American Idol Recap: Oh But She's Weird and She's Wonderful

Regardless of your contestant allegiance heading into the American Idol Top 3 results-show telecast, there were reasons to celebrate by the time the credits stopped rolling and the season finale of [cue imitation of Fox voiceover guy] Bohhhhhhhnzzzz [end imitation of Fox voiceover guy] began.

Fans of country music, the vitality of youth, plaid shirts, denim jackets, sparkly cowboy boots, the Make a Wish for Nigel Lythgoe Foundation, and the act of locking them doors and turning the lights down low had to be psyched to learn that the Season 10 finale will be a battle between 17-year-old Scotty McCreery and 16-year-old Lauren Alaina, the youngest teen-vs.-teen finale in the history of the franchise. (Fantasia and Diana De Garmo were 19 and 16 respectively when they squared off back in Season 3.)

Folks who get their thrills from railing against the horrors of the major-label music machine had plenty of outrage to feast on after abysmal performances by Italian trio Il Volo and some kind of flightless bird with a twitch in her tailfeather and a limited grasp of the English language.

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‘Hello,’ and Gordon Ramsay’s Bad Behavior

And finally, Haley Reinhart supporters (like myself) got as close to a happy ending as I suppose we could’ve realistically expected. Yes, the plucky underdog who spent four of the first seven weeks of the Season 10 finals mucking around in the Bottom Three will end her Idol run having taken the stage and singing (often brilliantly) in all 13 weeks of the live-performance rounds (if you count next Wednesday’s finale, that is). Like a salmon swimming upstream and dodging the vicious claws of grizzly bear Randy Jackson and the gallons of pollutants dumped by toxic she-beast Jennifer Lopez, Haley made what has to be the most sensational (and artistically satisfying) come-from-behind run in Idol history. I’d also argue she scored more “Idol Moments” than any other contestant this season: “Bennie and the Jets,” “Moanin’,” “You and I,” “House of the Rising Sun,” “I (Who Have Nothing),” “What Is and What Should Never Be,” and “Rhiannon.”

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And in what felt like a love note to the fans who watched her grow from awkward, slurry cannon fodder to a poised and confident musical risk-taker, Haley turned what could’ve been a tearful exit performance into a moment of pure triumph.

It took a second for Haley to register the blow of hearing Ryan Seacrest crown Scotty and Lauren as the Top 2 vote-getters among the 95 million ballots cast; her initial facial expression was that of a woman who’d just been struck in the gut with a two-by-four (while gleeful malevolence flashed oh-so-briefly in J.Lo’s eyes). But The Growler quickly shook off her disappointment, grabbed the mic, and tore the lid off Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” with such pitch-perfect gusto that I honestly forgot there were still two finalists up on the stage, waiting for Mr. Host Man to reiterate the details of their matchup for next Tuesday night.

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I loved the riff Haley inserted into that “Bennie! Bennie and the j-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-ehts” after she leaned backward and shimmied down the steps toward the judges. I loved how she changed up the lyrics on the fly to include the judges’ names (“Oh Randy and J.Lo have you seen ‘em yet? Oh but they’re so spaced out. Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-Bennie and Ste-ven.”) I loved how she worked her way out into the audience and had herself a little hootenanny with the rest of season 10’s fallen finalists. And best of all was the way Haley held on to her final note, then gave an impromptu monologue while Ray Chew and his band jammed on: “Oh baby you’ll be seein’ me! This ain’t the end of this! This ain’t the end of this thing! Shin-dig! See ya later!” Haley then rushed into the arms of her dad, who’d jammed so brilliantly with her the night prior on Led Zeppelin’s “What Is and What Should Never Be,” hugged her mom, and then blew kisses and repeatedly gave the “eyes on you” hand gesture into the camera. Dare I say Haley’s final “Bennie” equaled Allison Iraheta’s “Cry Baby” as the most rousing and celebratory exit performance in Idol history?

