Haley Reinhart

Haley: A sultry old soul, ready to rock


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.

Two-teen "Idol"? That's one too many


1) OK, I'm really bummed about this: On tonight's "American Idol," I just heard Nicole Scherzinger sing (quite often), "Dance with your body." What, exactly, is the alternative? Dance with your luggage?

2) OK, that's not really what I'm the most bummed about. Lauren Alaina, a likable person with terribly average talent, gets to be this year's "American Idol" runner-up.

3) But really, once you've told people to dance, why would you feel you had to specify "with your body"?  Wouldn't that be assumed?

Two-teen "Idol"? That's one too many


1) OK, I'm really bummed about this: On tonight's "American Idol," I just heard Nicole Scherzinger sing (quite often), "Dance with your body." What, exactly, is the alternative? Dance with your luggage?

2) OK, that's not really what I'm the most bummed about. Lauren Alaina, a likable person with terribly average talent, gets to be this year's "American Idol" runner-up.

3) But really, once you've told people to dance, why would you feel you had to specify "with your body"?  Wouldn't that be assumed?

"Idol" finale? I'll guess Haley and Scotty


Who would have guessed this, back when "American Idol" voters dumped five straight females? And when Haley Reinhart seemed to be living in the bottom three?

Who would have imagined that Reinhart would now seem headed toward the final two?

That's the way I see it, anyway. Some thoughts about tonight:

OK, I was WAY wrong


This time, my "American Idol" prediction was way off.

I really did think James Durbin would win; unstead, he finished fourth. That's the Chris Daughtry spot, the spot for Michael Lynche, Allison Iraheta, LaToya London and Tamyra Gray; some strong talents have ended up there.

But why Durbin? Why would a guy who had it all -- extreme talent, fairly good looks and hard-luck story -- fall short?

A semi-inspired evening


Imagine that a great singer -- one with passion and power -- is given a wide-open request: Sing something that inspires you.

The result should be soul-shattering. On "American Idol," however, it is often merely kind of good. That was true tonight, just as it was four years ago, during the first inspiration night.

Casey Abrams: No romance, but fun future


OK, this has been a busy time. Here's a quick-turnaround interview with Casey Abrams, which I just sent to papers. Right behind that, you'll find another "American Idol" name (a brief Kris Allen story), then my royal ramblings and then a couple "Idol" commentaries. Life gets oddly crowded sometimes; here's Casey:

 By MIKE HUGHES

Casey Abrams' life seems to be fine now
– but not in the way “American Idol” fans think.

"Idol": Flashy singers, pretty judges, heavy metal


OK, it's lucky Jennifer Lopez remembered to have hair tonight.
"American Idol" made a big thing about People magazine naming her the
most beautiful woman in the world, with lots of close-ups.

Fortunately,
she looked pretty good -- Paula Abdul good, Steven Tyler good -- so
that was OK. Some nights, she kind of forgets and piles her hair up in
the air, barely becoming the most beautiful woman in the deli line. A
few comments:

"Idol": Sometimes, just ignore the judges


A couple years ago, Paula Abdul told Scott MacIntyre he should skip the piano sometime and just stand and sing.

It was a reminder of a prime rule of "Idol" survival: Sometimes, you just have to ignore the judges.

MacIntyre
(profiled in the previous blog) mostly ignored them; he needed that
piano to stay in his comfort zone. This year, Karen Rodriguez sort of
followed a suggestion; she promptly became the second person voted out this
season.