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  1. #1

    American Idol

    ABS-CBNnews.com
    Posted at 05/11/2012 8:56 AM | Updated as of 05/11/2012 1:53 PM


    MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Staying true to the vow she made in her memorable performance of "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going," Jessica Sanchez is staying as she made it to the Top 3 of "American Idol" on Thursday night (Friday morning in Manila).

    She is, however, going back to her home city of San Diego, when she makes her "hometown hero" appearance, a tradition for the show's Top 3 contestants.

    Sanchez has now matched the success of Filipino-American Jasmine Trias, who also made it to the Top 3 during the third season of the hit US TV show.

    But unlike Trias, who drew negative comments from "Idol" fans after she outlasted R&B singer LaToya London to make the Top 3 -- then judge Simon Cowell bluntly told the Hawaii-based teener that she had gone as far she could -- Sanchez was not only expected to make the Top 3, TV critics are now predicting a finals showdown between the 16-year-old and judges favorite Joshua Ledet, who was also declared safe on Thursday.

    Readers of Digital Spy even had Sanchez as their top pick in the entertainment website's weekly poll.

    Dreamgirl

    Although Sanchez became an early frontrunner this season after her pitch-perfect rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," her performance on Wednesday was a pivotal moment in her journey on
    the show.

    With her contrasting song choices -- Etta James's jazzy "Steal Away" and the "Dreamgirls" showstopper "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" -- Sanchez was in full competition mode.

    And it paid off. She once again received a standing ovation from the judges --– her first since she sang a duet with Ledet on "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me." Judge Randy Jackson even used two of his favorite rave comments -- "you can sing the phone book:" and "you're in it to win it."

    On Thursday, record producer and mentor Jimmy Iovine praised Sanchez for her two performances, particularly the "Dreamgirls" number.

    "She brought all her artillery in the right proportion. She brought her growl, used them in the right way, she brought her power, her dynamics. Everything she chose and inspirationally did was flawless. She murdered it," Iovine said.

    "As a matter of fact, a friend of mine, Tommy Mottola, that helped start the careers of Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey, e-mailed me immediately and said, 'I'm going to her first concert. This is the real thing.' You know what? I agree with him," he added.

    But Iovine, who is known for making very blunt comments about the contestants, also gave some advice to Sanchez.

    While saying she did "a great job" on the Etta James song, he also noted that Sanchez "ended up going back to that trick of hers, of growling, that we saw she learned when she was 5 years old."

    "After a while, the trick gets old. Everyone knows the rabbit is gonna come out of the hat. When she does her album, I would encourage her to leave that rabbit in the hat a little more often," he said, hinting that, win or lose, Sanchez is probably going to get a record deal.

    Conspiracy theories

    Meanwhile, after surviving five bottom three appearances, Hollie Cavanagh was finally eliminated on Thursday's results show, after host Ryan Seacrest announced that the last contestant in the Top 3 was acoustic rocker Phillip Phillips.

    According to Seacrest, more than 70 million votes were cast for this week's Top 4.

    "Idol" conspiracy theories, which appeared on the Internet prior to Wednesday's telecast, actually predicted Phillips to be going home this week, after an official "Idol" photograph of this season's contestants showed the contestants arranged in the exact order of elimination -- up to Skylar Laine, who left last week. Phillips was supposed to be next, followed by Sanchez, with Cavanagh in the final two and Ledet as the winner.

    Moreover, Thursday's results featured a performance of "American Idol" winner David Cook, who sang his new single, "The Last Song I'll Ever Write For You." Cook, like Phillips, also plays guitar and sings rock tunes.

    According to this theory, the "Idol" producers make hints on who's leaving with the week's guest artist. When Sanchez got the lowest votes -- and was saved by the judges from elimination -- her idol Jennifer Hudson performed on the show. Last week, when Laine was eliminated, fellow country singer Carrie Underwood performed her new single, "Blown Away."

    Cavanagh's elimination this week, at least, debunked those two conspiracy theories.

    Actually, TV critics agree that this season is quite tough to call, given the high quality of the contestants.

    And Iovine is just as torn when asked for a prediction.

    "Last year, I knew Scotty (McCreery) was gonna win the whole thing. This year, I haven't gotten a clue on who's gonna be in the finale. Any one of them with the right song and the right note can steal the show and then eventually America's vote," he said.

    The final two will be announced next Thursday.
    Last edited by gameface_one; 05-18-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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  2. #2
    Jessica has sore throat going into 'Idol' Top 3

    ABS-CBNnews.com
    Posted at 05/16/2012 5:17 PM | Updated as of 05/16/2012 9:59 PM


    MANILA, Philippines -- A day before this week's crucial "American Idol" performance night, which will determine the final two contestants, Jessica Sanchez has been struck with the sore throat.


    In her official Twitter account, Sanchez said on Tuesday that she's "drinking tea. Throat isnt feeling at its best."

    Her fans immediately showed their support for the Filipino-Mexican-American contestant using the hashtag #GetWellSoonJessica.

    "I pray for your health and winning! I believe you go through Top 2 Jessica Sanchez," said Twitter user Antonius Quinn.

    "Try a little tenderness," said Tom Janoski, referring to the Otis Redding song, which Sanchez performed on the hit US talent search.

    "Sorry for flooding your timeline with #PrayforJessica #GetWellsoonJessica feeds. We're just too worried about her for tomorrow's show," her fan club Worldwide BluJays wrote.

    The remaining three "Idol" contestants are set to perform three songs on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Manila) -- judges' choice, record producer and mentor Jimmy Iovine's choice and contestant's choice.

    The Top 2 vote-getters will advance to the finals next week.

    Last woman standing

    Sanchez made the Top 3 along with Phillip Phillips and Joshua Ledet after Hollie Cavanagh was eliminated last week, making her the only female contestant left in the contest.

