Pia Toscano in ‘American Idol’s’ top 9

Pia Toscano “nailed” another “American Idol” performance last week and has advanced to the top nine thanks to the votes of viewers.

On the Wednesday, March 30 episode, the 11 remaining contestants sang Elton John songs. Toscano selected “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” which she said is one of her favorite songs.

Before her performance, Toscano said she “was a little worried about doing another ballad” since the week before the judges suggested she do something different. But, she noted “if America keeps me around next week I promise you I’m going to get you all moving.”

The judges’ remarks made it clear that Toscano had nothing to worry about.

“Pia, you’ve done it again,” said Steven Tyler, adding that she “nailed” the performance. “That’s just about as good as it gets.”

Jennifer Lopez also had praise for Toscano, and said she felt Toscano was on the right track to take her performance to the next level.

“The notes take us to another worldly place. It’s crazy what you do with your voice up there,” Lopez said. “I felt you more than I have before. I feel you trying to break the barrier.”

Randy Jackson pointed out that Toscano “slays ballads every time” and that the judges were just trying to get her to switch gears.

“Everybody here knows that you can sing,” he said. “That was unbelievable once again.”

Lopez explained that the judges want Toscano to fill the stage more and work on the performance side of things.

“We all know how amazing she is,” Lopez said. “We just want to help get her to that next thing, that next color of performance.”

Jackson recommended that next week Toscano pick something more up-tempo so she can show the public she has a range. Jackson and Lopez both urged Toscano to surprise everyone next week with what she can do.

Backstage, Toscano said she felt it was a good performance.

“I had so much fun up there,” she added.

Although two contestants were eliminated during the Thursday, March 31 episode, Toscano was safe and will compete this week as part of the top nine.

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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