Pia Toscano advised to own the stage on ‘Idol’

Howard Beach’s Pia Toscano survived another week on “American Idol” thanks to a successful performance of Stevie Wonder’s “All in Love is Fair” during Motown week.

For last week’s March 23 episode, Toscano worked with music producer Harvey Mason, Jr., who she said helped her make the song her own.

“There’s just not singers like her anymore,” Mason said. “The quality of her tone, her voice, and her control puts her in the category of other great singers and that’s unique, special.”

Music executive Jimmy Iovine said that Toscano “was born with a great instrument” and described her as a powerful singer.

“Now it’s time to take all of her influences and turn it into her own voice,” he said during the episode.

After Toscano’s performance, the judges once again had positive words for her. Jennifer Lopez complimented her on the effortless way she hits the notes and called her “amazingly awesome,” while Randy Jackson said she was “phenomenal.”

“I think that right now you are the closest star in this ‘American Idol’ universe,” added Stephen Tyler. “You are all that, you will be all that. I hear it in your voice now. You’ve got it.”

The judges did offer Toscano some constructive criticism, as well.

Lopez, noting that Toscano “can have a career like Celine Dion,” said that she needs move more on stage and show that she can own it. After having done several ballads now, Jackson also encouraged Toscano to “bring something different” next time by doing a mid or up-tempo song. But they both expressed confidence that Toscano could meet their challenges.

“I know you can do it,” Lopez said. “We just need to see it.”

During the Thursday, March 24 results show, Toscano was voted into the top 10. However, the judges decided to use their “save” on lowest vote-getter Casey Abrams, which means all 11 contestants remained and will compete this week.

On Wednesday, contestants will sing the songs of Elton John as they try to earn the votes of viewers so they can stay on the show. And, there will be extra pressure as two people will be voted off instead of one.

To see how Toscano does this week, watch “American Idol” on FOX at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Voting, which can be done by calling, texting or online, begins at the conclusion of Wednesday’s episode with results being revealed the following night.

For more information, visit www.americanidol.com.

Some of Toscano’s “American Idol” performances are also available to download on iTunes.

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