By Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBNnews.com and U.S. News Agency / Asian
September 21 was indeed a night to remember for the top 10 finalists of this year’s “American Idol.”
Four months after the talent show’s season 11 finale in the United States, the Idols embarked on the last leg of their concert tour at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City last Friday.
While the concert started with a technical glitch in one of the LED screens, everyone still got up on their feet as each of the Idols were introduced via video.
And when 17-year-old Filipino-Mexican-American Jessica Sanchez was shown on the big screen, it’s as if the Big Dome would be destroyed by the volume of the screams.
The show opened with all the Idols, without Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, performing My Chemical Romance’s “Sing.”
Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, Heejun Han, DeAndre Brackensick and Erika Van Pelt came out larger than life to the more than 15,000 fans, who were yelling out their names while they performed their first group number.
Following their opening number, 17-year-old Brackensick took the stage for his solo and gave a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster.” This was followed by a duet from Cavanagh and Laine of Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It.” After that, Van Pelt silenced everyone as she gave a moving rendition of “Glitter in the Air.”
Van Pelt was then joined by Cavanagh and Ledet for Maroon 5′s “Moves Like Jagger.” This was followed by Han’s performance of John Legend’s “Green Light.”
Han woke up the venue and brought back the party atmosphere as he was joined by Brackensick and Sanchez for LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.”
Testone also had her own moments as she gave powerful renditions of Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and Adele’s “Rumour Has It.”
The audience, especially the young girls, then had to contain their “giddyness” as Dixon took the stage and sang Switchfoot’s “Meant To Live.” He also performed his original song “Never Gone,” which will soon be out in the market. But it was really his cover of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” that caught everyone’s attention.
The “Idols” closed the first half of the concert by performing hits songs like Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.”
The Filipino pride
Even though everyone was well applauded while performing their solo numbers, it was when Sanchez kicked off the second half of the concert that the audience cheered the loudest.
Sanchez showcased her signature growl when she sang Beyonce’s “Best Thing I Never Had” — her first solo number. She continued to wow the audience by singing “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore” by Prince.
Sanchez also sang Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” where she left the audience jumping up and down, wanting for more.
While it was evident that Sanchez was not feeling too well because she was coughing during the first part of the show, she still had the the audience in awe with the way she delivered her growls, hitting the high notes and showing off her natural soulfulness.
Skylar, Hollie and Joshua
Sanchez’s song numbers were then followed by Laine’s “Gunpowder and Lead” and “Stay With Me.”
The audience also couldn’t stop cheering for petite Cavanagh, who bravely took on Adele’s big song “Rolling in the Deep.” The 18-year-old McKinney native also performed “Give Your Heart A Break” by Demi Lovato.
After Cavanagh, the mystery was then unfolded as to why the American Idol judges gave the most number of standing ovations for Ledet.
Ledet proved his singing prowess by taking on Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby.” He also left the audience on their feet after he performed a show-stopping rendition of “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.”
Further adding to the evening’s memorable numbers, Ledet and Sanchez performed “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” – the number which has been tagged as the best duo of Season 11.
Given his lack of exposure in all the earlier production numbers, the excitement that was building up throughout the concert erupted when Phillips appeared onstage in his signature grey shirt, jeans and guitar and performed Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” — his first solo number.
He also had the young girls screaming their hearts out when he sang Usher’s “Nice and Slow.”
Phillips also performed “Somebody That I Used to Know” with Testone, and “Volcano” with Sanchez.
Hinting that the concert was about to end, all the other Idols went onstage and stayed behind Phillips as he performed his coronation song, “Home.”
‘We’re glad you came’
Saying their concert in Manila was one that they would never forget, the Idols thanked their Filipino fans for the warm welcome and for being the best concert audience.
The Idols closed the concert with the girls singing Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” and the rest of them singing The Wanted’s “Glad You Came.”
The Season 11 Top 10 again took their final bow and Sanchez said: “Maraming, maraming salamat Philippines. We love you!”
Just minutes after the Idol’s last number, the words “AI11, We’re glad you came” trended on the microblogging site Twitter, with most netizens thanking the Idols for coming to Manila.