MANILA, SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 (MANILA BULLETIN) By ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ - The “American Idol” Season 11 finalists performed at a packed Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sept. 21, perfectly capping off their 2012 tour that kicked off and did the rounds in the US.

The contestants are grateful for the support of the Filipino fans, especially since the Philippine leg of their concert is their sole stop in Asia.

At one point during the show, Filipino-Mexican runner-up Jessica Sanchez told the crowd, “Mahal ko kayong lahat, thank you so much…”

For her set, the 17-year-old singer opened with Beyoncé’s “Best Thing I Never Had,” before she called fellow finalists Joshua Ledet and her boyfriend, DeAndre Brackensick to provide back-up vocals for her performances of Prince’s “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?” and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.”

Loud cheers filled the venue especially when Jessica hit the high notes or let out her trademark growl.

She also joined season champ Phillip Phillips for his rendition of Damien Rice’s “Volcano,” and then Joshua for the Aretha Franklin-George Michael duet “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.”

Unforgettable show

After the concert, Joshua tweeted, “Will never forget the time we shared here in the Phillipines (: love you all!”

“Manila thank you for making our last show one we would never forget an welcoming us with so much love! We can't thank you enough <3 muchlove,” Hollie Cavanagh posted.

Erika Van Pelt incorporated the famous Filipino expression for “I love you” in her message.

“Manila!!! You guys came out strong for us tonight. Thank you. Mahal ko Kayo! #idoltour,” she posted.

South Korea-born Heejun Han found Manila “awesome.” Interestingly, he added, “Hey i have a better news! Im coming back on october!!!”

[PHOTO- Jessica Sanchez loves Manila]

Phillip, who celebrated his birthday in the country on Sept. 20, enjoyed meeting his fans.

“You all are amazing!” he exclaimed.

A handful of local celebrities who trooped to the concert apparently had a good time. Doctor to the stars Vicki Belo, for one, described the concert as “so happy and wild.”

“Love the energy,” she added.

Former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate Say Alonzo related that she sat with Jessica's relatives during the “awesome” concert.

“Super fun concert! Pero nabitin ako. Sana mas maraming songs si Jessica:),” she also said.

Ruffa Gutierrez’s daughters Lorin and Venice had a “blast” during the concert, according to the TV host-actress. “They are singing, dancing, screaming! wish I was there!”

In other news, Jessica will stay longer in the Philippines to attend to other engagements, including endorsements for a local clothing brand and a fast food chain.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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