After a mind-blowing experience singing the Star-Spangled Banner before the First Couple at an Easter event at the White House, the American Idol second-placer does a head-turning guest appearance in the TV musical Glee

MANILA, MAY 13, 2013
(PHILSTAR) CONVERSATIONS By Ricky Lo - After a mind-blowing experience singing the Star-Spangled Banner before the First Couple at an Easter event at the White House, the American Idol second-placer does a head-turning guest appearance in the TV musical Glee

Big breaks continue to open up for Jessica Sanchez after she finished second (to Phillip Phillips) in last year’s (11th) season of American Idol, the highest honor achieved by a Filipino talent on that show.

Only a few weeks after she topbilled a Valentine concert here (her second homecoming after last year’s when she came with the AI Top 10), Jessica won the hearts of the US Pres. Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama when she sang the Star-Spangled Banner at an Easter event at the White House.

Then came her guesting in Glee, the second Filipina to do so (after Charice who played Filipina character Sunshine Corazon in two episodes). Jessica was introduced in the show’s April 26 episode showing her in a scene that hardly lasted a minute singing, yes, Star-Spangled Banner.

In the finale episode of the show’s Season 4 aired last Friday, Jessica as Frida Romero sings two songs, Little Mix’s Wings and Zedd’s Clarity, as head of the Hoosierdaddies in the regionals. (Glee is aired via satellite every Friday at 4 p.m. with a primetime telecast at 8 p.m. on both etc and JackTV.

JackTV is seen on SkyCable Channel 51, Global Destiny Channel 30 and Cablelink Channel 36. etc is seen on free TV RPN 9, SkyCable Channel 14, Destiny Channel 14, Cablelink Channel 34 and Dream Satellite Channel 6 in Metro Manila. Watch out for replays of the episodes where Jessica is a guest.)

In an exclusive phone Conversation, Jessica talks about her Glee experience, her debut album Me, You & The Music and what her plan is when she turns 18 on Aug. 4.

How was your experience shooting for Glee?

“It was so much fun. Everybody there was so helpful, it was so humbling to be around them. I was kind of starstruck seeing all of them in person. It was so surreal, kind of weird! Yes, they were all so humble and so nice, so friendly. I hope to do it again.”

How did you get into the show? Did you audition? Or were you handpicked by Ryan Murphy (the show producer)?

“Yes, he contacted me after the American Idol finale, asking me if I was okay to meet with him to talk about Glee. I went in and we discussed about the music. And that got me very, very excited.”

Is Frida Romero, your character, a Mexican or a Filipina (like Sunshine Corazon, the character played by Charice on the same show)?

“I’m not sure what Frida’s nationality is but all I can say is that she’s very competitive.”

Are you like her in some way?

“Not at all. That’s why it’s a challenge for me playing Frida Romero because I’m not like her in real life.”

Any trait of Frida that you can identify with?

“Uhm, Frida is a little more bold and I still can’t identify with her in that way. She’s really different from what I am. She’s very diva-ish and she’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind. I’m not like that at all.”

Why, are you afraid to say what’s on your mind?

“Oh no! I do speak up.”

You were great singing the song Wings and Clarity.

“Yes, I absolutely love those songs. It was so much fun singing them. I also love the choreography. It was just perfect for the songs, isn‘t it? I felt it as it got me into the groove.”

After shooting two, how many more episodes are you going to do?

“Oh I’m not sure; nothing is confirmed yet. Hopefully, I will do some more.”

Have you ever imagined that you’d be appearing in Glee?

“No, I never thought I would. I mean, I’ve always liked to try acting but I never thought an opportunity would come to me just like that. This kind of opportunity coming right after American Idol is insane. I feel so blessed! I’m a big fan of Glee, you know.”

In the Lights Out episode of Glee recently, you were shown singing Star-Spangled Banner. I guess that US National Anthem brings back fond memories about the Easter event at the White House where you sang it before Pres. Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. It must have been a thrill, I guess.

“It was insane! All I can say is, ‘Thank you, Lord!’ So far, I’ve done so many things already and my life memories at age 17 are just so incredible and so fantastic! Oh yes, I was so nervous singing before the President and the First Lady. The experience was one of the biggest things that have happened to me.”

You’re turning 18 soon (on Aug. 4). How do you plan to celebrate your debut?

“Maybe I’ll go on a vacation with my family or something like that.”

Any changes in your life once you turn 18 (and become legally adult)? Any plan of living independently?

“Oh no! I’ve been living with my family and they’re going to be there for a very long time.”

Oh, by the way, what’s new about Miss Saigon? Are you definitely auditioning for it (for the lead role as Kim)?

“No, I haven’t. I don’t know if I’m scheduled to audition for it but I would be very glad to.”

Any more projects lined up for you?

“I’m doing a couple of shows and I’m releasing my debut album, Me, You & The Music. On American Idol, I was known for doing ballads and this album will show that ballads are not my only interest and I hope it will attract a younger market.” (A recent AP dispatch quoted Jessica as saying, “People don’t know me as the Jessica that I want to show. They know me as balladeer Jessica who is shy, sweet, just like standing-there Jessica. And now I have to really make a mark and show people that I have fun and I’m 17 and I’m ready to be out there and just, you know, be young.”

Any other TV show that you want to do and what about a role in a musical?

“Hmmmm, I would love to do my own TV show. It sounds like so much fun. It would be awesome!”

And when are you coming back to the Philippines, maybe not for work but for a vacation?

“I’m not so sure yet. I’m very excited to find out when. But definitely it’s going to be this year.”

Do you have anything to say to your Filipino fans?

“I appreciate everything that you’ve been doing for me. Thank you for all the support. I love you, guys! I hope to see you soon, and I love you!”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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