, California, to a European-American father and an African-American mother, DeAndre did not join the group interviews because he was not feeling well, organizers said. He is currently the apple of Jessica’s eyes.

Seventh placer Colton Dixon, 20, appreciated the fact that he has collaborated on some songs with Jason Wade of the Los Angeles rock band Lifehouse. He said he’s looking forward to the eventual release of the songs.

Of the 10 Idols, it was third placer and Louisiana native Joshua Ledet who greeted the Philippine media with “Mabuhay!” He added that he learned another Filipino word, but couldn’t remember it at the moment.

New ‘Idol’ judges

It remains to be seen whether this batch of Idols would pull in a capacity crowd at the Big Dome concert on Friday.

Although “Idol” has been highly rated since it debuted on television in 2002, audiences are now only about half the more than 30 million who watched regularly in the show’s 2005 and 2006 heyday.

The last season finale in May drew a record low of 21.5 million viewers and “Idol” lost its prestige as the most-watched program on US TV to “Sunday Night Football.”

Controversial rapper Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban joined a new set of judges that includes Mariah Carey (with Randy Jackson retained) as the show seeks to boost its star power and recapture sliding audiences in a crowded TV talent competition field.

The show’s 12th season will air in January 2013.

Originally posted at 06:47 pm | Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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  • CmdrAdobo

    If you appreciate local talents sa kantahan, i dont think she’s that special.

    If you listen a lot of f Anne Curtis, yes she is special.

    • The Amateur Ear .

      I agree. People, get over your fixation with this woman, she won’t / can’t last. She can’t hold a candle to the real Filipino talents we have here.

  • quphal

    eto ang patunay na bagsak at lugmok na ang american idol franchise. wala na ang mga dating judges na nagpasikat sa programa at nung time nila hindi na kelangan lumabas ng amerika ang mga winners to promote the upcoming season. desperate move na lang nila ito para tumabo pa sa ratings.

    • internet101

      ganon din ang mga singers na laos na na galing pilipinas nagcoconcert din sila sa US. give ang take lang naman yan.

      • hustlergalore

        wag mong sabihin laos ang mga singers ng abs-cbn. sila lang naman ang madalas magconcert sa US. LOL

  • webspiker

    Her Pinay mother grew up in Hawaii, not in the Philippines. Get your facts right. She is not Filipino-Mexican either but  100% American!

    • mfdo

       Uh ho .. you gonna be flamed mate .. a lot of people with tinted glasses will demand that she accept she is filipina ..

      Did anybody ask her mother why she left Philippines ?? :)

      Get Real people .. claiming an American person as Filipino will not make any good to Philippines .. or yourself ..

      • sanjuan683

        Of course her mother love America over the Philippines because of opportunity hehehehehehe
        We’ve got plenty of magagaling na singers mas magaling pa sa kanya pasigaw na kanta style so in other words she’s not needed here. Pauwiin muna yan. hehehehehehehe Patronize your own singers hehehehehehe tsupi!!!!!!!

      • internet101

        parang mgsalita ka ang ganda ganda mo! wag kana lang manood o di kaya pumunta dito sa may forum nato. para wala kang hates. puro kasiraan nya ang sinsabi mo. ang nakaktakot dyan baka maya ang mga ginagawa mo ay mareceive mo rin sa iba.

  • hkzombie1

    what’s all this fuss? if people do not like her i guess all they should do is not see her concert, not buy her records and shut the F up. what is the point of insulting her about her looks and talent? dissecting the girl’s ethnicity etc… just to put her down? to feel better about themselves?

    • sanjuan683

      Daming natin magagaling ng singers, its an insult to invite her here, she’s not a Pinay don’t be fool. American Idol is not our shows, its the show of American people why keep insisting that shows. Shame in your color. hehehehe Look at our neighboring asian countries patronizing their own shows. hehehehehe Sayang hindi pa tayo nasakop ng Japan di sana progress and discipline tayo ngayon like Korea. Masyado maka-Amerikano kasi ang Pinoy. hehehehehe Pauwiin na yan dahil hindi marunong mag-tagalog ang Pinoy kapag nagpunta sa Tate equip with English. hehehehehhe

      • internet101

        parang mgsalita ka ang ganda ganda mo! wag kana lang manood o di kaya pumunta dito sa may forum nato. para wala kang hates. puro kasiraan nya ang sinsabi mo. ang nakaktakot dyan baka maya ang mga ginagawa mo ay mareceive mo rin sa iba.

      • internet101

        lahat ng mga sinsabi mo sa batang ito ay paninira. present ka lagi dito para siraan sya. tandaan mo na araw2 nagbabago ang buhay. hindi mo rin magugustuhan gagawin sayo.

    • hustlergalore

      what?! hindi ka pa sanay sa mga pilipino. e numero unong laitero yan. at ang nakakatawa, hanggang lait lang ang kayang gawin. LOL

  • abudahbi

    Ang mahirap sa mga ibang pinoy(gaya ng mga nandito), kapintasan ng tao ang  basehan ng lahat. Mismong Pinoy na din ang unang kumakawawa sa kanilang kapwa. Pag may kapintasan ka wala ka nang karapatan sa anumang aspeto ng buhay. Pag pangit ka lalong wala ka na talaga…wala nang silbi. Sigurado itong mga NEGAng mga taong ito linggo-linggo naman nagsisimba

  • Cres Andrea

    HeeJun is the friendliest.

  • Dione Maggay

     puru negative ang comment nyo.. grabe kayo

  • Albinet

    Unbelievable! Trolls loves to belittle people who accomplished something good in life. Just appreciate this girl’s talent. Have a positive mind…

  • Arsenia Gaid

    “Pinoy pride” should not be about Pinoy by Passport.  
    Pilipinos went abroad to work and support our family back home, this is a big help to the Philippine economy ever since!!!  Pinoy raised their family here abroad, but does not mean you will not recognize their kids to have Pilipino genes.  
    Everyone should be proud of Pinoy gaining recognition abroad, you have to be proud of that Pilipino genes that can compete at World Stage Level.

    Stop the none sense.  i was actually expecting Lea Salonga, Sharon Cuneta, Charice and many others to have come forward to Welcome Jessica Sanchez and her American idol  group.  Why?  it is time to give back, when you came abroad it was Pilipino-Americans, Pilipino-Canadians, etc. have supported you.  Show Pinoy from abroad who you really are.  When you come abroad to perform, we see to it that your show will be a hit, we see to it that you will go home with success.   Long before you come for your show, pinoy are selling your tickets, and even those with no extra money will borrow money just to attend your show.  Now, why will you not recognize a Pinay daughter? just because she do not speak Tagalog.  The truth is, here abroad, we are lucky if 10% of Pinoy kids can speak Tagalog, why? they are competing here in Engish language, but when they succeed, they want to bring it home to the Philippines.  

    Think Big and Think of the next Generation!
    If Pilipinos will support each other in the music industry, we can be the best in the world.  This is our SPORT equivalent to the Olympic competition!  Pilipinos are gifted with good genes by nature… take that to the next level, don’t think locally only, the world will support us, because people abroad are very open minded, very supportive, very fair by nature. They loved Pinoy, because most of them are associated with their good Pinoy Doctors, Nurses, Engineers, caregivers, etc. that when they hear Pilipino word, you get their support ASAP!

    Pilipinos must support Jessica Sanchez and her American Idol group, Mabuhay!

    by seni

    • cheesecake_21

      It really makes me wonder why all my cousins in the US know how to speak Tagalog even if they were born there and are only half-Pinoy by blood.

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