LOS ANGELES—She’s dying to dance with her father again.
Filipino-Mexican Jessica Sanchez must have been thrilled twice over to meet her father who was scheduled to visit Los Angeles Thursday (Friday in Manila), the same day she made it to the Top 5 of the Fox singing competition “American Idol.”
Sanchez dedicated her choice song, the Luther Vandross ballad “Dance with My Father,” to her dad Gilbert, a member of the US Navy who has served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and will soon be deployed to Singapore.
Mexican-American Gilbert is originally from Texas and is married to Editha Bugay, a Filipina who hails from Samal, Bataan province.
“I haven’t seen him in so long,” said Sanchez, a confessed “daddy’s girl,” after her emotional rendition of her second song. “To see him before he goes to Singapore will be amazing.”
Sanchez may not have succeeded in being “Queen” the other day, as her take on the iconic British band’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” did not have that much bearing on the judges, but she impressed them with her choice song, “Dance with My Father.”
“Luther Vandross is one of my favorite singers ever,” Jennifer Lopez said. “I don’t think we’ve seen anyone sing it that good.”
“I don’t think you can sing a song badly,” Tyler said. “It touches on Whitney but you also got your own thing going on.”
“You’re so natural. It flows and … now you got the feeling, that connection. Every time you sing, you know what’s wrong with it? Absolutely nothing,” said Randy Jackson.
Jessica, the oldest in a brood of three, was dramatically saved by the judges two weeks ago after receiving the smallest number of audience votes. She is the first female on “Idol” history to get a judges’ “save” from elimination.
Another one out
On Thursday, viewers voted off rocker Elise Testone, a 28-year-old teacher who delivered energetic renditions of Queen’s “I Want It All” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love” but wasn’t able to evade eviction after appearing at the bottom of the pack six times this season.
Testone was joined in the bottom three by 18-year-old vocalist Hollie Cavanagh, who tugged at the judges’ heartstrings with Queen’s “Save Me” and Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” and 18-year-old country rocker Skylar Laine, who wowed the audience with the iconic British band’s “The Show Must Go On” and Jason Aldean’s “Tattoos on This Town.”
The two others in the Top 5 are powerful 20-year-old gospel singer Joshua Ledet and bluesy 21-year-old pawnshop worker Phillip Phillips.
An 11th season “Idol” champion is scheduled to be crowned on May 23. AP