Live With Kelly: Jessica Sanchez Interview & Performance


Jessica Sanchez: American Idol Runner-Up

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Sanchez from San Diego, California, was the runner-up on this season of American Idol. She lost the title to Phillip Phillips, whom Kelly chatted with on a show last week. Jessica has been singing since she was a little girl, and at the age of 11 was a contestant on America’s Got Talent. At the age of 10, she also sang Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” on Showtime at the Apollo, even receiving a standing ovation.

When she sat down with Ed and Kelly, Kelly asked her how she could have so much confidence and star power at the age of only sixteen. Jessica replied that she started singing at the age of two and was performing regularly at the age of seven, so it was all just a natural process for her.


Ed admitted that he is blown away by some of the young talents on shows like American Idol, because he feels like even though he has sold many records, he would never even make it past the auditions. The kids have so much confidence, and Kelly pointed out that the music industry probably hasn’t “beaten” it out of them yet. Ed agreed, saying, “see me in twenty years.”

Live with Kelly: American Idol Jessica Sanchez

American Idol runner up Jessica Sanchez performed "I Will Always Love You" and talked about the competition with Kelly & Ed. (Joe Seer /

Jessica called her experience on American Idol a “big whirlwind.” She’s very busy all the time and always has something going on. Kelly pointed out that on the show, the contestants never have a day off.


Easter Sunday was the only day off they were given for the entire duration of the competition. Unlike singers who are on tour, Jessica never had a chance to rest her vocal chords.

Jessica Sanchez: Almost Eliminated from American Idol

During the show, Jessica was the one contestant that the judges saved. Jessica was almost eliminated, but the judges decided to use their one veto while she was singing her ‘goodbye’ song. The judges stormed the stage, and it “freaked her out.” Randy Jackson called her “one of the best singers in America.”

While she is definitely grateful to have made it to the Top 2, Jessica said that being saved by the judges was both a good thing and a bad thing. It definitely affected her mental state and probably made her try too hard during the remainder of the competition.

After placing second in the competition, Jessica won a car, although she admitted that she does not know how to drive. Her mother tried to teach her once, but lost her patience when her daughter put her foot to the pedal. Kelly offered to give her driving lessons in exchange for singing lessons.

Jessica Sanchez “I Will Always Love You” Performance

Jessica then took the stage to sing her version of Dolly Parton’s classic ballad, “I Will Always Love You,” the same song made famous, of course, by the late Whitney Houston. Jessica showed off her incredible vocal talents and brought some of the crew and audience to tears. When she finished singing, Kelly once again professed her shock at how she did not win, because she is so spectacular. Ed joked, “just like I taught you!” I think it’s safe to say that, even though she is not the American Idol, Jessica has a very bright future ahead of her!


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