She’s the last female finalist standing… But could Jessica Sanchez be the last contestant standing on American Idol? That’s the bold prediction made by Steven Tyler.
During Wednesday night’s performance episode, which included clips of the three remaining competitors’ emotional hometown visits, the finalists each delivered three performances. And, the 16-year-old half-Mexican singer did not disappoint.
In the first round, which consisted of songs selected by the judges, Sanchez performed Mariah Carey’s “My All.” Jennifer Lopez chose the ballad, which she called one of her favorites, for its tenderness. And, the pint-sized singer with the big voice—dressed in an elegant navy blue mermaid dress, with her hair swept to one side—killed it, as la Lopez predicted.
“That was absolutely beautiful; perfectly the right song for you,” decalred judge Randy Jackson. “I think it’s one of the best times a Mariah song has been performed on TV.”
Meanwhile, Lopez said Sanchez sang the challenging song “so beautifully,” while Tyler predicted she’d be the last one standing at the end.
“When you sing, you make people hang on every night,” professed the Aerosmith front man.
In the second round, which consisted of songs chosen by the contestants, Sanchez took the biggest risk of the night by performing Aerosmith’s massive hit “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
Dressed in a brown jumper with a chunky turquoise and diamond necklace, Sanchez flawlessly performed the Diane Warren-penned song from the film Armageddon and got a standing ovation from the man who originally recorded the song back in 1998.
“You just took a great song and made it greater,” exclaimed Tyler. “Beautiful!”
Hearing Tyler’s critique, Lopez told Sanchez, “You do not know what a big deal that is!” and commented on the finalist’s colossal finish.
“That note at the end. Oh wow! Sent everyone into the heavens,” said Lopez.
In the final round, which consisted of songs chosen by the show’s mentor Jimmy Iovine, Sanchez performed “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5. It’s a song Iovine believed would appeal to older audiences while allowing Sanchez to maintain her youth.
Dressed in a red blazer with sequined pockets, black pants and chunky ankle boots, delivered a Michael Jackson-esque rendition of the song that received mixed reviews.
“Perfect song, perfect voice,” said Tyler. “You nailed it!”
But while Lopez complimented the “perfect tone” in Sanchez’s voice, Jackson deemed the performance good, but not great.
“There was never a ‘moment’ moment,” said Jackson.