09:02 PM EDT 04/13/2013
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 05/18/2012 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."
Originally posted 05/17/2012 09:05PM
After a marathon performance night, which had the contestants singing three songs each, American Idol's top three – Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips – faced the final elimination on Thursday.
And even though the contestants say they'll be happy for whoever wins the competition, only two of them will be able to compete in next week's finale.
Keep reading to find out who that will be – and who was sent home Thursday in third place ...
Originally posted 05/17/2012 11:40AM
All three wowed America on Wednesday. Only two will move on Thursday night.
Not that Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez seem too concerned about that. While it may indeed be the closest American Idol race ever, the three remaining competitors are a tight group – and they appear to be as happy for each other as for themselves.
"I want to win, but at this point we're all winners," Ledet told PEOPLE after Wednesday's show. "I'm not gonna say I don't care, but I will be just as happy about me winning or two of my friends, Phillip or Jessica."
"It was a crazy night, man," Phillips said. "Everybody had a great night. Josh sang the house down – he rocked it. And Jessica sang the crap out of all her songs, and I just did something and had fun."
Originally posted 05/16/2012 10:35PM
Much of Wednesday's American Idol's performance episode was filled with footage of the top three – Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips – on their hometown visits. It was touching footage of these young performers at home feeling like superstars. But who's going to cash in their Idol ticket for a chance at super-stardom?
They all have potential and they all sang three songs each on Wednesday during three rounds of competition. Song choice was selected by the judges, followed by the contestants, followed by mentor and vocal coach Jimmy Iovine.
Here's how it went down …
Originally posted 05/13/2012 04:00PM
Jessica Sanchez was greeted with open arms when she returned to Chula Vista, Calif., for American Idol's hometown heroes week.
Cheered by thousands of fans, the finalist waved as she rode through town in a car with her two little brothers into Eastlake High School's stadium on Saturday.
"I feel amazing," Sanchez, 16, said as she made her way to the stadium's stage. "I'm so happy to represent Chula Vista. It was the people. I missed the people so much. I love you guys. Thank you for all the support."
Originally posted 05/11/2012 11:45AM
Hollie Cavanagh may have been sent home from American Idol on Thursday night, but she seems to be handling her elimination better than her friend and fellow competitor Joshua Ledet, who cried as Cavanagh performed Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" after the results were announced.
"I saw him crying, and he was like, 'I love you. I love you,' " Cavanagh tells PEOPLE. "I was like, I know. I don't know why that boy is crying. I'm gonna see him in a few days. Stop crying!"
As for herself, "I'm doing fine," she says. "You can't really complain when you're [in the] top four. … I'm just proud of myself at this point."
Originally posted 05/10/2012 09:30PM
We're in the home stretch!
On Wednesday, American Idol's final four performed California-themed songs and personal favorites they wished they'd written. According to the judges, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips hit it out of the park.
On the other hand, Hollie Cavanagh, who's perennially in the bottom on elimination nights, fell short on her second performance of Bonnie Raitt's classic "I Can't Make You Love Me."
So who's in the top three and heading home in style on a private jet for the annual hometown extravaganza this weekend? And who's just heading home? Keeping reading to find out ...
Originally posted 05/03/2012 09:20PM
American Idol has its final four!
After Skylar Laine, Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez each performed a song from the '60s and another one from the British pop songbook, the top five faced another elimination on Thursday.
And all eyes were on Hollie Cavanagh, who's been a regular in the bottom, but had two impressive performances with Tina Turner's "River Deep-Mountain High" and Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love."
So did she survive another week? Keep reading to find out ...
Originally posted 05/02/2012 10:30PM
The finish line is in sight – and as the final five contestants fight to be the winner of American Idol, the competition is fierce. Just like last week, the contestants brought top-notch performances, tackling classic songs from the 1960s and the British pop songbook.
No one seemed to fight harder than Hollie Cavanagh. After another appearance in the bottom last week, she delivered Wednesday with a high-energy version of Ike and Tina Turner's rock-soul rave-up "River Deep-Mountain High," which found her shimmying and shaking across the stage while wearing sky-high heels. For her second tune, she brought tender emotion to Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love."
"It was a different type of Hollie out there tonight," Jennifer Lopez said of her first song. Randy Jackson also called her this season's "dark horse," adding that her rebound was perfect timing in the competition.
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