08:57 PM EDT 04/13/2013
Originally posted 03/25/2013 01:00PM
She may have been runner-up on American Idol, but Jessica Sanchez is stepping in to the main spotlight for the season finale of Glee.
"I'm playing a student from a rival school who is supposed to be a legendary diva – a powerhouse singer," the season 11 Idol contestant told PEOPLE last week after performing with Ne-Yo on the FOX reality show that made her famous.
Sanchez, 17, will film Glee beginning in April and be featured in two episodes, including the finale.
Originally posted 06/07/2012 11:15AM
American Idol winner Phillip Phillips has finally had the surgery he's needed since he started the singing competition earlier this year.
The Georgia-bred heartthrob, 21, was under the knife for six and a half hours yesterday, according to TMZ, to remove kidney stones that were too large to pass.
"Surgery went well," his rep tells PEOPLE. "He's resting."
Originally posted 06/01/2012 06:45AM
The dust is settling on season 11 of American Idol, and for runner-up Jessica Sanchez and third-place finisher Joshua Ledet it's a moment of calm before they set out on the Idols Live tour.
Well, sort of. The newly minted celebrities are making the rounds, talking to press and meeting important people, like First Lady Michelle Obama.
Both stopped by PEOPLE offices to talk about their favorite moments on the show and to look ahead at their first big concert tour.
Originally posted 05/24/2012 10:30AM
Wednesday's two-hour American Idol finale culminated in an big win for Phillip Phillips, but that emotional moment was just one of the best of the night. Former contestants Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young got engaged on live TV – which scored high on the emotional richter scale. Besides those two, here are the top 11 moments from Idol's season 11 finale:
Phillip Phillips sings with John Fogerty: The still-unofficial winner and Creedence Clearwater Revival's front man started the show with a pitch-perfect performance of classics "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising."
Joshua Sings with Fantasia Barrino: A favorite of the judges, the third-place finisher performed a growling rendition of Elton John's "Take Me to the Pilot" with "the biggest inspiration in my life," season 2 winner Fantasia Barrino.
Top 12 women perform with Chaka Khan: They may have gone home early but Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, Erika Van Pelt, Elise Testone and Shannon Magrane got to sing "I'm Every Woman" with the legend. Not too shabby!
Originally posted 05/24/2012 09:20AM
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.
Originally posted 05/23/2012 10:15PM
Ryan Seacrest is in a tux – and American Idol has a winner!
Season 11's finalists, Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips, both had a big night on Wednesday. In addition to seeing their fellow top 12 contestants (and future tour mates) perform with the likes of Chaka Khan and Neil Diamond, they heard performances by some of the biggest names in music today – Rihanna, Reba McEntire, judge Jennifer Lopez.
They also shared the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE stage with legends: Phillip sang "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising" with Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty. And Jessica performed "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" with original Dreamgirls star Jennifer Holliday. Both to impressive results.
And then there was that little business of announcing the new American Idol. Keep reading to find out who won ...
Originally posted 05/23/2012 03:05PM
Jessica Simpson has taken sides in the American Idol finale.
The new mom, who welcomed daughter Maxwell Drew Johnson on May 1, is rooting for crooner Phillip Phillips to win Wednesday night.
"Crossing my fingers for hot stuff Phillip Phillips!!" she Tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Phillips, 21, performed three songs alongside another Jessica – 16-year-old Sanchez – Tuesday on the show's final night of competition.
Originally posted 05/23/2012 02:45PM
It's almost over!
Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips had already come a long way before having to perform three songs each on American Idol's final night of competition Tuesday.
After the show, they spoke together with reporters about taking the stage on a night with the highest stakes yet.
"We feel like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders," Jessica said. "Tomorrow is the last episode of the season and we are just really relieved."
Originally posted 05/22/2012 09:30PM
Finale week of American Idol has finally arrived – but there's one more fight to go for the final two before the country chooses its next Idol winner.
In one corner, you have Jessica Sanchez, whom host Ryan Seacrest called a "16-year-old powerhouse." In the other, you have Phillip Phillips, a crooning pawnshop worker from Leesburg, Ga. Both faced off Tuesday by performing three songs each: show creator Simon Fuller chose round one, Phillips and Sanchez selected their favorite song from the season for round two, and in the final round, both picked the song that will become the winning single as the next American Idol.
How'd they do? Here's a round-by-round recap:
Originally posted 05/18/2012 08:00AM
Only a week after his friend Hollie Cavanagh was eliminated from American Idol, Joshua Ledet had another tearful night on the show Thursday – but this time it was because he was the one sent home.
Ledet said afterwards that he hadn't planned on crying but became overwhelmed when judge Jennifer Lopez and others came up to hug him after the results were announced.
"I felt good about the whole situation, but when people come up to you and try to comfort you and hug you, then the tears start coming, and then a whole bunch of other stuff," said Ledet, who also pulled his mother on stage at the end of the show. "So just getting their support, it kind of took over, and I kind of lost it a little."
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