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The catharsis of Haley’s final performance was absolutely necessary, seeing how Nigel Lythgoe & Co. did absolutely nothing during Thursday night’s telecast to create any suspense about the inevitability of the Lauren-Scotty ’11 ticket. (What? Make America doubt in the veracity of his storyboard?) Heck, Haley’s ouster was foreshadowed in the opening minutes of the show, when Jimmy Iovine declared that she only had a shot at the finals if the public gave her perfect 10s for all three of her Wednesday-night performances, and then added, “I have a clear prediction for the finale: There’ll be a guy in it.”

Of course, if you needed any further confirmation that Haley was a goner, the editing of the hometown visits should’ve pretty much sealed the deal.

* Haley’s rainy trek back to Chicago was played more for comic relief than tears. “Oh! This is ours? [Bleep!]” cried Haley, as she nearly walked past the stretch limousine that ferried her to her various engagements. There was also a cute, extended shtick about whether or not Haley’s burly bodyguard would get teared up along with the contestant as she hit her high school, attended her parade (with the President of  Wheeling, IL), and then hit Arlington Park racetrack to jam out with her mom, dad, and sister for a crowd of 30,000. Still, I couldn’t believe Nigel Lythgoe paid off Mother Nature to ensure a rainstorm and sabotage Haley’s homecoming. Best two Haley-isms from the package? “Holy shikeys” and “Thank you for freakin’ out.”

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* Scotty’s hometown visit was definitely the most emotional, and may have added another layer of inevitability to his Season 10 win. I got choked up myself watching Scotty quietly in a limousine as it pulled away from a raucous reception at his school. Plus, we got lots of tearful hugs with Scotty’s mom, a duet with “Your Man” singer Josh Turner, and a quote that drove home an important point — by golly, Scotty really is in it to win it: “I’m gonna work my tail off to win this thing and bring it home to Garner!”

* Lauren made me chuckle when she cried, “It wasn’t me! I swear!” as police sirens heralded the arrival of her limo. Of all the hometown visits, I thought Lauren’s featured the most flattering musical clip, with a booming vocal performance of “Anyway.” We also got Lauren taking in storm and tornado damage in her native Georgia, even visiting an adorable 11-year-old named Tyler Long, who’d rescued his family from the rubble of their home.

But here’s the thing: Even though I was rooting for a Scotty-Haley finale, even though I think Lauren is a talented kid who’s still a few years away from being ready for this jelly, and even though there’s a part of me that needs a shot of Pepto-Bismol to quell the storm in my stomach from seeing Uncle Nigel get the outcome he’s wanted since Episode One of the season,  I’ve got to give credit to Scotty and Lauren for giving consistently solid performances for the bulk of the season. However, if there’s anything these kids take from our last two booted contestants (Haley and James Durbin), I’m hoping it’ll be a penchant for taking more artistic risks. The judges this season have relentlessly talked up the notion of staying in one’s lane, but everyone knows if you want to get places in life, you’ve got to be ready to zig, zag, and maybe even take your vehicle off road.

Anyhoo, with all that out of the way, let’s dish the evening’s limited musical performances.

Il Volo: “‘O Sole Mio”
Wait. Idol found time to foist these cheese-covered corn chips on the viewing public, but couldn’t spare five minutes this season for performances from super-talented Idol alumni like Melinda Doolittle, Carly Smithson, Casey James, David Archuleta, Kris Allen, Mandisa, Michael Johns, Elliott Yamin, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai, Jason Castro, Brooke White, Didi Benami, Blake Lewis, or Bo Bice? Oh, and I’m knocking them down from a C- for that post-commercial posturing with Randy Jackson. Grade: D+

Nicole Whozeewhatzit and Half a Dollar: “Right There”
Honestly, girlfriend lost me with the hideous grammar of her opening line: “Me like the way that you hold my body”? Um, no. I know I’m going to sound like Old Man River here, but if this is what’s passing for a song nowadays, then Scotty, Lauren, and Haley have a tough road ahead. Grade: D

