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The American Idol Live tour touched down in Newark, NJ this week, and for one of the Top 11 finalists, the show had a special significance.
“Just a year ago I was graduating high school and I had so many decisions to make,” said season 12 third placer Angie Miller from the stage. “You know, there was college, a full-time job, American Idol, and I just had no idea what to do. Eventually a friend convinced me to try out for American Idol and I tried out here in this very same room, back in section three. Over there!”
Miller was visibly moved as the New Jersey audience cheered the Beverly, Mass. native’s version of “Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J.
PHOTOS: ‘American Idol’ Season 12 Finalists’ Hometown Visits
“This is where it all started,” Miller continued. “It really is incredible being back here, and this song is the one that really started my whole journey on American Idol. It’s an original song that got me where I am today.” With that introduction, she sat behind the piano and launched into “You Set Me Free.” The power ballad had the crowd singing along to every word.
The Newark show had highlights aplenty from every Idol. Devin Velez proved to be a strong and engaging entertainer, whether as a group member crooning alongside Curtis Finch Jr. (who earns the Mr. Congeniality award for making an effort to connect with fans trying to get a good shot on their iPhones) and Burnell Taylor on Justin Timberlake‘s “Suit and Tie” or crooning in Spanish to his signature song, “It’s Impossible.” Velez also told a cute story about his audition, and how his mother was responsible for advising him to sing in his native language.
Janelle Arthur absolutely commanded every ounce of stage time she was afforded, and the triple country threat of Arthur, Paul Jolley and Kree Harrison on Rascal Flatts’ “Summer Nights” set the stage for the party early on. Harrison continues to shine on the tour, and her interpretation of “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes was a fine choice for her gorgeous set, which included a subtle and beautiful performance of her single, “All Cried Out.”
STORY: ‘American Idol’ on the Charts: Things Are Looking Up for Kelly, Carrie and Phillip
Lazaro Arbos elicited huge screams as he slithered, strutted and worked the stage on the slow-burner, “Feeling Good” and vamped it up on Lady Gaga‘s “Edge of Glory,” sung in a lower register with every word correct. Aubrey Cleland earned the tour MVP award as her presence on the stage (she’s all smiles on every number and waving to the kids in the upper sections) augmented every number. Not to mention, she worked her role on “The Cup Song” like a pro — tapping on the cup like she was born to do it.
Finally, Candice Glover was pure inspiration as she encouraged the audience to believe in their dreams. Three months after the season 12 finale, she’s perfected her performance of first single “I Am Beautiful.” Her new song, “In The Middle,” was all about having fun and she looked like she was having a blast performing it alongside Amber Holcomb. The pregnant finalist impressively rocked some sky-high heels earlier in the show on Rihanna‘s “We Found Love.”
Watch Miller’s performance in Newark below:
Twitter: @MicheleAmabile, @Idol_Worship
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