Despite wishes that a female would finally be crowned "American Idol" after five years of male domination, Jessica Sanchez came in second place when Phillip Phillips was pronounced the winner during Wednesday night's season 11 finale. But while some might have expected her to be at least a tad disappointed, the pint-size vocalist was nothing but smiles.
When MTV News caught up with the 16-year-old Sanchez backstage after the show, she expressed nothing but love for Phillips and claimed she already knew the humble Georgian would win the competition.
Q: How do you feel?
A: I'm kind of relieved that this whole thing is over, but I am also going to miss everybody here. But, I'm gonna see my "Idol" family on tour, so I'm thankful for that. And I really think that Phillip really deserved to win, and I'm so happy for him.
Q: Do you have any regrets about anything?
A: No, I don't have any regrets at all. I mean, I made the top two. That's crazy, so I'm happy. I'm content.
Q: How do you feel about the judges' comments last night about the song "Change Nothing." Do you think that played into the votes?
A: I kind of agreed with them. Literally, we only had like a day to pick the single, but now that this whole thing is over and I get time to really put myself into my music, it's gonna be all me — 100 percent me. So, I'm excited.
Q: What do you think of your future? I heard you might sign with Tommy Mottola. Is that true? What kind of future do you have in mind for you?
A: Right now, I don't know what to expect. I've been in the "Idol" bubble, and now it's popped, and I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know what's going to be thrown at me, but I'm excited to find out.
Q: What was it like onstage doing a duet with Jennifer Holliday?
A: That was insane! I love her so much. I've been listening to her ever since I was 7 years old, and we both dug deep into our hearts and sang the heck out of that song.
Q: How did it feel tonight when they announced the winner?
A: When they announced that it was Phillip, I was so happy, and I knew it already. So, that's why I gave him a big hug. I was smiling the whole time. I was like, "This fool is gonna win, and I love him so much!" He deserved it. Literally, he has worked harder than all of us. We've all been working hard, but he's been having to keep up with his health issues with his kidneys, and I think he's been through it a lot more than us mentally and physically.
Q: You knew that Phillip would win?
A: I did. I mean, I told him during top three results that it was going to be him, and Joshua and I literally thought that Phillip was going to win the whole thing. Not because Joshua isn't good, but just because Phillip, he has everything about him. He has his funny side and his humble side, and he is just an amazing, original artist. I think we are all talented, and we all are going to have really successful careers.
Q: How do you see yourself as an artist?
A: I wanna be more like the Rihanna kind of, Beyoncé kind of thing, but I don't want to compare myself to anybody, because I wanna be somebody new too. More like the urban, R&B kind of stuff but a little bit of pop — not straight pop like I did the other night.
MTV: What's the first thing you are going to do when you wake up tomorrow to your normal life?
Sanchez: [Laughs] That's not going to happen for a while. We are doing press. We are going to try and work on, hopefully, my future album. We are really going to try to get on top of stuff as soon as we can.
Q: What did Phillip say to you afterwards?
A: We really didn't get to talk to each other. He sang his song, and then everybody congratulated him. He was bombarded with people. I'm just happy for him, and whenever I get the chance to talk to him again, I'm just gonna say, "Yay!"
Q: Did you get to talk to the judges after the show?
A: They just said "Do you," coming back into the whole pop single kind of thing. "Do you," and "Don't let anybody tell you what to do. This doesn't mean it's the end of your career. You will have a successful career." They are really excited for me, so I'm excited too.
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