On Wednesday’s (Thursday morning in Manila) episode of the reality singing competition, Filipino-Mexican Jessica Sanchez was among the 14 contestants who made it to the Top 24.
The 16-year-old from Chula Vista, California was shown singing “The Prayer” by Josh Groban and Celine Dion during the auditions.
Netizens were ecstatic by the youngster’s talent.
Popular “Idol” blogger Rickey (www.rickey.org) wrote: “‘Idol’ just discovered the new Charice! Amazing! I’m so happy Filipino readers are going to support my blog again. Mabuhay!”
Twitter user Natalie Grant said: “OK - so I'm watching American Idol for the 1st time this season but this 16 year old Jessica Sanchez girl blows my mind. What a TALENT. Wow.”
Another Twitter user Q94jackson gushed: “She is the freaking winner !!! I'm sorry but she just made me cry and shiver and everything that music is suppose to do!”
The New York-based newspaper Newsday said Sanchez appears to be an early favorite to win the contest.
“Jessica Sanchez might be the favorite right now to win it all; you have to listen when she sings, something compelling about her powerful voice. She's also got complete control and a burning desire,” the newspaper wrote on Wednesday.
For the past several seasons, male contestants have always emerged on top. The last female “American Idol” winner was Jordin Sparks back in Season 6.
‘America’s Got Talent’
In a video posted on the “American Idol” website, Sanchez said she has wanted to join the contest since watching Kelly Clarkson win Season 1. Sanchez was only five years old at that time.
“I’ve been singing my whole life. My love for singing is what brought me here,” said Sanchez, who said Jennifer Hudson is her favorite “Idol” contestant.
Sanchez, who has been singing songs of Whitney Houston and Celine Dion since she was a little girl, said she likes R&B, urban and soul music,
“My tone is a lot different from the others,” she said, when asked what sets her apart from the other contestants.
This is not the first time Sanchez has joined a talent search. She was only 12 years old when she tried out for the first season of “America’s Got Talent.” Sanchez did not make it past the first voting round, and 11-year-old Bianca Ryan went on to win the show.
“I believe, I feel like I have something different,” Sanchez said in her “Idol” video. “I’m ready to bring it.”
This season of “Idol” also showcased another Filipino-American Ashley Robles, who was a standout at the San Diego auditions, where she sang Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Robles, however, was cut during the Las Vegas rounds last week.
Also making it to the Top 24 were: Jen Hirsh, Haley Johnson, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Chelsea Sorrell, Baylie Brown, Brielle Von Hugel, Creighton Fraker, Joshua Ledet, Reed Grimm, Phil Phillips Jr., Collton Dixon and another Asian-American Heejun Han.