BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — BEVERLY — Angela Miller has impressed the judges so far on “American Idol.” Now the Beverly resident will find out how she is perceived by “America,” as the vast “Idol” television audience is often called.
The 18-year-old Miller will perform live tonight in Las Vegas as “American Idol” moves into the stage where the viewing public, not the judges, decides who advances in the singing competition.
After live performances tonight and tomorrow by the 20 singers who have made it this far, the 10 finalists will be announced on the show Thursday night.
Miller’s sudden fame has thrilled many in her hometown, including at Beverly High School, where last year at this time she was rehearsing for her role as Miss Dorothy Brown in “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
“We’re all excited,” Beverly High Principal Sean Gallagher said. “I think it’s because we all know her as a person, and she’s easy to rally behind because she’s a great person. As talented as she is, we always say she’s a better person.”
When Miller was home for a few days last week, she stopped by the high school to visit with friends, teachers and school officials.
“In her sophomore year, she was one of our office aides,” Gallagher said. “When I heard she was coming, I said, ‘Great, we can have the ‘American Idol’ answer our phones.’”
As word spread of Miller’s presence at the high school, some elementary school parents drove their kids there to see her and take pictures.
Miller has received rave reviews from the show’s celebrity judges for her first three performances. The judges were especially impressed when she sang and played piano on “You Set Me Free,” a song she wrote herself.
At one point, judge Randy Jackson said, “I think America is witnessing the building of a superstar.”
Miller is the daughter of Tana and Guy Miller, who are co-pastors at Remix Church in Salem.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.