By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — BEVERLY — Local favorite Angela Miller moved forward again on “American Idol” last night, making her just one of four contestants left on the talent show.
Miller’s surviving the cut indicated that the performances she gave on the show Wednesday night — including a rendition of The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand by You” that she dedicated to Boston in wake of the city’s marathon bombing — resounded as much with the viewing public as they did the judges, who unanimously praised her at the time.
The 19-year-old Beverly High School alumnus looked ecstatic when show host Ryan Seacrest announced that she was safe for another week. She then rushed over to hug fellow contestant Candice Glover, who was also safe. Contestant Janelle Arthur was later eliminated.
Miller didn’t get a chance to speak after being told she was had made it through another round of elimination, but during an earlier segment of the show, she seemed confident.
“I would love to be part of the top three, that would be insane,” she said.
Although there wasn’t much fresh commentary on Miller’s work last night, critic Jimmy Iovine did take a moment to say her “I’ll Stand by You” performance the night before had been “overemotional,” something he called Miller’s “Achilles’ heel.”
But Nicki Minaj felt differently.
“Jimmy has no idea what he’s talking about,” Minaj said. “How can you tell me that wasn’t a 10 out of 10?”
Miller also performed “Halo” by Beyonce to applause on Wednesday’s show.
Miller, the daughter of Guy and Tana Miller, co-pastors at Salem’s Remix Church, has already secured a spot on the American Idol LIVE! Tour 2013 this summer.
She delayed a skin graft operation that she needs to resolve issues with her eardrums and declined three music scholarships in favor of trying out for the show last September.
The finalists will next perform when “American Idol” airs on Fox on Wednesday at 8 p.m.