"American Idol" contestant Jessica Sanchez performed a tribute to the late, great Whitney Houston, performing an impeccable rendition of her signature hit “I Will Always Love You.”
With poise and confidence, the Philippine-Mexican contestant nailed each note, as the judges and the crowd went wild. The performance earned her the only standing ovation of the evening Wednesday on “American Idol.”
Music producer Randy Jackson was overjoyed.
“This is one of the hardest songs in the world to sing,” said Jackson. “You are not only the best vocal of the night, I think you are one of the best singers in this whole competition!”
He went on.
“This is really what it’s all about, finding the best talent in America,” he said. “America, this is one of the best talents in the whole country.”
Fellow “American Idol” judge and superstar Jennifer Lopez was speechless.
“Just…amazing,” Lopez said, at the brink of tears. “I don’t even know what to say.”
JLO highlighted how well she thought Sanchez executed the difficult song.
“When you did the last three things and we were right there with you, I think you were even surprised in yourself," Lopez said. "It was beautiful. You are so talented. God bless you!”
For rocker Steven Tyler, Sanchez was the standout performance of the evening.
“You may be the one,” Tyler said. “You just made 40 million people cry.”
In an night where the competition was male against females (unlike in past episodes where early in the competition the boys competed against the boys and the girls against the girls), it was crucial for the top 13 to perform well.
R&B/hip hop icon Mary J. Blige stopped by the show to give the contenders some advice and was blown away by Sanchez’s pipes.
“Amazing, impeccable,” said Blige. “Wow!”
This isn’t the first time Sanchez has stolen the show. Last week she received a standing ovation -- the first and only one of the evening.
Filled with swag and high notes, Sanchez nailed the vocals and the theatrics. The judges couldn’t believe that Sanchez had been in the hospital all week prior to taking the stage.
“I had to go to the doctor,” an emotional Sanchez told "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest minutes before performing.
“I’m worried about my song… my voice is horse and soar.”
America then got to see video clips of the singer’s home and family. They also got to see her fashion sense.
“I love shopping!” said an excited Sanchez, who is seen in the clip with her younger cousin and uncle heading to a San Diego mall.
“My little cousin is my main supporter,” she added. “She looks up to me. I’m down to being a role model.”
Sanchez wore a glittery ensemble and high, black platforms.