Queens has one of its owns to cheer for on “American Idol” as Howard Beach’s Pia Toscano has made it into the show’s group of top 13 contestants.
Viewers voted Toscano, 22, into one of the top positions following her performance of “I’ll Stand By You” on the Wednesday, March 2 episode of “American Idol.” The performance was met with positive feedback from all three celebrity judges, and earned Toscano the first standing ovation of season 10.
“I’ve been here 10 seasons. We’ve had some amazing performances here but let me tell you something; you just put yourself in the top with those amazing performers that have gone on to do amazing things,” veteran judge Randy Jackson told Toscano. “That was unbelievable.”
Fellow judge Steven Tyler agreed that it was “unbelievable,” adding that he thought it was “over the top” and “gorgeous.”
Jennifer Lopez also had positive words for Toscano.
“You know, Pia, I knew that you were a standout, but honestly I just feel like you were tricky because you were saving that, you were saving that for when it counts,” she said of the performance. “It was out of this world.”
During the results show the following night, Toscano, who has auditioned for the show before and made it to Hollywood week in season six, said that being there meant everything to her.
“I’ve dreamed of this since I was a little girl,” Toscano said. “To finally be in the top 24 is an amazing feeling. I hope I stay.”
Toscano’s wish came true as the results started and she secured a place in the top 13.
If the votes weren’t enough of an indication that viewers are supporting Toscano, it can also be seen on her Facebook fan page. One person posted, “Howard Beach and the world is behind you.”
A graduate of the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, Toscano has performed at Queens Courier events and sang the National Anthem before a New York Mets game. In addition to singing, she writes music.
“The fact that you can put a smile on someone’s face just from singing or your music, that’s a really good feeling,” Toscano told The Queens Courier in 2007.
This marks the second year in a row that a Queens resident has made it to the top in “American Idol.” Last year, Astoria resident Michael Lynche made it all the way to the top four contestants.
“American Idol” airs on FOX at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information, visit www.americanidol.com.