Latina 'American Idol' contestant Jessica Sanchez nails Whitney Houston's "I will always love you"

Two Latino contestants, Jessica Sanchez and Jeremy Rosado, made it the top 13 on 'American Idol,' but last night's performances clearly distinguished Sanchez as the favored contender. The 16-year-old San Diego native sang an absolutely amazing cover of Whitney Houston's classic track, I Will Always Love You.

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Despite her young age, Sanchez handled the extremely difficult song as if she had been singing it her whole life. In fact, her rendition brought the audience and all three judges to their feet for a great, big standing ovation.  Judge Jennifer Lopez seemed particularly impressed as she clapped and smiled broadly, in what seems like awe and disbelief.  

Read more ¿Qué más?:  'American Idol' welcomes two Latinos to the final 13!

OK, I have to admit, I am not a particularly big fan of American Idol, but wow --Sanchez blew me away! In the words of Randy Jackson, this girl can sang. She manages to take on every performance with a maturity that's well beyond her years this particular case was no different. She absolutely nailed it! I mean, any Whitney Houston song is supremely difficult to sing, even for today's leading female vocalists. But performing a beloved ballad like this one is almost unfeasible for most.  And though no one will ever quite live up to Houston herself, I think Sanchez did an incredible job.  She definitely deserves to be a frontrunner for the overall win.

Watch her performance:

What do you think of Sanchez's version of the song?

Image via FOX

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