MANILA, Philippines -- Following the dramatic save from elimination of Pinay-Mexican Jessica Sanchez on "American Idol," Filipino celebrities have joined calls to support the 16-year old powerhouse singer to see her through to the finals.
Sanchez almost ended her journey on "Idol" Thursday night (Friday in Manila) after she got the lowest number of votes in this week's elimination round. Judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez scrambled to the stage, however, and announced that they have agreed to use their one save for the season to keep Sanchez on the show.
The almost-elimination of the Pinay-Mexican favorite jolted her Filipino supporters in the US, who have since vowed to actively vote for Sanchez until the finals.
In the Philippines, local artists and personalities have also expressed their support for Sanchez, saying they would do their share of voting if they could.
Singing couple Liezel Garcia and Bugoy Drilon, who are both alumni of singing competition "Pinoy Dream Academy," said they were shocked and disappointed when Sanchez was announced to be in the bottom three.
"Hindi kapani-paniwala, kasi lalo kung ibe-base sa performance nila. Siya 'yung may pinaka-magandang comment na natanggap nung night na 'yun eh," Garcia said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
"Super shocking news talaga 'pag view ko ng Twitter ko -- 'Jessica was voted out!'"
Drilon said Sanchez's supporters may have gotten complacent with voting in light of continued praise for the contestant's weekly performances.
"Siguro naging komportable sila na safe 'to, they're OK. Nakalimutan na nila bumoto para sa mga favorite nila. Nandoon si Jessica sa bottom 3, na hindi dapat," Drilon said.
In hopes of seeing the first Filipina "Idol," Garcia and Drilon appealed to Filipinos -- and Mexicans -- in the US to continue voting for Sanchez.
"Para sa mga Pilipino na pwede bumoto talaga, o kahit na mga Mexican dahil half-Mexican naman siya, to vote for her, kasi sayang naman. May talent talaga siya," Garcia said.
"Sa lahat po, sana suportahan po natin si Jessica kasi siya po ang isang contender na maging first Asian na American Idol," Drilon added.
Herself a former voters' favorite during her time in "Pinoy Big Brother," actress Devon Seron said she was sad when her own personal idol on the show was almost eliminated.
"Nung nalaman ko na kaunti lang 'yung bumoto sa kanya, nalungkot ako. Siya talaga 'yung bet ko, at sana marami pa bumoto sa kanya. Pine-pray ko na siya talaga manalo," she said. "[Kung pwede lang,] gusto ko nga bumoto eh."
As a seasoned "hurado" on noontime variety program "It's Showtime," actor-dancer Jhong Hilario said he has seen great talents not being given the chance to shine because of prematurely getting the boot. Hilario hopes the same fate won't happen to the Filipino "pride" on "Idol."
"Nakakalungkot kasi pride din natin 'yan eh, pride ng Pilipinas 'yan. Magdasal lang tayo para sa kanya, at ipakita ang full support natin, kasi iba talaga 'pag nararamdaman ng tao na sinusuportahan siya, mas lumalakas ang loob, mas lalo niyang gagalingan para sa Pilipinas," he said.
Himself a Philippine represenative in the sport of rugby, "Showtime" host Eric Tai said the bottom three jolt served as wake-up call for support for Sanchez to intensify.
"She's doing so well right now, and lahat ng mga Pinoy worldwide, we support her with all our hearts. It's great to see Filipinos representing sa ibang bansa, especially in America," Tai said.
"The fact that she was voted down to the last three, we feel that she needs more support. And so we'll vote for her, we'll do everything we can para makapasok siya para maging winner talaga."
Sanchez will continue her bid to win the "Idol" crown next week. And with a double elimination looming after performance night, Filipinos here and abroad continue to rally behind the Pinay pride to prove the "save" expense worth it. -- with report from Obet Serrano, ABS-CBN News