Music News: Did American Idol sabotage Angie Miller?

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So if you were following American Idol this season, you know that Queen Angie Miller was wrongfully eliminated just before the finale, leaving the talented but yawn-inducing Candice Glover and Kree Harrison to limp towards the finish line.  Naturally, I was enraged, but HEY – the best person doesn’t always win these competitions and I can accept that.  What I cannot accept, however, is shady behind-the-scenes bull—-.  And I think the American Idol producers have some explaining to do.

Angie may not have been competing in the finale, but she still got her fair share of screen time, including an awesome duet with British pop star Jessie J (I’ve never used the word “awesome” to describe Jessie J before, but I really enjoyed the performance so I’m just going to go with it).  Afterwards, Ryan Seacrest announced that Angie’s original song, “You Set Me Free,” which she so brilliantly performed during auditions, would be available for download on iTunes after the show.  Huh.  So, even though this would put Angie’s single in direct competition with the winner’s single, they were still going to let her release it.  Seemed a bit odd, but I was so excited for Angie, I didn’t think much of it.  But as soon as the show drew to a close and Candice was crowned the winner and cruelly forced to ugly-cry her way through her mediocre new single, “I Am Beautiful,” the American Idol producers’ true intentions were revealed.

First, “You Set Me Free” was listed on iTunes under Angie Miler, with one L.  It could have been an honest mistake (in which case, iTunes, punish yourself), but it sure did make her single hard to find after the show.  Eventually, the misspelling was corrected, but then something even stranger happened: “You Set Me Free” wasn’t visible on the iTunes charts.  Fans quickly caught on to this problem and started tweeting Angie (who ironically just tweeted that she was hoping to wake up and see the song in the top 100), but she didn’t know what was going on either.  Eventually, Angie revealed that “You Set Me Free,” for reasons unexplained, would not be eligible to chart on iTunes period.  Hmm, could it be that the American Idol producers were afraid of Angie outshining their new winner and runner-up?  It certainly seems that way.  And I guess they were right to worry, because if you look at the numbers, it’s pretty clear whose single is resonating with the general public.

I’m so glad that we got to hear the full version of “You Set Me Free” – it’s a fantastic song, miles better than Candice’s paint-by-numbers inspirational ballad, but the American Idol producers should be ashamed of themselves for pulling this ridiculous stunt and for not being forthright with Angie.  It just makes them (and the show) look petty, sneaky, and insecure.  It’s OK, though – with her girl-next-door good looks and beautiful voice, I have a feeling Angie will have the last laugh.

Stream “You Set Me Free” via YouTube below and support Angie by downloading the song on iTunes!

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Video: Angie Miller slays “Halo” live on American Idol

I’ve re-committed myself to American Idol this season in a big way.  I haven’t missed a single episode.  I’ll admit, I had some serious doubts at the outset of the season that a girl could ever win the competition again (I was half-expecting the adorable but horrible Lazaro Arbos to take it all the way), but the producers pushed their pro-girl agenda hard enough and here we are, with 5 (err, 4, sorry Janelle Arthur) insanely talented girls left standing.

Out of the remaining contestants, Angie Miller is my favorite.  She doesn’t have the strongest voice (that title belongs to either Candice Glover or Kree Harrison), but there is a beautiful clarity to her vocals that I just can’t get enough of.  Plus, she seems like a total sweetheart and I love her big bug eyes.  Last night, the girls were asked to select a “diva” song for their second performance of the evening and Angie chose Beyonce’s now iconic ballad, “Halo.”  It was a bold move that paid off in spades as she effortlessly maneuvered through all of the song’s big emotional belts and tricky falsetto runs.  She brought the house down near the end with some passionate ad-libbing which truly (wait for it) made the song her own.  I would buy Angie’s debut album in a heartbeat.  I truly think she has the most commercial voice left in the competition.

So the big question is: will Angie make it to the finale?  It’s hard to say.  At this point, Candice and Kree seem to be the favorites (while America continues to pay Amber Holcomb dust despite her impressive vocal range), but if Angie keeps turning in powerhouse performances like last night, I think she could be a surprise entry into the final two.  Check out Angie’s stellar performance of “Halo” above and let me know what you think in the comments!