Idol's Jessica Sanchez makes it there: Signs album deal, debuts new song in NYC

Norman Byrd's picture

"American Idol" Season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez has penned a recording deal with Interscope Records, marking the occasion by debuting a new song that will appear on the upcoming album during the "Live Tour" stopover in New York City.

She was close to being the youngest "American Idol" contestant in the show's history to win the competition earlier this year, but Jessica Sanchez had to suffer the fate of those who would dare challenge the "Idol" rut of WGWG (White Guys With Guitars) winners. And although she missed out on the automatic album deal that winning "Idol" conveys (not to mention a bigger cash prize) to laid back strummer Phillip Phillips, the just-turned 17-year-old California singer has now penned a recording deal with Interscope Records, the company headed by "American Idol" mentor Jimmy Iovine.

Call it a belated birthday present (Sanchez turned 17 on August 4) or whatever, the contract was more than deserved. The tiny vocalist was undoubtedly the most accomplished singer in the competition during Season 11, blowing away her rivals with songs culled from the catalogs of legendary performers like Jennifer Holliday, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion. Even winner Phillip Phillips was no match for Sanchez on vocals; his song arrangement creativity, vocal stylings, and personality (and don't forget that guitar) added up to a winning combination that the teen just couldn't overcome when the votes were counted at season's end.

All that aside, Sanchez walked off stage Wednesday night after the "American Idol Live Tour" completed its show in New York City and announced on iHeart Radio that she had been signed to Interscope.

“After the show, I got signed to Interscope Records,” she said.

Like the song says, "If you can make it there..." Looks like she made it.

During the show, she performed a new tune, "Fairytale," for the "Idol" fans. Presumably, it will be one of the tracks on her upcoming album, along with her "Idol" coronation song, "Change Nothing."

According to EW.com's "Music Mix," Sanchez isn't the only Season 11 finalist singing original material on the "American Idol Live Tour." Phillips has been singing his coronation song, "Home," of course, but third-placer Joshua Ledet has been performing a song called "Broken Man," which debuted on I Heart Radio Wednesday as well, and seventh-placer Colton Dixon has been delighting crowds with his song, "Never Gone."

Sanchez' deal isn't the first of the finalists that came in behind Phillip Phillips, either. Ledet signed a "huge deal" just after his elimination in May, something he announced on his Facebook page and promptly removed (probably because he wasn't supposed to announce anything ahead of Phillips, the "Idol" winner). Ledet and Sanchez, like Phillips, are contractually bound to "American Idol" for a certain period, with Interscope having first dibs on the finalists. However, once the the "Idol" contract expires (different for each contestant and dependent on placement), the artists are allowed to pursue contracts with non-affiliated labels.

Phillips was signed to Interscope as part of his winning Season 11. His first album was expected to drop in November or December. (Most "Idol" finalists release their first album before Christmas the year they compete, generally following the lead of the winner. For instance, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery released his first album, Clear As Day, on Oct. 4 last year with Lauren Alaina releasing Wildflower a week later.) But he recently told radio station WPLJ in New York City that he didn't expect to see it released until January or February. But there's good news that came with the disappointing: Since Phillips has written about 50 or 60 songs, the album is expected to contain mostly Phillips compositions (or at least co-written compositions).

Phillips first single, "Home," has sold over one million units since its release in May. It was featured during the 2012 Olympics in London as backing music for the women's gymnastics events and also in the trailer of the new Clint Eastwood film, "Trouble with the Curve."

Regardless, with all the drama surrounding the judges situation at "Idol" -- those that are in and those that are out of consideration -- for Season 12, it is good to hear some positive and unambiguous news for a change.

As for when we can expect a new album from Sanchez, it is far too soon to tell. However, unless producers can push the laid back Phillips to pick up the pace, it is doubtful that they would make the other finalists wait to release their albums. So expect at least a couple of new "Idol" albums from the Season 11 crop before the holidays.

Watch and listen to Jessica Sanchez' new song, "Fairytale," via mjsbigblog.com:

(photo credit: Aajim, Creative Commons)

Comments

Submitted by Josh (not verified) on
YAWN. This reminds me of the mess of a debut that Allison Iraheta had. And we all know the outcome of that.

Submitted by good ears (not verified) on
Why are you giving Jessica songs that are for Britney? You guys are not as smart as you think you are. If you want to make your money, let her sing a ballad where she excel at. Even the stupidest teenager would buy a well sang song that features Jessica's strength. Also we, that are past 16 yrs. old would like to hear good music. Any Rap-Head can sing the songs you're giving her. We all know she's young,but she has an old soul, you can tell when she sings. You're ruining her future as the best "singer" Idol has ever had. I love Jessica, but I wouldn't buy this crap. Let her sing People!!!

Submitted by olga (not verified) on
I agree, Make Jessica sing her ballads like Dance with My Father and You are so Beautiful plus a couple of fast happy songs that people are familiar with. She's too talented to waste! Wake upguys and make her sing the right songs!

Submitted by lovelove (not verified) on
Love this song. It's just a matter of time when she will sing her ballad in which she excel. For the mean time, this would be a good start especially for teeneagers like her. To prove to the world that she could sing any type of song.

Submitted by lovelove (not verified) on
Love this song. It's just a matter of time when she will sing her ballad in which she excel. For the mean time, this would be a good start especially for teeneagers like her. To prove to the world that she could sing any type of song.

Submitted by lovelove (not verified) on
Love this song. It's just a matter of time when she will sing her ballad in which she excel. For the mean time, this would be a good start especially for teeneagers like her. To prove to the world that she could sing any type of song.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Jessica keeps saying she likes R&D and from her youtube videos, that is what she excels at. Not this bubble gum pop stuff. This is a song for Chance Grayson, not Jessica. Hasn't anyone been listening to her on tour with AI... Prince was even impressed. The reason Randy Jackson said "Jessica, Really, really?" is because she is one of the few natural artist that has perfect phrasing and timing. It is what made Frank Sinatra so great... There is nothing interesting about this bubble gum song so Jessica's voice sound's so ordinary. If Frank was forced to sang a song straight he would have no swag either... For the young ones even her you tube original "what you want" song is so much better... Now I hope that makes it to the album. Oh, no, they have already wasted 2 spots with fairytail and Change Nothing. I might just have to buy Philip Phillips album after all...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
My teenage kids loves this song, and so is Mom, lol. It's a new addition to my collections of favorite singers/albums.

Submitted by Betcha (not verified) on
This song does not give justice to her real voice. It is not who she really is. Where is the real Jessica in this song?People all over we're amazed and awed at her strong vocals and learned to like and love her. This song is definitely not appropriate for her.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This is only one of her many songs. It's called versatility.

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