Here we are, encased in reality-competition finales.
The block right before this one looks at Sunday's "Celebrity Apprentice" finalists; the ones before that have my ranting about "American Idol." Now let's hear from Haley Reinhart, who was ousted (unfairly) from "Idol" Thursday; here's the story I sent to papers:
By MIKE HUGHES
Standing on the “American Idol”
stage this week were two kids and (musically speaking) an old soul.
“I've grown up around adult crowds,”
Haley Reinhart told reporters Friday. Now “Idol” has given her a
chance to rock onstage and be “a goofball” offstage.
Sure, Reinhart – ousted Thursday –
was only a few years older than Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina,
who will sing in the finals. But she's already done it all –
including silencing tattoo artists.
“It was my 9th birthday
and I got to sing at an international tattoo festival,” she
recalled. “They turned off the tattoo machines when I came on.”
Then she sang “Blue,” complete with yodeling.
That was almost a dozen years ago and
Reinhart has performed often since. She's sung in the Chicago area
with her parents' band (Midnight) and at the Montreux and Umbria
festivals in Europe with a high school jazz band.
She reached final-13 of “Idol”
alongside another jazz buff, Casey Abrams. “We could confide in
each other and have a different kind of connection,” Reinhart said.
What she couldn't do – at first –
was connect with the young audience. For each of the first two weeks
of viewer-voting, she was plunked into the bottom three.
That changed, Reinhart feels, when she
did “Bennie and the Jets” during Elton John week. “I started to
get into my own niche – the rock-blues-funk.”
She skipped the bottom three twice, was
back down there twice, then breezed through the next three weeks. On
Wednesday, Reinhart seemed at her best – especially when her dad
joined her, offering some guitar licks for one song. “He was on
Cloud Nine,” she said.
The next night, however, that ended.
Lauren Alaina, 16, and Scotty McCreery, 17, are going to the finals;
Reinhart, 20, is out.
Viewers seemed to see shock and despair
on her face, with none of the quick smiles and hugs offered by
others. Reinhart doesn't recall it that way. “I took a second and
thought, 'All right, all right – and guess what, I have to sing in
about five seconds.'”
Then she blasted “Benny” again.
Next comes the “Idol” tour and recording. “I would love to do
an album that is sultry, bluesy rock; I'd love to slip in some jazz.”
Hey, once you've yodeled for tattoo
guys, the rest is easy.
– “American Idol,” Fox
– Final performances by Scotty
McCreery and Lauren Alaina are 8-9 p.m. Tuesday
– Results show is 8-10 p.m.
Wednesday; shows are one night earlier than usual, to catch the
official end of the Nielsen ratings season