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Jessica Sanchez: 'American Idol' viewers made the right pick in Phillip Phillips

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/24/2012 

Jessica Sanchez feels home viewers made the right pick in voting Phillip Phillips American Idol's eleventh-season champion.

"I think America made the right choice, not because I don't think that I'm good, it's just he's worked hard for it. He's really, really put his heart and soul into it, and he's pushed through all his health issues. He's done it and he did it and I'm so happy for him," Idol's runner-up told Entertainment Weekly following last night's finale broadcast.

"We all wanted to win, but it was never expected, so we just worked hard and tried our best and sang our hearts out."

When asked if she felt disappointed about coming so close to the end and just missing out on the American Idol title, Sanchez said, "Not at all... I'm feeling good. I'm so happy for Phillip, and I mean, I'm also glad that it's over. He's happy that it's over and it's great. I'm excited."

During Wednesday night's finale, Sanchez took the stage and sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" in an impressive duet with singer Jennifer Holliday. While viewers may assume the 16-year-old singer from San Diego, CA, was given a lot of time to practice the performance with her own personal idol, they'd be mistaken.

"[I found out] yesterday -- literally. Everything was such a mess. I didn't know who I was singing with. I didn't even know if I was singing with anybody. Everything was all last minute. The 'I Will Always Love You,' that was thrown in a couple hours before the show. So yeah, it was crazy," Sanchez said.

As if it wouldn't be intimidating enough to perfect a finale performance fit for American Idol's standards in a day, Sanchez was also a bit nervous to sing alongside Holliday -- a very talented Grammy Award-winning vocalist.

"It's amazing how good that woman can sing. I was very intimidated, but I was like, 'This is the last song that I'm going to be singing and it's with this amazing person I've been looking up to ever since I was a little girl.' So I sang my heart out and I did what I had to do. I brought up every emotion in myself and just let it out and that's all," Sanchez explained.

Now that American Idol is over, Sanchez also hopes to find the time to get her driver's license or else her brand-new Ford vehicle -- which was a gift from Idol presented to her during last night's show -- will be sitting in her driveway for awhile. 

"(Laughs) I don't even know how to drive, so yeah. We'll see what happens with that. I'm going to try to make time [for that]," Sanchez told EW

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