Hollywood, CA– Jessica Sanchez is the runner-up on American Idol 2012. But did she really lose anything? Think: diva Jennifer Hudson, Tony-nominated “Rock of Ages” star Constantine Maroulis, rock star Chris Daughtry, and the Grammy-nominated Adam Lambert, a San Diego native.
Jessica may be only 16 years old, but this little dynamo is wise beyond her years. She is poised, intelligent and she has always known it is her destiny to be right where she is today. And, it has come at tremendous cost and sacrifice.
What did it take to get Jessica through FOX’s American Idol’s competition? It took a village.
When she made it past the thousands of people trying out in San Diego, it was one sacrifice after another for her parents to keep her in the competition. For one, the parents had to purchase new outfits for each phase of the competition until the final 12. Mom and dad became a one-income family so that mom could chaperon and travel with Jessica. The mounting expenses of fueling the car, purchasing new clothes, shoes, accessories caused a tremendous financial and personal challenges.
There were still two little boys at home who need their mom and with the father being deployed, it was the family and community of friends who came together to help them so that Jessica would not have to drop out of the competition.
After Jessica was eliminated early on and then judges utilized their only save, the community of Chula Vista and San Diego, through the leading efforts of friend Claudia Lugo, rallied together to make sure she made it to the finale.
With Jessica also being half Pinoy (Filipino), the grassroot effort from this and Latinos, made sure that their girl was never in the bottom two again.
What everyone wants to know is did she or didn’t she sign with Tommy Mottola’s Casablanca Records? I read Mottola’s wife’s (international superstar Thalia) Twitters, and if her tweets are any indication, I’d say Ms. Sanchez has herself a record deal that mirrors that of Mariah Carey’s first recording contract.
“WOWgreat news! #TommyMottola just call me from #AmericanIdol & he is confirm to work in the first #JessicaSanchez CD!#MexicanFilipinoPower,” Thalía posted on her account.
Mottola, a veteran producer to music heavyweights such as Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan and even American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, is sure to help Sanchez launch a successful singing career.
About the heritage questions. Is she Mexican? Is she Pinoy? Who cares! She’s the newest and youngest American female singer to come out of Idol ever!
For the record, Jessica wants to make sure everyone knows she is proud Latina. The vocally gifted singer, says being Mexican is a big part of who she is as a person, just as much as her Filipino background.
“I’m proud of both of my heritages,” Sanchez said to media sources. “There’s never a time when I’m more one than the other. I grew up with both [cultures.]”
Sanchez is very close to her father, who has had great influence in supporting her singing aspirations. Her father, Gilbert, is a Mexican-American Texas native and member of the U.S.Navy, and has kept one pulse on his daughter’s singing and the other on taking care of his two younger sons at home. However, this is about to change as he prepares for us upcoming military deployment to Singapore.
Mom, Edita, gave up her work to nurture Jessica’s career so the bulk of the financial crisis falling on the father. Dad is leaving, mom is with Jessica and the children will be with family… the sacrifice is tremendous. But what could her parents do when their daughter’s only mission in life was to compete on American Idol? They nurture, support and do what ever it takes, with the help from many.
It takes a village.
The 16-year-old singer also said the late great Selena Quintanilla has always been a big inspiration in her life and her music.
“I listened a lot to Selena growing up,” said Sanchez, whose voice has been compared to vocal talents Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.
Now that Idol is over, Sanchez is very aware that she could be a one-hit-wonder and that’s the reason she has a back up plan that includes going back to school and traveling to the countries of her lineage: Mexico and Philippines.
Everyone is talking about that unbelieveable duet with Jennifer Holiday… amazing performance. “We were making the most ridiculous faces I know,” says Sanchez. “We were just really digging deep into our hearts and singing the heck out of that song.” You think?
Jessica’s great honor came when just barely two hours before she was to sing, she was told she would be paying a tribute to Whitney Houston, who according to Randy Jackson no one should ever attempt to sing her songs. “I didn’t even know I was singing it until a couple of hours before the show started. It was a shocking moment for me, but I was excited to sing it because I love the song.”
Jessica shrugs off critics who say she’s too young, too soon, for so much. “I’ve been doing this since I was 7 years old,” said Sanchez. She tells her fans they must “really work hard and stay humble… don’t let anything distract you if you really want to do this.”
Where does all this wisdom come from? Those close to her say it’s because she is home schooled and totally focused on her singing aspirations.
Jessica Sanchez is innocent, unscathed by the perils of the recording industry and as a result sings from the depths of her soul and at 16, she has yet to peak!