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Jessica Can’t be 16!


By Leandro DD coronelBy Leandro DD coronel


The other contestants on American Idol should file a complaint against Jessica Sanchez for falsifying her age. There's no way she's only 16 years old. No one can be 16 and sing like that!

By the time you're reading this, American Idol will be very close to its finale, the contestants down to three or even two depending on when you get hold of this paper. Let's hope Jessica is one of the two. The high-octane Joshua Ledet is a likely contender to be voted the 2012 Idol, but don't count out Hollie Cavanaugh. She too has an outstanding voice and her all-American good looks may prove to be the clincher.

But Sanchez has a genuine chance to win it all. What a talent! I was being facetious about her age, of course. But really, where does that voice come from?!


The first time Jessica made me a believer was when she sang a Beyonce Knowles number in a down-tempo beat. I forget the title of the song (which gives me away as a non-regular watcher of Idol, unlike in the show's early years when the drama among the contestants' journey, travails and quirks kept me tuned in) but her version's arrangement was just genius. Idol judge Jennifer Lopez even quipped that Beyonce might even decide to sing her own song the way Jessica sang it.

Later performances sealed Sanchez's claim to being a good singer. Her choice of songs has been impeccable, her phrasing unhurried. And that voice! Wow. Again, that can't be a 16-year-old singing. She's as polished a singer as a veteran. Her fashionable clothes (especially compared to just-eliminated Skylar Laine) are inspired. That must be her Filipina mother's influence (not to say that Mexicans are not good dressers). Which proves once again that Filipinos have excellent fashion tastes. Or, it could be that Jessica designs or chooses her own attire.

What's remarkable about Sanchez is her poise and maturity. This is a high-schooler, for crissakes! She's stood up to the pressure with great equanimity. The judges have been good to her but even when they've quibbled about a thing or two with her performances, she just chuckled quietly, not betraying any annoyance or discouragement on her part.

So, Jessica is on the cusp of national (and international) achievement. In a couple of weeks, we shall know if she's made it to the very top. That would be a great feat, indeed. Which would prove once again that Filipinos can really sing.

To think that Sanchez almost got booted out of Idol. To the judges' credit, they came to Jessica's rescue and defied the nationally phoned-in votes to send her packing by using their once-only veto power and kept her in the competition. Randy Jackson, Lopez and Steven Tyler do know talent when they see and hear it.

In a couple of weeks' time, most Filipinos, Filipino-Americans, and many others across the world will be tuned in to find out if one of their own, Jessica, will have succeeded in becoming the latest American Idol. For sure, Filipinos in the United States will be letting their fingers do the talking as they vote her to the pinnacle.


Impeachment resumes. By the time you're reading this, the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona will have resumed at the Philippine Senate. The defense will continue presenting its own case in an attempt to rebut the prosecution's contentions that Mr. Corona should be removed from office for not fully disclosing his wealth and expensive condos and homes as required by law. He is also charged with hiding secret bank accounts that hold amounts (in pesos and US dollars) that don't correspond to his relatively modest government pay-scale.

Corona's defense contend that, even if guilty, Corona's failure to fully comply with disclosure requirements and possessing great amounts of money are not impeachable offenses. But there's a school of thought that's attracting adherents that, if indeed he fudged his asset declarations over the years and that he owns unexplainable bank accounts and expensive properties, he is unfit for an office that requires utmost probity, integrity and an unassailable (I was almost tempted to write "unimpeachable") character.

In the next few weeks, we shall know which school of thought prevailed.


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