In an interview with ABS-CBNNews.com a few hours after Filipino-Mexican singer Jessica Sanchez placed second on singing competition American Idol (AI), Tony Award winner Lea Salonga expressed her thoughts on what's next for the young singer.

"I don't think anybody should feel sad," Lea is quoted as saying. "I mean, she has been watched by millions and millions and millions of viewers around the world, and that's exposure that you cannot buy. And she's very young, she's 16 years old, and she has a bright future."

The Broadway actress added that Jessica has made her family proud and that she should also be proud of what she's accomplished. "For so many people who just want to get their foot in the door, she's [already] gotten her whole self through the door."

She added that Jessica had done the best that she could with her voice and that controlling the voters was out of her hands. What she and AI winner Phil Phillips do after the show will become the true measure of their success. "You have Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar, and basically an incredible career for herself, and she's won Grammys, [she's] a movie star," she said.

"Just because you are proclaimed the titleholder, it doesn't always translate into long-lasting success," she also said. "Sometimes it's the runner-up that has the better career. I'm just being objective."

Among AI contestants who landed in second place and went on to create great careers for themselves in the industry are Katharine McPhee, who stars in TV series SMASH, and Adam Lambert, whose album Trespassing currently sits at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Jessica's first album may already be in the works. Fox News Latino reports that producer Tommy Mottola, husband of Mexican superstar Thalia, has been confirmed to work on her album. Some of the notable singers Mottola has produced in the past include Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan, and AI's very own Jennifer Lopez.

(Photo of Lea Salonga courtesy of PEP.ph; screencap of Jessica Sanchez via YouTube)

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