When “American Idol” finalist Jessica Sanchez took to the stage last night to perform Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” she not only earned a standing ovation from the studio audience, she got a shout out from a famous “Idol” alum — Jennifer Hudson.
“Yes Jessica! That’s it!!” JHud, who recently performed the ballad in tribute to Whitney at the Grammys, Tweeted during Jessica’s performance – praise that garnered an emotional reaction from the 16-year-old “Idol” hopeful.
“Me and my uncle were in the same room when we saw the Tweet and we were like, crying and freaking out,” Jessica told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman, backstage after last night’s show. “She’s one of my idols. It’s crazy.”
Choosing to take on one of Whitney’s most iconic hits was a risky choice for the contestant, but proved to be a wise selection.
“I was very confident of my choice at first because I was like, ‘Everyone knows this song, it’ll go good, whatever. I’ve been singing this song my whole life,’” she told Laura. “But then I started realizing it’s like one of the biggest songs…. But it really did pay off. I’m really happy.”
As for the standing ovation from the audience, Jessica said she was so caught up in the moment she didn’t really notice what was going on.
“I didn’t see it coming –everybody did amazing tonight,” she said. “I’m so grateful and I’m just so happy and I’m just living in the moment right now.”
Find out which contestants made it to the “American Idol” Top 12 tonight at 8/7c on FOX.