Named For: Kellie Pickler (American Idol)
Awarded To: The best female reality competition contestant of the season
2009 Winner: Sugar Kiper (Survivor)
2010 Winner: Parvati Shallow (Survivor)
2011 Winner: Haley Reinhart (American Idol)
10. Michelle Money (Bachelor Pad) 0 points
9. Laura Kathleen (Project Runway) 1 point
5th by Me
8. Vanessa Macias (Amazing Race) 3 points
2nd by Jaydon
7. Lindsey Pavao (The Voice) 4 points
3rd by Tyson
6. Grayson Schmitz (Top Chef) 5 points
1st by Jaydon, 4th by Me
5. Skylar Laine (American Idol) 8 points
1st by Larry
4. Chelsea Meissner (Survivor) 10 points
1st by Cecil
3. Juliet Simms (The Voice) 11 points
1st by Tyson, 1st by Me
2. Daniele Donato (Big Brother) 13 points
1st by T-time, 2nd by Me
and the Poolie goes to...
1. Jessica Sanchez (American Idol) 14 points
1st by Jack and Rizzo, 3rd by Me
This is Jessica Sanchez's first nomination and win for the best female reality competition contestant of the season. Here to discuss her rapid rise to stardom is Poolie voter, Jack.
For the last three seasons, American Idol has really flipped the script with the female contestants. After eight years of putting up with the boring girls’ performances, they have recently been the ones who I look forward to the most. Season nine gave us Bowersox and Didi Benami, and season 10 introduced us to the amazing Haley Reinhart. With no disrespect to those three, even with how great they were, they could not carry Jessica Sanchez’s gym bags. Jessica has the best vocal ability I have ever seen in the competition outside Adam Lambert. And the fact that she is only 16 is all the more impressive. By the time she hits her prime, she may be in consideration as one of the best voices of all time. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Jessica was her versatility. We have seen such different dynamics before from a guy (the aforementione Lambert), but never from the female side. She roared out of the gates with “I Will Always Love You,” which was pitch perfection, out-dueling Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks who performed the same song at different award show tributes. That performance, along with “You Are So Beautiful” and “The Prayer,” proved she could sing the ballads as good as anyone. Have you ever seen anyone hold those high notes with so much ease? But there was much more to Jessica than slow ballads. She brought out her jazzy side on many occasions, most notably her performance of “Steal Away.” Say what you want about that growl, but I thought it was fantastic. Just when you think you’ve seen everything this girl had to offer, top four week came, and Jessica brought singing to new heights. The performance of the season, and maybe the series, was her take on “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” We’ve heard this song done so many times, but she put absolutely everything she had into this two minute show. I have never seen someone put so much heart and emotion into a performance and still nail every single note. They should have stopped the show and crowned her right then and there.
Unfortunately, there was a group of people against Sanchez. It is not possible for any contestant to have no haters, that’s the way our world works. But the arguments that the haters tried to come up with for disliking her were absurd. I heard claims of her showing no emotion? Please. Did you not see that single tear come down her cheek after she left her heart on the stage singing “..I’m Not Going.” I also heard that she is too pageanty and rehearsed. So these people are mad that she has been singing her whole life and has been coached how to sing? How dare someone practice their craft before entering Idol. And perhaps the most absurd comments were how she was arrogant. I don’t know what show those people were watching, but what I saw was a very humble, innocent, 16 year old girl who is living out her dream. And even if she does think she is a great singer, wouldn’t you if you were in her shoes? There was only one acceptable complaint of Jessica Sanchez. And that is her occasional bad song choices. If she had picked the right songs week in and week out, she may have been able to put up the greatest singing season of all time. But as for now, she will go down as the 2nd best in my book, right behind Adam Lambert.
by Jack Forcella