Jennifer Holliday: “Jessica Sanchez should be our next American Idol”

Jennifer Holliday, the actress who made the song “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going”  famous in the 1981 Broadway musical “Dreamgirls“, declared on one of her tweets: “Jessica Sanchez should be our next American Idol“.  Holliday was obviously impressed after Jessica Sanchez’s flawless performance of her song last night.

In what could be the defining two songs of Filipina/Mexican-American singer Jessica Sanchez’s run for the American Idol title, Jessica’s voice was flawless the entire night, making the judges Randy, Jennifer and Steven seem speechless after each of Jessica’s performances.

This week’s themes were “California dreamin’” and “favorite song”.  Jessica Sanchez came out swinging, showing her big guns vocally and flat out refusing to get left behind as the competition boils down to the last three, though the judges did not seem to mind Sanchez being feisty on stage last night.

Jessica’s first song was Etta James’ “Steal Away” and it was the perfect pairing of song and style.

Jennifer Lopez said,  “This is crazy. With a performance like that, there’s nothing to say. Your vocal ability, it’s not something you see all the time.”

Jennifer wasn’t alone, both Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler were very impressed,

“You nailed that,” said Tyler. “I’m currently doing an Etta James song myself. It shows the other side of your voice. You are shaking off the old you and changing. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Randy Jackson a music producer, who has been critical on Sanchez at times, was all for the part-Filipina contestant emulating Etta James.

“I love the whole vibe, she’s 16, singing Etta James the bluesy… there’s so much heart and so much soul, it’s about all of that pain.  For you to tap into that, your vocal cords are ridiculous,’  he said.  “Truly great singers can sing anything. That girl right there can sing the phone book,” he continued while pointing at Sanchez.

However, Jessica wasn’t finished and kept the best of the night for last.

On her second solo song, she sang “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” by Jennifer Holliday of “Dreamgirls” broadway musical fame.  This song was also sang by former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson from the movie remake of the musical.

The performance made the judges stand in applause.

“Another winning performance. Just over the top,”  Tyler told Sanchez. “How did it feel singing that?”

“Amazing. I just let it all out,” Sanchez replied.

“That’s what I’m talking about from the very beginning,” Tyler said. “Getting out of yourself and putting yourself in the songs. Everybody forgets where they are and what they are doing. That’s what you just did. Congratulations.”

Fellow judges Lopez and Jackson were in the same boat as Tyler.

“It was a real moment that was amazing.” Lopez said.  “It seems like it’s going to be a real race to the finish, I don’t know who’s going to win. This is crazy. With a performance like that. There’s nothing to say”  a mesmerized Jennifer adds.

Lopez continued on by saying, “Your vocal ability, it’s something you don’t see all the time.  I’m sure you are feeling emotional right now. You just let out so much through your voice. I felt you digging deep. I think they told you don’t move. And to contain all that while you are singing … it probably was ripping your soul apart.”

Randy Jackson summarized it in a few words:

“You guys are in it to really win it,” he said.

And so the night ended for me with a tweet I read coming  from Jennifer Holliday herself:

“Yes, Jessica’s performance of  ‘And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going’ was absolutely flawless! An amazing voice,” she said on her tweet.  “Jessica Sanchez should be our next American Idol”, she concluded.

I agree! and I’m sure millions do!

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