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Jul 30th
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako My Take on Jessica Sanchez's Second Place Win on "American Idol"
My Take on Jessica Sanchez's Second Place Win on "American Idol" PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Saturday, 26 May 2012 08:14


By Jesse Jose

A Cup O' Kapeng Barako 



Y akety-yak.  It's the talk of the town in the Motherland: Jessica Sanchez should have won the title of "American Idol" daw


TV news commentators, especially on TFC (The Filipino Channel) of ABS-CBN, are having a field day shooting their mouths off.  And print journalists are burning their pens in writing about it.  All are saying: "She won!  She won!  She won it!" 


Filipinos all over the world are saying that Jessica Sanchez should have won first place.  It's "racist" daw that the white guy won.  It was a Mexican-Filipino "idol" against a White American, kaya nananalo yung puting Amerkano.


And that there should be a recount of votes. How many for Jessica? And how many for Phillip Phillips, the guy who won the title? And that if Phillips is the so-called "American Idol," then Jessica is the "World Idol."


Grabe, I tell ya.  We're too obsessed with the mantra and mentality of ASAP (a popular song and dance show) on ABS-CBN na ang "Pilipino anggat sa mundo." 


We have this mentality ba na palagi tayong naaapi. So we keep trying to prove so hard that we are the "best in the west," on top of the world and anggat sa mundo.  We sing about it, we scream it to the world: "Ako'y Pilipino!  Anggat sa mundo!" 


Okey ngarud, sige na nga, da bess in da wess na tayo.  Baka naman da bess laughing stock in the world tayo, hindi kaya?     


JESSICA HAS NO ORIGINALITY: But back to Jessica's second place spot on American Idol.  Mga kabayan, America and Americans have spoken.  It's Phillip Phillips who is the better singer.  He deserves the win.  Even Jessica herself said that.  Jessica was good, but not good enough.  The reason she reached the finals was because she was "campaigned" by Filipinos world-wide to vote for her.  


Y'all know that she was almost eliminated earlier in the competition, but Jennifer Lopez saved her.  One of the three judges, Steven Tyler,  even said that Jessica doesn't have "originality" when belting out her songs.  Tyler said, he "hears Beyonce" in Jessica. 


She's a copycat, in other words.  The "Beyonce of the Philippines."  Well, she could also be a "Rihanna of the Philippines," because at times during the competition, she sounded like Rihanna, too.


But honestly now ... to me, her singing sounds like screeching. Sigaw nang sigaw!  As one commentator on Huffington Post, a mainstream online publication, wrote: "The screeching sounds like fingernails raking on a blackboard."


Whereas ... "Authentic Phillip," said Randy Jackson, "has soulness, originality, artistry ... and style."  Yes, I agree with Randy.  I do like Phillip's cool singing.  I don't like songs belted as a scream.  It's harsh to the ears.   


EVERYTHING HAS TO BE YOU: Jennifer Lopez though have these kind words to Jessica: "When you go to make your record ... and you'll be making many ... you have to be able to say to someone, 'this is not me,' or, 'this is me, but I can put a twist on it.'  You can change songs.  Know that those are all your options as an artist to do that.  Everything has to be you."


And that's the clue to winning: Everything has to be you.


Also, here in America, if you're good, you're good.  Mainstream America will recognize your talents, if your talents are orig, not copied. 


Look at Arnel Pineda of the "Journeys."  Not a single Filipino voted him in to become its lead singer.  And he didn't copy anybody.  Look at Leah Salonga, the lead singer and actress of that Broadway musical, "Miss Saigon," and winner of the Tony Award.  Not a single Filipino voted for her to win that prestigious Broadway award.  She didn't copy anybody either.  Both of these talents are origs.


Same-same with Charice.  She's also got her own style.  But of course, if not for Oprah discovering her talents on You Tube, she would still be selling maruya in Manila.    


And, look at our own Pakyaw, the hot-shot boksingero who have won several boxing titles here in America,  Did any Filipino vote for him to win those titles?  He won those titles, simply because he's super good boksingero, who has his own unique style of putting opponents asleep on the mat. 


Well, of course, several Filipinos voted for him when he ran as congressman of his province of Sarangani in Mindanao, despite the well-known fact that he's a "no-read, no-write" dude.  But that's only in the Philippines.  And my own Kapeng Barako orig comment of mine. 


Y'all get my drift? 


Before I go, a few words to Jessica: ASAP awaits you, my dear.  Surely, you will be most welcome there.  That show teems with AmBoys and AmGirls.  And Belo, I am sure, will soon be seeking you out, too.  And you'll be pretty, pretty-pretty, swinging and singing with rest of them, who are anggat sa mundo. 


Okey ngarud, dear readers, that's all na, of my own, yakety-yak, on Jessica Sanchez, the World Idol of Filipinos, in the Philippines and world-wide.  JJ             

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Last Updated on Saturday, 26 May 2012 08:21
Comments (2)
1 Monday, 28 May 2012 08:07
As posted in the Facebook:

By Hector Santos

I finally got to see and hear Jessica Sanchez sing and it was on public television, of all places. She was on last night's annual Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. For her to get on that prime venue for new singers (Jane Monheit about a decade ago comes to mind) means she has an outstanding agent. And the timing was perfect -- less than a week after the American Idol finals.

She opened the show with, naturally, The Star-Spangled Banner. I'm glad she sang it with the restraint and reverence it deserves. She did not take advantage of the song to show off her vocal prowess like how a Whitney Houston or a Jennifer Hudson would have done. In the middle of the show, she sang The Prayer. Again, she did it in a subdued and reverential manner. It helped that the number wasn't a duet like it's usually done. Two singers often end up trying to outdo each other. Also not bilingual this time. The switch between English and Italian throughout the song has grown old and stale for me. Finally, she closed the show with God Bless America. As the other performers came and joined her towards the end, the director kept the focus on her voice, not raising the volume on the feed from the other microphones. All in all, it was a great showcase for her as a singer. She probably was seen by more people who matter from this exposure than in her American Idol performances.

I hadn't seen any of the American Idol shows this year but it seemed to me that if had sung this way during the contest, she wouldn't have made it to the finals. The judges and the public go for over-the-top styles as everyone knows.

I'm glad people in the Philippines supported her although I found their support ironic. A singer who looks like her (not mestiza) would find it hard to sing on television in the Philippines.

Editor's Note: Ka Hector Santos is a cofounder and chairman of the Philippine History Group of Los Angeles (California). Some of his article about Philippine history have been reprinted in this website. For more article from Ka Hector, pls visit
2 Monday, 28 May 2012 08:17
Pareng Jesse,

Well, it takes a lot of courage to say an opinion that runs against most everybody's, and that's the barako part of it. Surely, Phillips' winning the top spot does not diminish Jessica at all. I agree with you pare, she's the "World Idol". Best regards,

Romy Marquez

(As sent by e-mail with a CC to the Editor)

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