Jessica Sanchez: The First Latina American Idol?

By Elia Esparza

It’s official: For the first time in American Idol history, in it’s 11th season, a Latina Jessica Sanchez (Mexican-Philippine) makes it into the finale. The 16-year old, San Diego native will be the youngest Idol if she wins, and the first Latina. It’s looking good! Joshua Ledet was eliminated leaving 21-year old Phillip Phillips to compete against Sanchez. Music producer Jimmy Lovine, the contestants’ mentor throughout the series says, “She’s got it,” and predicts she will sing on the Grammys one day.
After weeks of performing on the American Idol stage, the two remaining finalists will perform live Tuesday in front of a theater audience of more than 7000, as well as millions of viewers watching at home. Then on Wednesday night, at the end of a two-hour music celebration, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will announce the next American Idol. Global superstar “Rihanna” will perform at the finale as well as many other surprise performances, duets, etc.

Jessica Sanchez has been a favorite since her first audition, so it came as no surprise that the judges used their only “save” when she was shockingly eliminated several weeks ago. The elimination was a wake-up call for her fans who rallied behind her and pumped up their voting campaign.  San Diego is still sore over Adam Lambert not winning, so this wake up call really got the community united to vote.

When Seacrest announced the first finalist and said “Jessica Sanchez” the cameras moved to judge Jennifer Lopez —  the superstar was jubilant unable to hide her pleasure and relief.

Sanchez won the full support of judge Steven Tyler after she sang a flawless Mariah Carey hit My All, and Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. Her incredible voice has caught the attention of Tommy Mottola who has publicly complimented her. Guess Ms. Sanchez reminds him and others of a young Mariah and Celine Dion… that’s how good she is!

The diminutive Sanchez was the first to make it through to next week’s finale. She has been consistent every week, delivering impeccable, superb and amazing performances that have left the judges and America bowled over, bringing everyone to their feet. America has voted and she is now on her way to the final stage of the competition.

Sanchez is the daughter of Gilbert and Editha Sanchez and has lived in Chula Vista, California all of her life. Her father, a Mexican-American is a U.S. Navy veteran who fought in the Iraq War, and served in Afghanistan. Her mother is Filipino American. A deeply spiritual young lady, Sanchez carries a rosary everywhere and quietly prays before every performance.

Will she become the next American Idol?! Will she become the first Latina to win American Idol?! Will she be the “last one standing” like American Idol judge Steven Tyler commented on Wednesday night?!

Audiences have overwhelmingly lent their support by cheering Sanchez on and voting. The Latino community especially has been actively participating in making sure she makes it to the finals.  However, Sanchez not only has the support here in the U.S., she also seems to have the whole country of the Philippines behind her.  They all have collectively rallied behind this Latina sensation and tuned-in to vote her every week.  With this kind of support she just might  have an edge over Phillip Phillips.

FOX will host the series’ two-night grand finale from the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE Tuesday, May 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) and Wednesday, May 23 (8:00-10:07 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed).

Please follow these links for additional information and to download photos, performance videos: www.foxflash.com , www.AmericanIdol.com, and http://www.americanidol.com/videos/season_11/performances/