Haley’s “Bennie and the Jets” Sing-Out (See above description.) Grade: A+

Finally, I’d like to hand out an ‘F’ to whoever made the “In It to Win It” poster trumpeting Randy’s most irritating critique — without fashioning it to support any contestant in particular. Until next week…

How are you feeling about the Scotty-Lauren final two? Who are you rooting for? Who is most likely to win it all? What did you think of Haley’s ouster? Did you see it coming? Did her sing-out make you more or less of a fan? Can you imagine buying her post-Idol music? And will you watch next week’s finale? Sound off in our poll below, then hit the comments; and for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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757 Comments
  1. Abby says:

    So what’s your final grade for Haley’s performance?

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Good point, Abby! I added a grade!

      • happy says:

        Grades? No! Just give her a streaking comet — she was a little ball of fire streaking past us.

        • MedicIdol says:

          After the elimination of the best performer (James) and singer (Haley) in consecutive weeks this paramedic will not be spending his downtime on his shift next week watching Idol.

          No suspense is left. Newsflash; Scotty is going to win. He will sing 9 out of 10 notes correctly (with a horribly flat note mixed in now and again) and throw in a bunch of eyebrow raising. I’m just Lawen is going to cry while wearing a garish outfit and put her hand on Ryan’s shoulder. Randy will make many obnoxious and nonsensical comments. (Question: If a jerk makes a stupid comment and no one is around to hear it is he still in it to win it?)

          Metal and the Growler live on.

          • lesharon says:

            Paramedics Rule!

          • flower says:

            Totally with you there Medicidol. My viewing of AI this season is done. Scotty will win. At least if it was Scotty vs Haley, there was a chance of toppling Scotty with Haley’s talent. But Lauren toppling Scotty? No way.

          • Snsetblaze says:

            Agreed Medicidol. I did not watch last night. I won’t watch next week. I find I don’t enjoy the program anymore so why bother. And my wallet is closed for both the winner and runner up.

          • june says:

            My top 20 thoughts on the season and AI:
            1. I became an Adele fan because of Haley. Loved her “Rolling in the Deep.”
            2. I can’t remember one song that Lauren sang. Oh wait, bad Miley Cyrus song and some Disney movie song. Nothing that showed great talent as an artist, but she definitely has a nice voice.
            3. Scotty’s “Gone” was the first time he really changed it up. Glad he has dropped the flute hold and hope he limits the weird eye moves.
            4. Lost a ton of respect for JLo. Would never buy her music now or anything else that would promote her or make her a dime.
            5. A.I. has made a ton of money for performers (and judges)who come on the show exemplifying how easily swayed the American public is.
            6. A.I. remade JLo’s career, but she has done a good job of re- remaking herself as a first class B…ch.
            7f. Randy continues to deem himself worthless as a judge. I don’t understand AI’s interest in him.
            8. Steven was irrelevant for the middle part of the top 11, but came on in the end.
            9. Steven has introduced himself to an entire new generation of fans.
            10. There were some really talented singers on the show. Too bad they couldn’t make it to the finals. The two are fine.
            11. I don’t understand all the love for Lauren. She is all about Lauren. Enough said, I don’t want to get into it. She is a young girl. One of my favorites at the beginning, but…
            12. Will not watch next week. Too boring. May TIVO it to see the ending… haven’t decided on the TIVO yet.
            13. This season really showed the manipulation by the producers of the show. Totally turned me off.
            14. Will not waste my time (or my family’s) to invest in watching Season 11. I have spent 3 days deciding this so it is not a knee jerk reaction.
            15. Voting system is just too wrong. Would be much more accurate if one person one vote. Then the contestants would know what America really thinks. That is what happened in the Taylor Hicks Season. Nice guy, good singer, but not necessarily the mot appropriate singer.
            16. People who are really into idol are country music fans.
            17. Good luck to many of the kids on the show.
            18. Past Idol contestants are in demand to sing the National Anthem at events.
            19. Haley is one of the most misunderstood contestants they have ever had on the show.
            20. I have also spent 3 days deciding that I will buy Haley’s music…and Adele’s,now.

