MANILA, Philippines – After a powerful performance that sent the “American Idol” judges up on their feet, Jessica Sanchez convinced America it wasn’t her time to go.
Sanchez, who got her 6th standing ovation in Idol’s latest performance night for her rendition of a Dreamgirls hit And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going, is among the Top 3 contenders of the singing competition.
This makes her the second Filipino-American who made it this far in the show. Earlier in Season 3, Jasmine Trias, who has roots in Cavite, Philippines, earned a spot in the same rankings.
Considered a crucial stage, those who enter Top 3 get the chance to go home and visit their families, friends and fans.
Hollie Cavanagh lost this chance after she was booted for getting the lowest number of votes in Thursday’s (May 11, Friday in Manila) elimination round.
Idol garnered a total of 70 million votes overnight, the highest so far for Season 11.
Now the last female standing, Sanchez is up against the two other remaining Idol hopefuls — Phillip Phillips and Joshua Ledet.
On Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), the finalists sang two songs — one themed California Dreamin’ and one they wish they had written.
Sixteen-year-old Sanchez, the youngest among them, proved she could sing the blues as she took on the classic Steal Away by Etta James in the first round.
She stepped up her game in the second, getting a unanimous standing ovation from the judges.
As if making a declaration there was no way she would leave the show, Sanchez blew the audience away with Jennifer Holliday’s And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going, one of the popular songs from the broadway musical Dreamgirls.
Veteran judge Randy Jackson thought Sanchez was “really in it to win it,” noting it was one of the hardest songs in the world to sing. “You slayed it,” he told her.
Judge Steven Tyler said it was an “over the top,” “winning performance,” while Jennifer Lopez said Sanchez was racing “to the finish.”
So far, Sanchez has received 6 standing ovations in the show: 4 from solo performances (including I Will Always Love You, Everybody Has A Dream), one for group performance, and one for a duet with Joshua Ledet.
Like Sanchez, meanwhile, latest Idol casualty Cavanagh chose a song that was prophetic — I Can’t Make You Love Me — as America decided to send her home. She also did her version of Journey’s Faithfully.
Below are the songs performed by the other finalists:
- Phillip Phillips (age 21) – Have You Ever Seen the Rain by CCR | Volcano by Damien Rice
- Joshua Ledet (20) – You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban | It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World by James Brown
Cavanagh, 18, said her goodbyes on Thursday evening (Friday in Manila) after singing her last song, Miley Cyrus’ The Climb.
Cavanagh’s wasn’t the only performance of the night.
Former Idol David Cook sang his new single The Last Song I’ll Write For You, while Lopez and her beau Casper Smart took the center stage to perform Dance Again. – Rappler.com
More on Sanchez’s American Idol journey