By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — BEVERLY — “American Idol” viewers have been so dazzled by Angela Miller’s performances so far that she’s not only staying on the show — she’s been voted one of its top three contestants.
After the show’s 10 finalists performed on Wednesday — Miller sang Celine Dion’s “I Surrender” — the viewing public voted to determine which nine would advance to the next round. Those results were announced on last night’s show.
Host Ryan Seacrest also announced which three of the contestants had received the most votes — Candice Glover, Kree Harrison and Angela Miller — but would not reveal their order. He also didn’t divulge Miller’s nationwide vote count, saying only that she had won 17 percent of the vote in Florida and that contestant Lazaro Arbos had beaten her there.
Arbos is from Florida.
Before the top 10 became the top nine, finalists performed “Shine Your Way” from the upcoming film “The Croods,” and music producer and guest mentor Jimmy Iovine offered a brief take on Wednesday’s show. Iovine called Miller a “real talent,” but said her “I Surrender” performance “wasn’t as great as some of the judges thought.”
Miller is an 18-year-old Beverly High School graduate and the daughter of Tana and Guy Miller, co-pastors at the Remix Church in Salem. Her brother is a member of the band Exiting the Fall.
Miller’s success is all the more impressive given that she suffers from 40 percent hearing loss in her left ear and 20 percent loss in the right, a condition that stems from a missing protective covering on her eardrums. She has put off a skin graft surgery until after the “American Idol” competition because airplane flights could be painful.
In a previous interview with The Salem News, Miller said her condition “definitely makes it harder to sing.”
“I can hear myself fine, but the music and everything else around me can be difficult to hear,” she said. “I’ve learned to work with it over the last few years.”
Fox’s “American Idol” will air next on Wednesday at 8 p.m.