Wednesday night was all about the 80′s on American Idol 2012 and we couldn’t have an 80′s show without a Whitney Houston tribute, could we? For her American Idol performance this week, petite powerhouse Jessica Sanchez decided she was going to try to compare herself in the minds of the judges and viewing audience with the late superstar. So how did the girl already favored to wind up in the top three compare to the legendary Whitney Houston?

WARNING: AMERICAN IDOL 2012 SPOILERS AHEAD

Jessica Sanchez may be only 16-years-old, but night after night on American Idol 2012, this teenager has shown she has the chops to be a serious competitor for the crown this year. This week, Sanchez decided she was going to really pull out all the stops for 80′s night and put herself up against the superstar vocals of Whitney Houston at the height of her career.

For her song for American Idol 2012 this week, Jessica Sanchez chose to cover Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.” Sanchez has already proven she has some of the strongest vocals in the competition, despite being half the size and age of some of the other competitors. Still, doing Whitney Houston on American Idol is always a risky affair.

Thankfully, Jessica Sanchez proved once again that she knows what the hell she is doing. The tiny whirlwind of talent belted out the Whitney Houston song with fierce power and looked like she has been performing in front of millions of viewers since she was an infant.

Sounding effortless, Jessica Sanchez was a total hit with the mentors and the judges across the board. Mentor Gwen Stefani said she would “nail it” and the performance would “be awesome” and she was totally right.

Steven Tyler, sounding like a blissed-out hippie, told Sanchez “everything you do is beautiful… everything you do is great.” Randy Jackson said Sanchez had “big shoes to fill” doing a Whitney Houston song but that she did “an amazing job.” Jennifer Lopez also praised Sanchez with conviction for her “powerhouse” vocals.

Sanchez was indeed killer tonight on America Idol in her solo and in her duet with Joshua Ledet on Aretha Franklin and George Michael‘s “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.” I think the solo was just a tad better than the duet performance, but Randy Jackson called it “one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen on the show.” So who am I to argue with that?

Obviously, Jessica Sanchez will be safe this week and she’s still considered the frontrunner to win the whole thing by a large chunk of the viewing audience.

>> Related: American Idol 2012: Did Joshua Ledet Pick the Right Song?


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