YET ANOTHER HALF-PINOY MAKES WAVES ON AMERICAN IDOL

[PHOTO - Jessica Sanchez singing her soulful rendition of Celine Dion’s ‘The Prayer’ on ‘American Idol’ (Screen grab from YouTube]

MANILA, FEBRUARY 26 2012 (MANILA BULLETIN) By ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ -

MANILA, Philippines – The latest season of “American Idol” will apparently be an interesting musical spectacle especially to Filipinos as another half-Pinoy contestant made it to the Top 24 cut of the hit show.

16-year-old Filipino-Mexican student Jessica Sanchez from Chula Vista, California said after judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, and Steven Tyler informed her of her “Idol” fate, “This is the biggest thing that happened to me. I’ve been watching this show since I was little. And I made it. It’s crazy.”

A report from Entertainment Weekly dubbed Sanchez as one of the “early frontrunners for hairography, cuteness,” alongside 17-year-old Deandre Brackensick, who also has “big” hair. The two, along with their team mate Candice Glover, wowed the judges during the Las Vegas round for their performance of “Doesn’t Matter Anymore.”

Young as she is, Jessica, who joined "America's Got Talent" when she was 11 years old, said she has been singing all her life. She recalled in her “Road To Hollywood” interview that she was just about seven when she first performed for a crowd “for a little concert, a little event that someone had put together.”

Her “Idol” dream, however, began a little earlier. A fan since the show began in 2002 (she was just five then), Jessica’s favorite “Idol” moment was Kelly Clarkson’s glorious win in Season 1, singing her finale piece “A Moment Like This.”

But it’s Season 3 finalist Jennifer Hudson whom Jessica idolizes the most among all the “AI” contestants.

“I just love her voice… And I’ve gotten comments like ‘you sound like her,’ [and] that’s just a really big deal for me…” she said in the same interview.

More than a dream come true, Jessica sees her “Idol” stint as an opportunity to "fully" support her family, whom she’s tired of seeing “struggle.”

“My family has spent so much money on me. They’ve sacrificed so much time. My mom is unemployed because of my music career. Knowing there’s a possibility of me being able to help my family in this situation, that’s why I’m here, that’s why I’m working hard,” said she.

With R&B, urban, and soul leanings, Jessica believes that she stands out from the current “Idol” crop because of her “sense of style.”

“I think my tone is a lot different from others,” she added.

Asked why she thinks she’s the next “Idol,” Jessica said, “I believe I have something different and I’m just ready to go out there and show the world my whole talent. I’m ready to bring it and be on stage and perform in front of millions of people. I’m ready to record…” she enthused.

The previous season of “American Idol” saw promise in 17-year-old Filipino-American Thia Megia, who made it to the Top 12 of the competition. Other half-Filipino finalists in "Idol" history include Jasmine Trias, Ramiele Malubay, and Camille Velasco.

 


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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