A petite Chula Vista teen with a huge voice is among the top three contestants on “American Idol,” and she will perform for county crowds Saturday, including one on a ship just across the bay.
Jessica Sanchez, 16, beat out tens of thousands of hopefuls who auditioned nationwide for the 11th season of the popular Fox singing program, including an estimated 9,000 who jammed Petco Park last July.
The city of Chula Vista said Jessica, 16, will be escorted by Eastlake High School's marching band and color guard down Eastlake Parkway from Otay Lakes Road to the campus beginning about 10:15 a.m.
The celebration will be held at the football stadium. The event is being recorded for air on next week's program.
In the afternoon Sanchez will receive a proclamation from the county of San Diego aboard the USS Midway. According to the museum, she plans to sing and a Navy band will perform.
Museum officials said plans call for her to depart the vessel via helicopter. Admission is free between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
“Our community is thrilled to welcome home Jessica – she is already Chula Vista's idol,” the city's mayor, Cheryl Cox said. “Her amazing talent and accomplishments are deserving of this grand celebration.”
Nearly 70 million votes were cast following Wednesday's performances by the top four contestants, host Ryan Seacrest told viewers.
Sanchez advanced to the top three, along with Joshua Paul Ledet, 20, of Westlake, LA and Phillip Phillips Jr., 21, of Leesburg, GA.
Based on viewer votes, Sanchez almost went home a few weeks ago but the judges used their a save to keep her in the contest.
Sanchez, a junior who attended Eastlake High, is the second recent contestant from San Diego County to make it deep into the "Idol" competition. Adam Lambert, who graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in Rancho Penasquitos, rocked his way to a runner-up finish three years ago.
- City News Service