‘Idol’s’ Jessica already a winner in her own right
The runup to the finals of “American Idol” season 11 has become more interesting with the exceptional showing of Jessica Sanchez—who is by far, the most exciting singer of Filipino heritage to make it to the Top 10 of the highly popular TV talent search.
Last Thursday (Friday in Manila), the 16-year-old—eldest of three children of a Mexican-American Navy veteran and a Filipina from Bataan province—safely made it to the top eight with a ballad version of Beyonce’s 2008 technopop hit single, “Sweet Dreams.”
They want more
The performance left the show’s three judges raving. Again.
“I look forward to hearing you every night. I think you’re one of the best singers I’ve heard in many years. Unbelievable, sensational,” said Randy Jackson.
“You left all of us wanting more. That’s what great performers do. They leave you wanting more,” gushed Jennifer Lopez.
“I think you’re a star no matter what. You did it again tonight…You really know your notes,” declared Steven Tyler.
The judges have given Jessica four standing ovations since the Hollywood rounds began.
A video of Jessica’s performance was uploaded on the homepage of Beyonce’s official website.
A quick review of Jessica’s previous outings (highlights of which are compiled as “Jessica Sanchez American Idol Concert HD” on YouTube) explains why she seems poised to take it all the way to the contest finale.
Right from her audition piece, Carole King’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” Jessica had bowled the judges over.
At the show’s Las Vegas round, she stood out in a group performance of Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.”
In the Top 25 round, Jessica’s personal choice to sing Jennifer Hudson’s “Love You I Do” from the film “Dreamgirls” merited the only standing ovation that night from the judges.
Although she was criticized for her choice of Vicki Sue Robinson’s disco tune “Turn the Beat Around” in the Top 11 round with the judges commenting that she shone best in ballads—Jessica actually pulled through without much difficulty.
Indeed, the beauty of her voice has been manifested in slow songs, especially when she sang “The Prayer,” “I Will Always Love You” and “Everybody Has a Dream” in separate episodes. In those songs Jessica exhibited an uncanny ability to balance power and restraint—her tone and volume just right, her vibrato and falsetto never straying too far.
She won over Billy Joel fans by interpreting “Everybody Has a Dream,” an obscure gospel track from Joel’s 1977 album, “The Stranger.”
Even if her dream of becoming this year’s “American Idol” champion doesn’t come true, there’s a big chance that her young career will take off on its own—such as those of previous contestants Katharine McPhee, Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson, now winners in their own right.
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