The American Idol Live! tour winds down later this month, hitting up the last handful of cities before season 11's Top 10 take their final bow in Milwaukee on September 11th.
This past July, a few hours before she was set to hit the stage in San Jose, Calif., Erika Van Pelt sat down with me for a quick chat about the tour, the challenge of taking on theme weeks and showcasing her individuality, and which of the judges she valued feedback from the most throughout season 11 of American Idol.
How’s the tour been going so far?
Really well, we’re having a fantastic time. First couple shows we worked out a few of the bugs, but overall it’s been really fantastic.
So, DeAndre [Brackensick] was just in here bragging about you.
[Laughs] I love that boy.
He said that his favorite moment during the show is your performance of “Glitter in the Air.” How did you decide on that song to perform during the tour?
This was actually a pretty easy decision for me. I did “Glitter in the Air” as my first solo during Hollywood Week. I think about 10 seconds of it aired on the show, [and I] got a lot of good feedback. I consider P!nk to be completely my style. I feel like she’s got R&B chops, but she sings [this] rock, sort of R&B crossover. That’s my style, pretty much to a T.
I don’t feel like I got to show my style on the show, because of how regimented it was. So for tour, when they gave me the opportunity, I was like, “I’m singing P!nk. I’m doing this song.” Lyrically, it means a lot to me. I connect with the words. It allowed me a moment that I never got to have on the show. It’s me, and a guitar, and a piano. And that’s it.
As you mentioned, the show is very structured, like “Here’s this week, here’s what artist you’re going to sing.” How does that make you feel as an artist going into this show where you want to show your individuality, but you’re kind of stuck in this box, where you have to tackle the given theme week and you want to show what you’re capable of without disrespecting the original artist in any way? How did you find that balance while you were on the show?