Jessica Elizabeth Sanchez (born August 4, 1995) is an American singer from San Diego, California. She is currently a Top 7 finalist on the eleventh season of American Idol. Prior to appearing on Idol, Sanchez competed in the first season of America's Got Talent at the age of 11.Jessica Sanchez, the eldest of three siblings, was born on August 4, 1995 in Chula Vista, California to Gilbert and Edita Sanchez. Her father, a Mexican American originally from Texas, is a U.S. Navy veteran who fought in the Iraq War. Her mother is Filipina and originally hailed from Bataan province in the Philippines. Her maternal grandfather, Eddie Bugay, is a retired U.S. Navy sailor.Sanchez was selected for full scholarship training at the Theater of Arts in Hollywood.
Sanchez first competed on television in the first season of America's Got Talent at the age of 11. Despite a successful audition, Sanchez was not chosen to be in the semi-finals. She was not seen on the show until during the Wildcard round of the semi-finals when Brandy Norwood chose her to comeback for a chance to compete for the finals. She performed "I Surrender" by Celine Dion.On September 22, 2008, Sanchez sang The Star-Spangled Banner before a San Diego Chargers versus New York Jets matchup. She sang the national anthem on September 27, 2009 before a San Diego Chargers versus Miami Dolphins matchup.
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