    Since the start of the season, "Idol" has been constantly reminding viewers that there hasn't been a female winner since Jordin Sparks won in Season 6.

    But even before she made the Top 3, many "Idol" observers have been predicting that Sanchez could be the one to break the winning streak of the so-called "white guys with guitars."

    For four consecutive seasons, "Idol" has crowned guitar-playing male contestants starting with David Cook in Season 7, followed by Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze and last year's winner Scotty McCreery.

    On Tuesday night, national newspaper USA Today predicted Sanchez to come out on top on Wednesday's performance night.

    USA Today said it has come up with a formula based on song choice, performance order, judges' verdicts and online buzz.

    It said Sanchez could win if "she combines a crowd-pleasing ballad upon which to unleash all of her bounteous vocal gifts (think last week's 'And I Am Telling You') with one of her rare but memorable re-imaginings (think Beyoncé's 'Sweet Dreams')."

    The newspaper also advised her to avoid songs by classic R&B singers "three times her age or more."

    "Tina Turner and Etta James should be off-limits, although Aretha Franklin could work. Better to play it safe with more contemporary material, though," it said.

    Parallels

    Still, USA Today noted that the composition of the Top 3 can also favor Phillips, noting how Taylor Hicks won over Katharine McPhee and Elliot Yamin in Season 5.

    Like that season, the newspaper also said this season's Top 3 is "an unpredictable showdown between the two best pure singers and an eccentric stylist."

    Other "Idol" observers, however, believe that in terms of parallels, Season 11 shares more in common with Season 6, the year Sparks won.

    That season's Top 3 had Sparks, beat-boxer Blake Lewis and R&B singer Melinda Doolittle.

    Like Lewis, Phillips has shown great creativity in terms of re-interpreting popular songs, while Ledet, like Doolittle, comes from a more classical R&B background.

    Despite receiving generous praise from the judges all season long, Doolittle was eliminated during Top 3, leaving Lewis and Sparks to duke it out during the finals -- which, many "Idol" followers, believe was a lop-sided contest between, what USA Today may call, a "pure singer" and an "eccentric stylist."
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  3. #3
    It's Jessica vs Phillips for 'Idol' finale

    By Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com
    Posted at 05/18/2012 9:05 AM | Updated as of 05/18/2012 10:52 AM



    MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) -- Filipino-Mexican-American contestant Jessica Sanchez earned a spot on the "American Idol" finals next week, where she will be up against the guitar-playing lite rocker Phillip Phillips.

    At the "Idol" results show on Thursday (Friday morning in Manila), judges favorite Joshua Ledet was sent home after garnering the lowest number of votes from "Idol" viewers, setting the stage for a showdown between Sanchez and Phillips.

    It was a hard-earned victory for Sanchez, who was almost eliminated from the show during the Top 7, which led to most dramatic judges' save in "Idol" history. In that memorable episode, judge Jennifer Lopez stormed the stage and grabbed the microphone from a stunned

    Sanchez and scolded America for not voting for the 16-year-old.

    After that save, however, Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler seemed restrained in their comments for Sanchez, while showering other contestants, Ledet in particular, with overflowing praise.

    The judges never failed to give Ledet a standing ovation in every show -- including Thursday, when the trio gave the 20-year-old gospel singer his final standing ovation as he closed the show with a reprise of James Brown's "It's A Man's Man's Man's World."

    Sanchez had to wait for the last spot on the Top 4 performance night before earning another standing ovation from the judges with her powerful rendition of "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going."

    Then on last Wednesday's Top 3 performance show, Sanchez came in nursing a sore throat and only Tyler was on his feet after she performed Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing." Both Phillips and Ledet got all judges off their seats.


    Tense results show

    TV critics gave Phillips and Ledet the edge after Wednesday's show, although Sanchez topped the readers poll of magazine Entertainment Weekly and the website Digital Spy, indicating heavy fan support for the Chula Vista, California native.

    Host Ryan Seacrest announced that they received over 90 million votes after Wednesday's show.

    Record producer and mentor Jimmy Iovine in his weekly comments was obviously not impressed with Sanchez's three performances, echoing Jackson's comment that she did not have a "real moment." However, Iovine said he sees her worthy of performing at the Grammy Awards.

    Iovine also had criticisms with Ledet, saying he oversang in "Imagine" and "No More Drama" -- a point also raised by critics -- but said Ledet deserves to be in the finals.

    Iovine was most impressed with Phillips, particularly for his straightforward rendition of the Bob Seger ballad "We've Got Tonight," saying it was Phillips' best performance on the show.

    After a night, which saw performances from Lisa Marie Presley and former "Idol" contestant Adam Lambert -- a Sanchez supporter -- Seacrest called the contestants for the results, and announced that Sanchez will be going to the finals, followed by Phillips.

    And then the Filipinos on Twitter went crazy.

    On to the finale

    A Sanchez-Phillips finale will prove to be an interesting competition between two singers with very different styles. As USA Today put it, on one hand is a "pure singer" (Sanchez) and on ther other is an "eccentric stylist" (Phillips).

    A win next week by Sanchez will make her the first female "Idol" since Jordin Sparks beat Blake Lewis in Season 6. More importantly, Sanchez will be the first "Idol" with Asian and Latino roots to win in the show. She will also become the youngest "Idol" winner if she beats

    Phillips in the finals.

    Phillips, meanwhile, is riding a four-season winning streak by so-called "white guys with guitars" on "Idol," which started with David Cook in Season 7, followed by, in order, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze and last year's Scotty McCreery.

    The website Vote for the Worst has its eye on Phillips to become the fifth guitar-playing male contestant in a row.

    For the Sanchez to win next week, Iovine gave this advice: "It's about the songs."
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  4. #4


 
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