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16-Year-Old Jessica Sanchez Brings ‘American Idol’ Judges to Their Feet

Jessica Sanchez

With only two girls left to perform, Jessica Sanchez took the ‘American Idol‘ stage tonight to chat first with Ryan Seacrest about the emotional week she’s had while losing her voice and having to visit the doctor. When asked how she thought her voice would hold up for her performance, the 16-year-old San Diego native was obviously apprehensive.

“Right now it’s still feeling a little bit sore, but I think that I can still pull it off,” she said. Well, that proved to be the understatement of the evening as the tiny girl belted out a soulful tune with the heart of Aretha Franklin. Letting her voice take over on Jennifer Hudson‘s ‘Dreamgirls’ hit ‘Love You I Do,’ Sanchez established herself as a little diva singer to be reckoned with.

Though she could have dialed down the vibrato a tiny bit, the girl who’s just old enough to get her driver’s license brought all three judges to their feet and had Randy Jackson screaming “Yo, yo yo!” and “Crazy, crazy,” before he could even get anything coherent out. It’s the first time we’ve seen the judges royally stumbling over themselves to get their praises out there.

“Let me just say this,” Jackson finally got out. “I don’t know about no doctor. I don’t know what’s going on but what is really happening – that girl can really sing! I would say one of the best from the last two nights.”

Jennifer Lopez listed off a string of things that drew her into the performance — “the way you pulled back, the way you let us have it” — and finally concluded that Sanchez is just way beyond her years vocally. Jackson also compared her to Beyonce, saying that he loved that about her. Steven Tyler couldn’t contain his praise either, complimenting the singer as readily as the others as the young Sanchez looked genuinely and adorably starstruck on that giant stage.

“These guys are like my role models,” she told Seacrest, “and they’re telling me all this stuff. I’m going crazy right now!”

Watch Jessica Sanchez Perform ‘Love You I Do’ on ‘American Idol’

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