Angela Miller: She’s Why We Tolerate the Freak Shows to Watch American Idol

If there was ever a Top 40 hit right out of the American Idol Solo gate, Angela Miller was the dark horse who exploded onto the track. Her original number, “You Set Me Free”, accompanied by herself on the piano, literally rocked the judges back in their seats, and reminded American Idol audiences why they put up with the freak shows and keep on watching.

Angela, the girl from Salem, Massachusetts, with the long, softly curling brown hair and big eyes, received a standing ovation for the entire package. The beautifully written song. The voice that soared to passionate heights and feathered down to sweet, soulful softness. It was huge. It was awesome. And totally unbelievable for a mid-profile Idol contestant who was good enough to keep going through, but never eyed as a serious contender for the coveted Top Twenty. Until now. “She doesn’t need Idol,” my husband said. “She’s straight to the record company.” The judges agreed. Keith Urban said if the song was recorded right now he’d play it in his car. People would buy it. And this time, all the judges are in agreement. Oddly, Angela once said, “It’s not just about having a good voice. You really need to be the whole package.” And on this night, she came across totally gift wrapped and dazzling.

This Girl is on Fire“, sang Candice Glover from St. Helena, South Carolina. And she was. The huge voice with its Gospel presence poured on the coals, firing up Idol judge Keith Urban to call it “Just incredible” and “You took it and did your own thing with it in such a powerful way, it sounded like a massive big record. Just incredible.” Beforehand, Candice told Ryan Seacrest that she felt like this would be her year. It’s certainly her year to impress the judges and her audience.

Country singer Janelle Arthur’s performance of “I Told You So”, prompted Nicki Minaj to say, “I loved it that you always keep it subtle. You are a country superstar“. This was music to Janelle’s ears, who hales from Oliver Springs, Tennessee, and is back for her third season. She has been compared to a young LeeAnn, and Carrie Underwood, whose song she sang. I loved Janelle’s heart-strumming — and real — country performance.

Kree Harrison, a Texas native now living in Nashville, Tennessee, gave a great performance singing “Stars” in memory of her mother, who was killed in a car accident. This was several years after her father was killed in a plane crash. Channeling all this emotion through the song, Keith Urban was seen to be rubbing his arms. “You give me chills,” he said. “I’ve fought for you a few times, and I know why. Your voice is one of my favorites in the entire competition.” Mariah Carey said, “There is something that feels genuine about you in that performance. Nicki Minaj said, “I feel like you became a star in front of me,” adding another judge to her bandwagon of fans.

Kosovo native and war refugee whose parents won a “Green Card Lottery”, Melinda Ademi, a 19-year-old from Yonkers, was praised by Randy Jackson for being uptempo among a line-up of sad-sack singers with Jesse J’s “Price Tag”. Melinda had the judges and audience moving and bopping as she sang and Keith felt like she’d “picked the right song”. Afterwards, Melinda broke down in tears of joy as Ryan Seacrest petted her. “Ryan is so noble,” said my husband Mike. “He lets all these girls cry on his shoulder.”

On the night the girls premiered for Hollywood Week, Keith Urban said he would love for the winner to be a girl this year. With this much fem talent, he just might get his wish.

 Top 20 Girls:

Adriana Latonio, Amber Holcomb, Angela Miller, Aubrey Cleland,
Brandy Hotard, Breanna Steer, Candice Glover, Cristabel Clack,
Isabel Pasqualone, Janelle Arthur, Jenny Beth Willis, Jett Hermano,
Juliana Chahayed, Kamaria Ousley, Kree Harrison, Melinda Ademi,
Rachel Hale, Shubha Vedula, Tenna Torres, Zoanette Johnson

Top 20 Boys:

Bryant Tadeo, Burnell Taylor, Charlie Askew, Chris Watson,
Cortez Shaw, Curtis Finch, Jr., David Willis, Devin Velez,
Elijah Liu, Gurpreet Singh Sarin, Jimmy Smith, Johnny Keyser,
Joshua “Josh” Holiday, Joshua “Josh” Jada Davila,Kevin Harris,
Lazaro Arbos, Mathenee Treco, Nick Boddington, Paul Jolley,
Vincent “Vince” Powell


8 thoughts on “Angela Miller: She’s Why We Tolerate the Freak Shows to Watch American Idol

  1. When I received the email notice about this entry and saw the title, my reaction was YESSSS! I had written a note to myself that said, “Tell Linda I already think this girl will win.” And I do. I know it’s early to have a favorite, but this girl has everything required for massive success: Charisma, gorgeous voice, plays piano well, writes beautiful music and she’s VERY easy on the eyes. I loved Keith’s reaction.

    And Kes Ban is gone…FINALLY. Zoanette, too. Goodbye and good riiddance…I wish you both a happy life. Just not in my world. I was shocked that Brianna didn’t make it, but not shocked that Adam Sanders didn’t. He’s been off pitch since his first audition. I guess the judges finally noticed.

