Ryan Seacrest just announced Phillip Philips as the winner of the American Idol 2012, but for the 90 million strong nation of the Philippines there’s no doubt that Jessica Sanchez was already our American Idol. Filipino American supporters from San Diego to New York held voting parties through out the competition. Her parentage is an interesting mix of both Filipino and Mexican.
A record total of 132.3 million votes were cast in this year’s A.I., the biggest in its eleven-year history. The win for Philips showed the trend of WGWG- white guy with guitar. The most recent winners of Scotty McCreery, Kris Allen and Lee Dewyze are evidence of the voting preference.
From a purely performance and vocal standpoint however, there was no doubt that Jessica Sanchez was the better of the two. Even their final performances proved this. Jessica sang a spectacular “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” duet with the “Queen of Broadway Gospel” Jennifer Holliday. It was such an overpowering performance that Judge J.Lo was visibly moved to tears.
The packed Nokia Theater had the most rousing ovation of the night, a far bigger reaction than Philips’ duet with John Fogerty singing two Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and “Bad Moon Rising.”
Both Jessica and Philips surprised their mentors with a 2013 FORD Escape. Phillip gave a ticket to the finale for Vin Neil his brother in law who has been guiding him with his music. Jessica Sanchez brought her music mentor Robert Allen. Seacrest also surprised Jessica and Phillip with their own 2013 Ford Fusion.
Robert Allen looks and reacts like a Filipino. Jessica’s mom Editha Bugay also has a striking resemblance with Charice’s mom, Raquel Pempengco. Both singer’s mom and aunt religiously accompany their wards in performances.
Idol has had a long history of finalists doing better than the winners of their batch. One classic example is Jennifer Hudson who came in 7th place. She has outshined her AI batch mate and Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino. Hudson has since won an Oscar, Golden Globe and a BAFTA Best Supporting actress award for her role in “Dream Girls.” Incidentally the same role, which performed the song “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” which cemented Jessica’s finals spot this year. Hudson has also won a Grammy for her self-titled debut album.
Adam Lambert came in second in season 8, the winner being Kris Allen. Lambert has had a stellar career with a very successful world tour immediately coming after the AI season the only AI finalist to do so. From the tour he produced a CD album Acoustic Live! (2010), and a live CD/DVD Glam Nation Live (2011), which debuted at number one on the SoundScan Music Video chart. He is the first openly gay artist to reach the top of Billboard 200 Album Chart.
In an interview with Rolling Stone.com, Lambert said, “I think Jessica is someone I can see making really interesting albums. If given the right material and the right producers. Her voice is crazy. She’s from San Diego I think she’s adorable. Her voice gives me goose bumps. She makes me go ooooh and make a skank face.”
No matter what happens Jessica, you have an extremely bright future. We love you. We can’t wait for you to come here to Manila with Jennifer Lopez. Another great idea would be to bring all Fil-Am AI alums in one big reunion concert. There are quite a few of them: Brad Estrin (season 1), Jordan Segundo (Season 2), Jasmine Trias (Season 3), Camile Velasco (Season 3), Guji Lorenzana (Season 3), Melinda Lira (season 4), Jose Penala (season 5), A.J. Tabaldo (season 6), Reynaldo Lapuz (Season 7), Ramiele Malubay (Season 7), Thia Megia (Season 10).
American Idol was aired in the Phil. on ETC channel the same network of Project Runway Philippines Season 3 (PRP3). Tune in for replays of AI. PRP3 is just heating up with only top 7 finalists left. Catch it on ETC every Sunday 8pm.
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