By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — BEVERLY — Angie Miller had another strong showing on “American Idol” last night, but she won’t know until tonight whether she’s made the show’s top three — or if she’s going to be performing Saturday in her hometown.
The 19-year-old Beverly High School graduate performed Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and George and Ira Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” during the live show, earning a mixture of accolades and criticism from the show’s judges as her parents looked on from the audience.
Despite the mixed reviews, it seemed likely that Miller would advance on the show, as she was one of the top two vote-getters last week. Those votes will be combined with this week’s votes to determine which contestants will move forward, since nobody was eliminated last week.
If Miller is successful, she and “American Idol” will come to Beverly on Saturday for a “hometown visits” segment that could feature an autograph session, live performance and a parade. Details for the event had yet to be formalized last night, but Beverly High Principal Sean Gallagher said the tentative plan was to have a parade somewhere downtown at 3 p.m. and then a mini concert at the high school — not Hurd Stadium, as was previously discussed — at 4 p.m.
Miller’s rendition of “Diamonds” opened the show last night. Judges commended her original take on the song but said they weren’t overly impressed.
“This actually seemed different than any of your piano performances that I ever witnessed,” Nicki Minaj said. “It was bland, it was lackluster, you can do a lot better.”
“I didn’t love it,” Randy Jackson said.
Mariah Carey said Miller was “playing to the camera” too much, and Keith Urban said the song didn’t allow Miller full use of her strengths.
The theme of the first half of the night was songs from 2013, whereas the second half was devoted to standard classics. Miller seemed more comfortable in the second round when she performed “Someone to Watch Over Me” — a song she said her mother often sang around the house.
“You sang it so beautifully,” Urban said afterward.
“If you can sing, you can sing anything, and this girl can sing,” Jackson said. “I want you to lead me, and you did that.”
“It was definitely better than the first performance,” Minaj said.
Miller and her fellow contestants, Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover, performed “Wings” by Little Mix to close the show.
Results will be announced when “American Idol” airs tonight at 8 on Fox.