Jessica Sanchez: 7 Things you didn’t know about the American Idol runner-up

Jessica Sanchez turned heads when she introduced the country to her killer pipes on the 11th season of American Idol. While it’s been over a year since she dropped her debut album, the singer is now making a return to headlines with new music.

During a visit to her hometown of Chula Vista, Sanchez hopped on the phone with SheKnows and dished on her new single “This Love,” the important career lesson she’s learned from Ne-Yo and the one thing she wants to accomplish in 2015.

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1. “This Love” is a holiday gift for fans

“I’ve been working with this producer Mark J. Feist. He played this song for me and I absolutely fell in love with it. I’ve been working on a lot of songs with him in the studio and making sure everything is perfect and possibly working on a second album,” Sanchez shared with us. She said that she knows her fans have been anxiously waiting for something new, so she thought this song would serve as the perfect holiday treat.

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2. She’s overplayed one of her favorite Whitney Houston songs

When asked what her favorite karaoke song of all time is, Sanchez hesitated before offering a rather surprising response. “I don’t know if I could listen to it anymore, but that song — I listened to it like a million times,” she said in reference to Whitney Houston’s classic “I Will Always Love You.”

3. What she’s learned from Ne-Yo and co.

Ne-Yo played an important role in Jessica’s debut when he lent his vocals to her lead single “Tonight,” so it’s only natural that she tried to gain some wisdom from the R&B star. “I’ve met a lot of amazing people in the industry already, like Ne-Yo and Steven Tyler and J.Lo from Idol. I’ve learned a lot of things from all of them just by looking at their careers and seeing that they’ve come such a long way,” she said. Sanchez said it’s inspiring to see them still do as they please, even with their share of haters.

4. She has a total sweet tooth

Some of us have a natural craving for sweets, but Sanchez took her sweet tooth to a whole new level when she decided to help M&M’s Crispy celebrate a return back to store shelves after a 10-year hiatus. “Yesterday, I actually went Crispy caroling. I’d never gone caroling before, so it was pretty exciting,” she said. “We went and surprised fans in my hometown with Crispy M&Ms.”

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5. She doesn’t know how to drive

Sanchez is only 19 years old, so you can only imagine that the singer didn’t get the normal life a teenager is suppose to experience since she spent so much time with the American Idol machine. “I need to learn how to drive,” she admitted. “That was my last New Year’s resolution and I didn’t do it.”

6. She still gets nervous before performing

You’d think that Sanchez would be over stage fright at this point in her career, but the singer tells SheKnows that she still gets the jitters before performing. “I usually get really, really nervous before I sing, but then when I get on the stage, it’s like I’m at home,” she said.

7. Fame hasn’t really hit her yet

Asked about repping for her Filipino audience, Jessica admitted that they’re “more of the intense fans,” specifying that her trips to the Philippines always shock her because of how crazy they get. “It blows my mind because I’m 19-year-old Jessica, who sings for fun,” she said. “I just love singing, and it seems like a normal thing for me to be doing, and it’s crazy how people just go crazy when they see me. It’s really weird but cool.”