LOS ANGELES (AP/WPRI) - The Rhode Island woman who has sung her way into "American Idol's" top 10 is set to perform again.
Erika Van Pelt says she can't reveal which song she'll perform on the show Wednesday night, but all contestants will be singing Billy Joel.
The 26-year-old South Kingstown woman says being in fashion-conscious Los Angeles is a lot different than Rhode Island, where she can get away with jeans and a T-shirt. She says one of her most memorable experiences so far was a private party hosted by the rapper will.i.am.
In a new video, shared some fun facts about herself. In it she talks about how she's been a fan of American Idol since season one, and how everything is different from watching and being on the show.
"Life before Idol, was kind of sort of crazy for me, I owned a DJ business now for seven to eight years and singing full time with a band; so I am a full time working position; I'm used to working seven nights a week until three or four in the morning; I know that it is kind of rough but I feel like I have had navy seal training for Idol."
Singing has always been her first love, but didn't always pay off.
"I was a maid for a very long time; I was stopped by my boss one time because I was singing while I was scrubbing toilets in the bathroom; she couldn't understand why but she never heard me sing; she said you are out and she kindly told me to quit."
Erika's big break began at Walt Disney World.
"My journey started at the Hollywood Studios American Idol Experience in Orlando, Florida; I got a dream ticket that moved me up to the front of the audition line in Pittsburgh and here I am and it is happening."
The judges on the number one show in America love her.
"I have been a fan of American Idol since season one; I was old enough to remember when the first episode aired and I thought "how cool that they are doing a reality television show about amateur singers and giving them an opportunity to sing on a national stage that's awesome."
Being a Friday morning quarterback for Idol can be tough.
"I think everything is different between watching the show and being on the show; the amount of production that goes into the show is shocking to me."
Erika has to be on her "a" game for here to move on.
"The group is super strong; what sets me apart is the combination of my age and my life experience and years experience; gigging with the bands much as Elise, as we both do this is as work back home; we sort of have that experience."
Getting this far on American Idol would change some people, but not Erika.
"The biggest thing that has surprised me about myself and my personal journey is how much I don't know; been very humbled about his experience, yes, I am 26, yes, I am a professional singer although I sing with a band back home. I wanted to learned all there is in television and music I have never had real vocal coach; this is the first time; it was learning experience every day for me it like I am takeout an education out of this every day."
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