Today: Jessica Sanchez ‘I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ Performance

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Today: Jessica Sanchez American Idol

After coming in second place to Phillip Phillips on the 2012 season of American Idol, Jessica Sanchez has a busy summer ahead. She and her fellow Idol contestants are hitting the road this summer for the annual American Idol tour. But first, Jessica Sanchez dropped by Today for a performance of one of her popular covers, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”

With American Idol pianist Michael Orland on piano, Jessica Sanchez slipped into the classic Dreamgirls song. She has a voice beyond her years, and if this performance is any indication, she’s headed for some great things.

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Today: Jessica Sanchez American Idol

From American Idol, Jessica Sanchez performed "I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." (Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com)

Recent years have proven that coming in second place is just as good, if not better, than winning the title of American Idol. Jessica Sanchez is set to continue that trend, and her vocal range will be a powerful weapon as she competes with this year’s winner, Phillip Phillips.

But she’ll have a higher bar to clear than usual. Phillip Phillips recently set a record for single song downloads among all American Idol contestants, eclipsing even the original Idol star, Kelly Clarkson, for that title.

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Today: Jessica Sanchez “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” Performance

As a casual observer of American Idol, one thing that drives me absolutely nuts is that contestants are routinely put through the paces of the same handful of songs. While there’s a reason some songs become pop standards, it seems that the show often relies on a limited pool of recognizable hits, a good number of which predate the existence of the contestants taking them on.

Jessica Sanchez certainly rises to the challenge of the material in “I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” but should she have to? This torch song is trotted out with the same frequency as Michael Jackson’s enduring “Man in the Mirror.”

Evaluating contestants by making comparisons among their interpretations of the same songs has some value, especially in the early audition phases. But if American Idol is hoping to inject new life into its aging franchise, expanding the catalog of available material (and coming up with some more engaging theme weeks) seems like an obvious and easy tweak of the format.

You might catch Jessica Sanchez coming through your city during this summer’s American Idol tour, which starts July 6 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.

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