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Erika Van Pelt Reaches for ‘Heaven’ on ‘American Idol’

Erika Van Pelt

Born in 1985, Erika Van Pelt had a lot of great songs to choose from for this week’s ‘American Idol‘ performance. Ultimately, she made a great choice with ‘Heaven’ by Bryan Adams. Jimmy Iovine and agreed, but in the end, did she do too much with the classic?

‘Heaven’ showcased Erika’s full voice well, and she started off strong. Looking great in black and flowing through a misty stage, she was able to follow through on some of the song’s long notes. The full body of her voice was sustained throughout the song, but she faltered a bit on the rhythm toward the end. It seemed like she wanted to add some vocal gymnastics to the performance, but it ended up throwing her off a bit.

Steven Tyler caught on to this, saying that she was “too busy all over it.” He ultimately gave her the approval, telling her “I still like your voice,” but he wasn’t entirely supportive of the direction she took. Jennifer Lopez was a little more forgiving, calling Erika “this year’s Janis Joplin,” but echoing Steven in saying that she didn’t like the arrangement. She added that Erika “looked amazing,” and that she’s “coming together in the best way.” Randy Jackson gave the performance “a nice eight out of 10.” He agreed with the other judges that when you have a classic song like that, you should let it speak for itself.

Were the judges too hard on Erika? Was she too ambitious with the song? It seems like her ambition can’t count too hard against her, and if her biggest problem is in knowing when to scale it back, she’ll go a long way.

Watch Erika Van Pelt Perform ‘Heaven’ on ‘American Idol’

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