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Can Jessica Sanchez Win ‘American Idol’?

jessica-phillip
Fox

It’s tough for a girl to win ‘American Idol.’ Just four of its 10 winners have been of the female persuasion, the last one being Jordin Sparks back in 2007. But music producer and ‘Idol’ mentor Jimmy Iovine thinks finalist Jessica Sanchez has a pretty good shot at the crown this week.

“[She was] born with one of those gifts that you see very, very rarely — the tone of her voice, the range, her poise,” Iovine told reporters on Monday. “She has every chance to win this thing because she can strike a chord in you with the right song that, no matter what you think before that, you’re going to vote for her.”

Song selection has been a struggle for Sanchez this season, something of which Iovine is well aware. “Believe me, we’ve worked on this,” he said. “Jessica has to find that balance between what her capabilities are and reach inside and have the right song to click the emotion. It has to get people to vote for her, people who haven’t voted for her in the past.”

Indeed. The fact that the 16-year-old singer is even in the running for the grand prize is a bit of a miracle — she would’ve been eliminated several weeks ago had it not been for the judges using their single “save” of the season on her. Since then, though, her voters seems to have rallied, pushing her all the way to this week’s finale.

Her competition, singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips, couldn’t be more different. Not only do the two singers sound nothing alike, but Phillip has been a consistent fan favorite — which may not be terribly surprising when you consider that many ‘Idol’ voters are teenaged girls.

“The audience doesn’t know yet, but he’s got crazy charisma… and incredible sound,” Iovine said. “I think it bodes well for ‘American Idol’ that a kid like that can go this far.”

Reporters also asked Iovine if he knows whether ‘Idol’ judge Jennifer Lopez is leaving as has been heavily rumored — he doesn’t — and if he’d want a spot on the judging panel himself.

“I like working with musicians and I like the creative aspect of what I do on the show. It’s a lot of fun for me,” he replied. “[Being a judge] would change that, so probably not, you know?”

The two-night season ‘American Idol’ season finale begins Tuesday on Fox.

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