Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez
05/24/2012 at 07:00 AM EDT
There were tears shed during Wednesday night's American Idol
finale, but not from the show's runner-up.
"I'm happy," Jessica Sanchez told reporters backstage after Phllip Phillips
beat her out as the show's winner. "I don’t have any regrets at all. I was in the top two. That's crazy."
In fact, Sanchez, 16, was prepared to take second place.
"When they announced it was Phillip, I knew it already," she said. "So I gave him a big hug and I was smiling the whole time. He deserved it. Literally, he has worked harder than all of us."
Explaining that Phillips has "been through a lot more, mentally and physically," Sanchez says, "We've all been working hard, but he was having issues with his kidneys."
Aside from being a fighter, Sanchez says her competition is the whole package.
"He has everything about him," she gushed. "He has his funny side and his humble side and he's just amazing as an original artist. I think we're all talented and we're all going to have really successful careers."
As for her own goals, Sanchez wants "to be more like a Rihanna
kind of thing," but she doesn't compare herself to anybody.
"I want to be somebody new, too – more like the urban, R&B kind of stuff," she says. "But a little bit of pop. Not straight pop like I did the other night."