By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — BEVERLY — A year ago and it would’ve been just another school night for Angela Miller — but last night, the Beverly High graduate learned on a live broadcast from Hollywood that she was one of the top two vote-getters on “American Idol.”
Miller beamed when Ryan Seacrest announced late in the show that she and Kree Harrison had received enough votes from the viewing public to stay on the show at least another week. But in a surprise move shortly thereafter, Seacrest announced that none of the four remaining contestants would be eliminated this week.
Seacrest explained that an extra week had been built into the show’s schedule ever since the “save” option had been introduced — an option whereby the judges, if unanimous, can once a season overturn the voters’ elimination of a contestant.
Since the judges hadn’t saved anybody this season, Seacrest said, there was no need to eliminate anybody from the show this week. The vote counts from this week will be added to next week’s tally.
Candice Glover and Amber Holcomb were the bottom two vote-getters. Seacrest did not divulge whether Miller had received the most or second-most votes.
The voting followed Miller’s appearance on Wednesday night’s show, when she performed “Who You Are” by Jessie J and “Cry Me a River,” written by Arthur Hamilton and popularized by Julie London.
Judges lavished her with praise after both songs. She was also lauded after she sang “Stay” by Rihanna with fellow contestant Candice Glover.
On last night’s show, critic Jimmy Iovine praised Miller for her song choices and performances.
“In my opinion, Angie won the night hands down,” he said. “The whole thing just seems like a winner.”
Later, Seacrest asked Mariah Carey what Miller needed to do to keep her momentum on the show, and Carey replied: “We all know everybody loves to see Angie at the piano.” She also encouraged Miller to “sing from your heart.”
Before results were announced, the four contestants performed the Alicia Keys song “Girl on Fire.”
Miller is the daughter of co-pastors at the Remix Church in Salem and lives on Essex Street.
Her brother is a member of the band Exiting the Fall. She turned down three music scholarships in favor of trying out for “American Idol” last fall.
The remaining finalists will perform again when Fox’s “Idol” airs Wednesday at 8 p.m.