By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — BEVERLY — Heartbreak!
Angie Miller was eliminated from “American Idol” last night, bringing to an end a dramatic ascent that began with her audition in September and saw her leap to the show’s top three.
Miller looked shocked after Ryan Seacrest announced that she had received the least amount of votes this week, a sentiment perhaps familiar to many on the North Shore. The elimination seemed particularly unexpected because Miller had been one of the show’s top two vote-getters as recently as two weeks ago — and because she had delivered such strong performances on Wednesday’s show.
Any disappointment on Miller’s behalf should be assuaged by her prospects for a long-term music career and her guaranteed spot on the Idols LIVE! tour this summer, to say nothing of the nationwide visibility she’s already built via the show.
In the end, it took just 13 words from “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest to end Miller’s journey: “The person who will compete against Candice in the finale ... is Kree Harrison.”
While the audience watched a recap of her appearances on the show, Miller wiped away tears and was consoled by Glover and Harrison.
“You had so many amazing moments on this show,” Seacrest said. “Congratulations on an incredible run.”
When it came time to perform her last song — a tradition on the show — Miller’s voice wavered and she was visibly upset as the music for “Never Gone” by Colton Dixon played behind her. The show ended with Miller embracing her family and the other two contestants while the credits rolled across the screen and the music continued to play.
The results followed Wednesday’s show, during which Miller received some of the most enthusiastic praise she’d gotten all season. The judges applauded her renditions of Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word,” Pink’s Try” and Emeli Sandie’s “Maybe.”
Her success for the first two performances was especially pronounced given she opted not to do them at the piano — a strength of hers that was often referred to on the show. The judges commended her for stepping outside her “comfort zone.”
But music producer Jimmy Iovine wasn’t as sure. Last night, before the results were announced, he said Miller won the first round of performances on Wednesday night — during which the women performed songs of his choosing — but that he’d deliberately assigned her an Elton John piece with a strong piano part, only to see her rely on a show musician to perform it.
“To me, that was a big mistake,” Iovine said. “Because of that, I gave her 9 out of 10.”
Also before the results were announced, Miller collaborated on a performance of “Who Says” by Selena Gomez with Glover and Harrison.
Less than an hour before last night’s show began, Miller tweeted that her family had gotten matching “Dream Big” tattoos — her brother on his head, her mother on her ankle and her father on his arm. Miller sports the tattoo on her back.