Chula Vista girl among top 3 on American Idol - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chula Vista girl among top 3 on American Idol

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CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A petite 16-year-old Chula Vista girl with a huge voice is among the top three contestants on "American Idol" Friday.

Jessica Sanchez beat out tens of thousands of hopefuls who auditioned nationwide for the 11th season of the popular Fox singing program, including an estimated 9,000 who jammed Petco Park last July. In October, a vetted crowd was invited to sing for celebrity judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler aboard the USS Midway Museum.

Nearly 70 million votes were cast following Wednesday night's performances by the top four contestants, "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest told viewers.

Sanchez advanced to the top three in Thursday night's show, along with Joshua Paul Ledet, 20, of Westlake, La. and 21-year-old Phillip Phillips, Jr. of Leesburg, Ga.

Based on viewer votes, Sanchez almost went home a few weeks ago but the judges used their one save to keep her in the contest.

Sanchez, junior who attended Eastlake High School, is the second recent contestant from San Diego County to make it deep into the "Idol" competition. Adam Lambert, who graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in Rancho Penasquitos, rocked his way to a runner-up finish three years ago.

On Saturday, Sanchez is scheduled to give two performances in the San Diego area as part of homecoming segments being filmed for next week's "Idol." The first is scheduled from 10:15 a.m. to noon at Eastlake High School football stadium in Chula Vista. The second is from 2 to 3 p.m. on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum in downtown San Diego. Admission to both performances is free but limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

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