Chula Vista rallies behind local 'Idol' contestant

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A week after hometown favorite Jessica Sanchez was nearly voted off of "American Idol," Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox urged her city to rally behind the 16-year-old singer in her quest to be a finalist on the popular show.

"Jessica is an amazingly talented young woman. Her poise, professionalism and stunning voice defies her young age. I am very proud she is not only representing Chula Vista but San Diego County and the entire West Coast," Cox said. "The time to support her is now. I encourage everyone to put signs of support on your car or in your business, or in your living room windows, host a viewing party, but most importantly, vote for our hometown favorite Wednesday evening."

Cox said she will be watching Sanchez at a viewing party at Oggi's Pizza and Brewing Company  Wednesday night. The event begins at 7 p.m. and is located at 2130 Birch Road in Chula Vista.

Sanchez is the youngest contestant on the 11th season of "American Idol." Last week, viewers voted her off the program, but the judges intervened, "saving" her so she could return this week. When viewers vote again, Cox hopes that enough San Diegans vote for the local favorite to keep her in the competition.

If Sanchez becomes one of the final three contestants, the show might come to Chula Vista for a hometown visit. That's what happened in 2009, when San Diego native Adam Lambert became an "American Idol" finalist.

"American Idol" airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on FOX5. Viewers can vote online at AmericanIdol.com, via Facebook, by text message or by calling a toll-free number listed during the show.