Let the “American Idol” top three battle begin!
It was a battlefield on the “American Idol” stage Wednesday night as Jessica Sanchez and her two competitors, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips, went all out singing not one, not two, but three challenging songs in the hopes of showing they should be the country’s next "Idol."
Sanchez, 16, took on the songs of three icons: Mariah Carey, Aerosmith and Michael Jackson.
The judges, superstar singers Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and music producer Randy Jackson loved the Filipino/Mexican's performances, despite Jackson’s criticism of Sanchez’s rendition of “I’ll Be There.”
“That was absolutely beautiful,” said Jackson when Sanchez finished performing Carey’s “My All.”
“Perfectly the right song for you,” he added. “I say this all the time because I work with Mariah."
"With a Mariah song we tell people never to do it because it’s like a lesson in the most difficult things to ever sing," Jackson said. "But, you know what, I think it’s one of the best times a Mariah song has ever been performed on TV.”
Lopez gave the California native props for singing the popular tune in her “own way.”
“Hard song,” said Lopez. “It’s not about copying someone, it’s about doing it in your own way.”
“We wanted to show people that,” Lopez continued. “You could get through something like this and you did.”
For Tyler, Sanchez is the next “American Idol.”
“Jessica, when you sing you make people hang on your every note,” Tyler said. “The way you sing… I hope you get used to encores. In another crazy way, I think you will be the last one standing here.”
Sanchez later surprised Tyler by singing one of his band’s songs “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
After giving her a standing ovation, Tyler praised Sanchez for having the guts to sing one of Aerosmith’s classic tracks.
“You just took a great song and made it greater. Thank you,” said the rock star.
Lopez was exultant over Tyler’s comments on Sanchez’s performance.
“You don’t know what a big deal that is,” said Lopez smiling. “When people come up and sing his songs…I don’t think he’s ever said one good thing!”
“That was amazing! You did really great. That note at the end… wow. [It] sent everyone into the heavens.”
All was going splendid for Sanchez -- that is, until her third performance of The Jackson Five’s “I’ll Be There,” when Randy Jackson harshly criticized Sanchez.
“Here’s the thing, once again we are at the end here,” said Jackson. “You are on stage with all these other dynamic singers -- there was never a moment moment. It was OK. It wasn’t like 'Oh my God.'”
Tyler thought otherwise.
“Perfect song, perfect voice,” Tyler said. “You nailed it. Delicious.”
JLO thought it was “a good choice.”
“Perfect tone in your voice,” said Lopez. “You almost sounded like Michael coming out of the back there.”
“You killed it so hard at the end,” she added. “It was crazy. Good job, baby.”