          • julie says:

            My 14 year old daughter wouldn’t be caught dead in the pageant dresses little Lauren from the South wears. We live in Minnesota and have way more fashion sense than that.

          • TheShow says:

            1. Yes, sadly they painted Haley into being one of the least understood contestants ever. (The cynical side might say to get a ratings boost for a few weeks from drama while also giving her just enough negatives to not be able to knock off all of their chosen few. Although some of it was also definitely just people very poor at reading expressions an vibes and seeing the entire scene and understanding certain personalities.)

            2. To quote from a post similar to many other on one the big entertainment news blogs: “Haley was very good but she knew it and was too sexy and I don’t think she qualifies as an American Idol.But good luck Haley !”

            So jealous and insecure people can’t handle an attractive female who has talent, wit, self-confidence especially if she is getting an opportunity they are jealous over.

            Oh dear, heavens to betsy, a sexy talented girl who also has some confidence and dares to stand up for herself against a manipulative beat down (and it’s not even like she barely said anything anyway!) doesn’t deserve to be an idol! Never mind if was the most interesting and was singing the best or had the kind of quality a star needs.

            3. Speaking of the latter (it factor) a long time entertainment reporter who met all three said that Haley was so captivating live, far more so than it comes across on the Idol TV broadcasts, and that her it factor just towered over the other two in person and that he’s been doing this for years and she was the one who he saw that spark that people who go onto success in this sort of business have.
            He said that while Scotty’s muggings, for those who go for that sort of over the top thing, worked well on TV and maybe gave him the stronger TV presence he actually had the worst live audience stage presence by far of the three (and someone else said Josh Turner’s presence made him almost disappear at the home town concert).

            4. We also get the clear feeling that only Steven Tyler of three was haunted and disturbed that Haley didn’t make the finale. What does that say about the judging skills of the other two when they seem to be fine with the one with the most musicality going home and, very oddly, even the other two gave her best of the night a few times recently so then why would they not think she should be in the finale? Something doesn’t add up.

            5. We do know that Randy for sure and also JLo eventually definitely judged various contestants to very different standards and would often say contradictory things to those not in the seeming chosen few and sometimes even within a single night praise one thing for one set of contestants while damning another set for the exact same thing.
            So we do know the judging was awful whatever was behind it.

            6. It’s funny how Randy goes on with the lame she didn’t know who she was, bad song, bad song, not the right song for her and yet who got the most standing O’s this season? Who got performance of the night the last four weeks straight? Ironic to is that the song they said was her performance of the night this week was the one SHE picked and the one Randy liked the least was the one they picked (although perhaps they meant well and thought she’d tap into the anger of it but the producers would also have to think a week after some started calling her a bratty b do you want to give her that song and as the last one of the night when you gave Lauren a sweet song?)!

            And even when the MTV reporter pressed and pressed him he still wasn’t able to say a single bad thing about her voice or talent just harped on the silly not know who she is. Which I think is just code for she was not our chosen pick or we are too dumb to imagine easily marketing anything but a cute country kid at this point (and similar for past seasons).

            7. You gotta love how when Randy was in the MTV studio, while trying to say they were not dissing Haley or tossing her under the bus, heard Haley’s Bennie and the Jets start playing he had no clue who what was playing! What is that? Who is that? And then when told who it he started laughing as if it were ridiculous that MTV would care about Haley and he just kept looking stunned and laughing to hear that people there were in her corner there. Then he kind of insulted her with wait is that Elton, that isn’t Elton, that’s not Bennie and the Jets! And then when he talks about how much they love her and did try to ‘support’ her he starts calling her Casey!
            Yeah not trying to toss her under the bus right….

