Erika Van Pelt -- the 10th place finisher on this season's "American Idol" -- says Donna Summer gave her a huge leg up in her music career ... and now she wants to honor the Disco Queen's memory on the upcoming "A.I." concert tour.
Van Pelt tells TMZ ... she opened for the singer during a fundraiser in Dallas last summer ... and feels she owes a huge chunk of her success to the experience.
Erika says she wants to pay tribute by singing the Donna Summer classic, "On The Radio" during the "Idol" live tour ... but ultimately, it's up to the producers to sign off on the plan.
Van Pelt says she's already reached out to "A.I." honchos ... and now, she's crossing her fingers until the official lineup is announced.