    ” ‘She doesn’t need Idol,’ my husband said. ‘She’s straight to the record company ‘.”

    I know what Mike means, but actually, she does. Adam Lambert spent eight years tying to get discovered, but it was the American Idol exposure that finally did it for him. It can only help Angela, too.

    I loved Kree, Melinda, Candace and Janel, too. Chuckled at the expression on Ashlee’s face when she didn’t go through. So shocked. O_O I really wonder what some of these contestants hear when they’re singing. It’s definitely not what the rest of us hear. With the possible exception of Nicki. * eye roll *


    • Yes, indeed, about Angela Miller. Awesome. But I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Zoanette made the top 20. For not singing anything like a song. Just banging on some drums, taking time out to talk to the band, and just doing some kind of words like dup dup ba dup. It ‘s a good thing there were so many really great girl singers to offset her, or viewers may have hanged the judges in effigy. We were all shocked and disappointed about Brianna. She was an early favorite. Yes, it was time for Adam Sanders to move on. He could sing well, but not consistently.

      I’m sure Mike understood Angela needed the exposure provided by American Idol, but from that one song onward, whether she ever sings on Idol again, record companies would be totally brain-dead not to beat down her door. But maybe they are, since they allowed Adam Lambert to peddle that awesome talent door to door for so many years without acknowledgement.

      Yes, I told Mike that surely once some of these singers who were so shocked at being cut – once they see themselves on television – surely they will hear what everyone else has. But a lot of these contestants are delusional and their family and friends do not do them any favors by encouraging them. In my own experience, I have twice heard young girls in church that had a sweet sound to their voices but couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. I was never one of the lying church members who praised them. I wanted to go up and tackle them because I was so embarrassed for them. Why can’t the family and friends of these contestants do the same. Well, at least I saw a couple of parents wince as they watched their daughter lose her keys – and I’m not talking automobile here.

      Maybe next time for Zoanette.

      • Holy cow! How did I miss that Zoanette got through? For what, comic relief? Love your description of her performance because it was exactly that.

        I agree that record execs would have to be brain dead (or deaf) not to recognize Angela’s potential. If she doesn’t win Idol and automatically get a recording contract, I’m sure another label with snap her up.

        I agree about situations like the children at your church. I really don’t understand why friends and family encourage contestants who many times can’t even carry a tune. Are these people tone deaf? Are they looking for their 15 minutes of fame by being on TV with the contestant? What? Why? It does such a disservice to the contestant and frequently makes them a laughing stock. Maybe they think that kind of attention is better than no attention. I dunno.

        I DO know though that there is a pre-screening process and surely whoever runs that knows good from bad. I can only assume when awful people get through, it’s purely for amusement purposes….or to make Nicki happy. Gosh, I’m so catty when it comes to Nicki. *smirk*

        A couple of years ago, I read a terrific article on line about exactly what happens during every step of the Idol application process up to and including the live shows. I think I savde the link somewhere and if I can find it, I’ll post it for you.

  2. Yes. I would love to read the article. As for Zoanette, I could hear your HOLY COW all the way down here in the Heart of Dixie. How’s that for communication. As for contestant hopefuls getting through for amusement purposes – I, for one, am not amused. It gets very tiresome year after year.

    And speaking of Adam Lambert, after your mention of him Mike and I got to talking about his totally chilling rendition of “It’s a Mad World” which he sang on American Idol. We had to check out YouTube to see if anyone had posted it. Bingo! So we saved it. We have heard his studio version and, though still awesome, we don’t think it holds a candle to his live performance. The studio version was too polished. When he sang it live, he felt it, you felt it. It was unforgettable.

  3. I had trouble with WordPress all day yesterday as I was writing the post. It took me hours to get the pictures in and I had to hit save every couple of minutes. When I did hit save, it just sat there trying to make up its feeble mind whether to do it or not. Mike checked out everything to make sure it wasn’t our server or computer. Nope. Just Word Press. Your comment should never have had to be moderated, unless Word Press got hinky about all the links. And thanks for those, and sorry for the inconvenience.

    Haven’t had a chance to look at them yet. Mike has been working on getting my Twitter account going. I’m not a Twitter fan, but started getting some hits from Twitterers, so we thought I’d better get with it. Naturally, there was trouble getting Word Press to accept the link button. It would do the job, but underneath it showed all the computer language for it. Mike finally quit butting his head against the stone wall and deleted it till he could find out what was making it do that.

    I was in the middle of replying to your last comment last night when it vanished (silly me didn’t take time to write it somewhere else and save it). And since it was after 10 p.m. here, I decided to call it a night and wait till morning. In answer to your question, Il Volo will suffice unless you have some you personally would like to share from Adam Lambert. By the way, have you compared his live performance with the studio performance of Mad World? Would like your take on it.


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