            And then he adds that well you know the only thing that even saved her from elimination was what we did to PO her fans. (even if true for that week it also made it hard for her to bring in a ton of new supporters the next week and got many James fans all crying about stolen votes and if it really was purely manipualtion for her good and they wanted her to make final two then a lot of other stuff doesn’t seem to fit that story line).

            Also curious why they re-shot her charming down to earth clip with her tanking her fans and put her all movie star looking alone in a limo and with a fake reaction to the song choice text.

            8. It is hard to figure out what exactly was going on. Is Randy just that clueless? Was he working on script? Why did JLo get harder and harder on Haley, script as well? Too in love with James to dare risk him getting kicked off by anyone else?? Why did JLo flick her up back and up toward the producer’s area and then grimace an I’m sorry sort of luck for an instant after she praised Haley at top 6 round and why was she acting so frantic and looking at notes and the other judges and seeming nervous before praising Haley so much? I mean probably it was nothing but I did notice the weird eye toss and grimace she gave after the praise and it was sooo weird and seemed so disconnected with what was going on I had no clue why she did that weird thing out of the blue, although now some say she looked in the direction of the producer, but even if so we can never know what it was really about, innocent or not.

            Sometimes they seemed to be helping her and other times just killing her chances.

            Do they really think the final two they got works out better than had they had the underdog rises up in stunning fashion to make the finale and her vs the country kid?? All genres covered versus one. The most risk taking daring performer of the latter half of the season (although James took a few and earlier Casey and Naimi took some) with the star looks and wit and the most interesting musicality of the bunch vs. the good old country crooner? Their perhaps planned arc seems so less exciting in comparison and it also has led some to have faith or respect for the judging. How do you star with the most diverse talent they ever let through and end up like this?? What if they slowly drive away all but the country set and aww shucks scotty is cute voters wont they slowly lose more credibility and do even worse on record sales and eventually fade away?
            I don’t know.

          • Ian says:

            I give Jennifer Lopez an F for her horrible judging this past season. One of the most INCONSISTENT judges in AI history. And Randy Jackson isn’t too far behind her. I hope she doesn’t come back next year as a judge. I thought Kara Dioguardi was better than her. I’ll never understand why AI replaced Kara with J-Lo. You can tell who her favorites were and they sure weren’t the girls. She criticized each and every one of them starting with Thia to Pia to Haley. But she loved the boys. Hardly ever had anything bad to say to her precious Scotty, James, Casey, Paul and Stefano. I will not be watching the finale because I have better things to do with my time than watch two boring country singers (even though they seem like nice kids). Next year I will watch The Voice instead of AI.

      • Lee says:

        Michael, thanks for the grade. Why do you think Nigel, J-Lo, Randy et al were so hell-bent on this finale of Scotty and Lauren? What is so great about them in comparison to Haley? Is it the backstory? (What backstory?) Scotty pitched for his high school team, Lauren did cartwheels in her front yard, who cares? What makes those any more compelling than Haley, who didn’t seem to have much of a backstory either? At least with James you had the Tourette’s that he’s overcome that made you want to pull for him. But I’m puzzled as to what was so great about this envisioned Scotty-Lauren finale. I think it will be boring without Haley’s gutsiness to contrast with their vanilla country safety.

        • Chuck says:

          Seriously? I think once Haley really started to sing well, it was too late as far as the show was concerned–they were already too invested in other storylines.

          For all the talk about wanting to produce “the next music superstar,” it’s obvious the Idol machine is a bad fit with what’s selling in America today. Until they can find someone who is both comfortable hanging with Lady Gaga and can get the average red state viewer comfortable with them, Idol will continue to lose relevance.

