U.S. presidents have typically stayed out of the “who is going to win ’American Idol’” fray in the past in order to avoid upsetting any voting blocs. But that doesn’t mean that foreign dignitaries can’t offer up their two cents.
That might explain why on the eve of the penultimate performance night on “Idol,” the Associated Press reported that Philippine president Benigno Aquino III has wholeheartedly endorsed his choice for next week’s finale: Jessica Sanchez.
“Hopefully, she really reaches the top,” Aquino said of the 16-year-old top three finalists from Chula Vista, California, who is of Filipino and Latin heritage.
The President isn’t the only one who has co-signed the pixie-size diva. She’s gotten shout-outs and love from everyone from “Idol” mentor Jimmy Iovine and his music industry pal Tommy Mottola to former “Idol” champ Kris Allen. Onetime contestants Jennifer Hudson and Haley Reinhart, as well as singers Billy Joel, Beyoncé, India.Arie and Colbie Caillat have all sung Sanchez’s praises.
In an interview, Allen said, “I said that Jessica Sanchez was my favorite, and I hate saying that to be honest with you because I remember being on the show and other people being fans of other people on the show that were not me. But I think that she is my favorite to win the show. … I think it’s time for a girl to win, to be honest with you.”
While a girl has indeed not won since season six, Sanchez isn’t the only one getting props from famous admirers.
Leading contender Phillip Phillips has been feeling the love on his Twitter account, where he’s gotten shout-outs from past “Idol” contestants including Casey Abrams, Lauren Alaina, Naima Adedapo and James Durbin, who said Phil reminds him of (shocker) Dave Matthews. Also offering praise over the months: rocker Jonny Lang, new Twitter bestie and Dave Matthews bassist Stefan Lessard, fake crush Julianne Hough and the folks at his favorite hometown restaurant, El Coyote Café.
The other male left in the competition, soul sensation Joshua Ledet, is no slouch, either. In fact, over the past four months he’s turned into the celeb-crush object of the moment, chatting up former “Idol” finalists Pia Toscano, Alaina and Melinda Doolittle, as well as “X Factor” finalist Stacy Francis. “Idol” champ Allen had high praise writing, “I think @JLedetAI11 is the best singer that’s ever been on the show.”
Hudson sent a note to Ledet in February that he later said brought tears to his eyes, writing, “Joshua Ledet did an amazing performance of ’You Pulled Me Through’ on @AmericanIdol last night. Gave me goosebumps!”
Show executive producer Nigel Lythgoe sent along a note from the legendary Percy Sledge that said how much he enjoyed Ledet’s version of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Oh, and did we mention that Mariah Carey tweeted him? “Joshua, thank you for your kind words and your beautiful performance,” she wrote on March 29 after he sang her version of “Without You.” “I’m honored you chose to sing my version of the song. God bless.”
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