San Diego local Jessica Sanchez in American Idol’s final three

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The Chula Vista native has been blowing away the judges and the nation with her vocal abilities on the hit singing competition “American Idol.”  Jessica Sanchez, 16, has been singing since she was very young, but despite her amazing talent she has had zero formal training.  The lack of training does nothing to deter her loyal fans.  When discussing her return to San Diego last week for the shooting of the hometown heroes segment of the show, Chula Vista’s Mayor Cheryl Cox told Talk Radio, “Our community is thrilled to welcome home Jessica — she is already Chula Vista’s idol.  Her amazing talent and accomplishments are deserving of this grand celebration.”

And celebrate the city of San Diego did.  Jessica was welcomed back with open arms and crowds of fans that followed her throughout the festivities that occurred last Saturday.  The day began with a parade to the singer’s high school alma mater escorted by the school’s marching band and color guard.  On arrival to the football stadium that could seat approximately 6,000 Sanchez fans the Idol competitor gave her first performance of the day.  One of the songs performed was Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”  As the mayor declared May 12 Jessica Sanchez Day the young singer addressed the support of San Diego saying, “I feel amazing.  I’m so happy to represent Chula Vista. It was the people. I missed the people so much. I love you guys. Thank you for all the support.”

The most emotional performance of the day was given aboard the USS Midway Museum when Jessica called her father on stage to serenade him with the song “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross.  This moment was especially special for the father and daughter pair because her dad, a proud member of the U.S. Navy, is being deployed to Singapore in the coming weeks.

Jessica’s return to San Diego aired Wednesday as the competitors performed songs of the judges, Jimmy Iovine, and their own choosing.  As the result show nears fans will eagerly wait to see if Sanchez has made it into the finals.  No matter the results the singer has gone farther in the competition than any San Diego native has before and for that she will be held in high praise no matter what direction her singing career takes her.  And in reality it doesn’t take winning the show to gain the success of previous contestants.  Of the top 10 earning Idol finalists, only five had actually won the show.  When the season ends Jessica has already been signed to appear in the Summer Concert Tour where the final ten contestants tour 45-50 cities earning a $1,000 per show.  On top of that there are the opportunities for record deals and endorsements.  Neither of which would be surprising given Jessica’s popularity on the show.  Despite this win-win situation San Diego has its fingers crossed that its personal hometown hero takes away the title.

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