Teen delivers Whitney Houston hit to wow 'Idol' judges
Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, March 8, 2012 8:12AM EST
LOS ANGELES - Gutsy "American Idol" contestant Jessica Sanchez took on Whitney Houston's biggest hit, delivering a performance that awed the show's judges.
When host Ryan Seacrest asked the panel to name Wednesday night's top two singers among the 13 finalists, Steven Tyler was ready.
"Jessica Sanchez and Jessica Sanchez," Tyler said.
The 16-year-old San Diego high school student's assured version of "I Will Always Love You" was "just amazing. I don't even know what to say," Jennifer Lopez exclaimed during the performance show.
"Jessica, you may be the one. You just made 40 million people cry," Tyler said (adding a dose of hyperbole by roughly doubling the show's biggest Wednesday night audience for the season so far).
Randy Jackson didn't hold back either, calling Sanchez "one of the best talents in the whole country."