The ‘Jessica Sanchez’ in all of us
By Kai Rosario
As unexpected as the failed rocket launch was to North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un so too was Jessica Sanchez’ (almost) elimination from American Idol Season 11 to the show’s audience. These two events reverberated across the globe through social media websites; with Jessica bagging the “most trending” slot as Filipinos spread their rants and disbelief after the show’s delayed telecast in the Philippines, perhaps to compensate for their ineligibility to participate in the voting.
Everybody had something to say. Everybody came up with their own personal theories – U.S. deliberately foiled the rocket launch using some highly advanced technological jargon of digital codes; American Idol producers rigged the voting results for a much-needed dramatic twist intended to lure more viewers and improve the show’s gradually declining ratings. Everybody also formulated predictions on the events that would follow: expect North Korean forces to regroup and re-propel their bid for superpower recognition; expect Jessica to be seen with the phrase “Judges’ bet” stamped across her forehead that could lead her to doom as America would likely favor the Idol underdogs.
While the success of the rocket launch could have been spelled greater repercussions to the human race than Jessica’s clean slate in Idol, the latter, as trifling as it may sound, drew more consternation and, I dare say, relevance.
Born on August 4, 1995 in Chula Vista, California, Jessica is the eldest child of Gilbert, a Mexican-American, and Editha, a Filipina who hails from the province of Bataan in the Philippines.
Jessica captured the fervent curiosity of the Idol’s audience, judges, critics and music artists alike, when she effortlessly tackled Whitney Houston’s classic – I will always love you.
From then on, she has cemented her place as a formidable hopeful in the Idol competition. In the weeks that followed, she was consistent in showcasing her vocal prowess and stage presence that spouts maturity beyond her tender age of 16.
A maturity that says she does not only sing well, but she sings from the heart. A maturity palpable not only in her vocal skills, but more so in her character as she displays both grace and humility whether she is the one most applauded or least voted.
A maturity that chants the story of both the song and hers, a young girl, who, like every one of us, has dreamed to pursue that which makes us happy and to be given the elusive opportunity to commence that pursuit, especially in a country where the minority race is reduced to a mere demographic.
Hers is the common quest of every man: to have a fuller life by finding out what we love to do, to be given the chance to do it and to do it for the rest of our lives.
While most of us still spend our days tying to figure out that one thing we would happily die doing, Jessica knew what’s for her when she was only two (2) years old and by her 7th birthday, she was already on a stage singing. She then spent the ensuing years honing her voice, overcoming shyness, dispelling doubts, working hard, and hoping that one day somewhere, someone would open the door to her dreams.
Guided by her motto: work hard and stay humble, Jessica took on the challenge of a weekly, nationwide talent contest where she is exposed to either fame or public disapproval.
An all-too-familiar plot, even Kim Jong-un can relate. Nonetheless, it is true as it mirrors your own life and of every other person who has ever dreamed of letting the world know his or her name.
But between the story of divisiveness and fear of Kim’s rocket sought to propagate and the tale of hope, humility and unity that Jessica’s music spun – Filipinos rallied to advocate the latter.
It was not a coincidence that the two events happened on the same day. They were meant to remind us that we can weave any and all dreams but the one worth pursuing is that which moves the world into a better landscape and perspective.
As Jessica Sanchez would probably say: work hard and remain humble, because that’s the only way we achieve dreams without diminishing ourselves. One of the many sayings that have propelled countless Filipinos to great heights of real success not even the most advanced rocket can reach.