          • Lee says:

            But that’s my exact question, Chuck. You say AI had already invested in other storylines, but I’m wondering, WHAT storylines? Scotty is an aw-shucks good kid from North Carolina. Lauren is an extremely immature pageant queen from Georgia. So what – can you say “dime a dozen”? The only thing that adds to the storyline is that they both have great voices, but in my opinion so does Haley. I just don’t get the seeming antagonism from the powers-that-be toward Haley advancing. I agree with you that AI is a bad fit for what’s selling in America today.

          • djm says:

            Well Lee, I’ll take a shot at it. Throughout the history of the show the contestants from the south, regardless of genre, have done well. In fact, until Jordin Sparks in Season 6 all of the winners were from southern states. Over the course of the show the most successful winner has been Carrie Underwood who happens to sing country music. Country music as a genre can be difficult to break in to, however with a platform like American Idol it makes it SUPER easy. So why Lauren and Scotty? Two things in my opinion. First – after the last 2 winners completely TANKING on the charts the producers feel a TON of pressure to produce a winner that sells. And what music is selling great right now? Country. So, their most successful winner is a country artist, country music is huge right now, and those two are from the south which contains the largest and most rabid voting base, so there you go. Second, the lowered the age for the contestants this year and have caught a lot of flack for it. Having Scotty and Lauren in the finale is their opportunity to say “see, we told you so” to all the people who said it was the wrong thing to do. Who knows, maybe I am wrong, but if you have watched the show it’s been completely crystal clear to me from the start that they were the chosen ones. Scotty totally chunked his audition and acted like a jerk during the auditions and let me assure you that most other people wouldn’t have been given a pass. I promise you that they made sure to get Scotty to apologize and not only that, turned it into a moment on the show (even though it rang totally false to me). And little Lauren has been pimped even before her audition ever aired, so there is no surprise there. At the end of the day it’s a business and while they like America to think they are selecting the winner, they aren’t. The producers are behind the scenes manipulating everything as it goes. And when the show is over they tend to chew up and spit out the contestants so at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter.

          • Alienate says:

            Great answer, DJM. One additional point:
            Idol wanted a Justin Beber/Hanna Montana creature.

            “nuff said”

          • Bob says:

            Does anyone get it???? The majority of people voting are little girls (6-15 yrs old). Its how cute…what they wear…not the voice.
            This isnt an adult show…you really think 75 million adults voted???

          • Snsetblaze says:

            Good answer DJM. Plus I’d add that if Scotty wasn’t considered “cute” and he acted like a jerk … and forgot his lyrics … he would have been gone during auditions. But Idol has always seemed to forgive certain people for forgetting lyrics.

          • Smagnusrox says:

            Haley’s story line? Hmmm… tried for season 9, the worst season ever, and she didn’t even make it to Hollywood, and she’s back with a vengeance!

          • kai says:

            Whooooo Hooooo! She is finally out!!!!! Miss bad attitude without a soul is finally out!!! Been waiting for Haley to go home from day one!! Now that she’s out I can watch again. I don’t know why people think the producers are responsible. All they have to do is look at the number of votes each contestant gets. Did you ever think that the voting was so skewed to Lauren and Scotty in the finale that it was clear to them that this would be the outcome and therefore edited the show to come to this moment. As Nigel said, they new from the beginning Carrie Underwood was going to win because she won the vote by far every week. I think it was probably the case this year. I’m not sure who is going to win though. Lauren and Scotty seem to both have large followings.

          • john says:

            Well said Chuck. I was thinking the same thing. Maybe that is what drew me to Haley. She is the one who sang music I hear on the satalite radio. (Oh yeah…I used to hear Lauren’s songs on radio Disney with my 10 year old in the car.

          • Ian says:

            I agree that AI is so manipulated. You cannot tell me that AI wanted Haley in the finals after giving her a lousy judges’ pick of You Oughta Know to be performed at the very end of the show. Most contestants would be thrilled to get the pimp spot, but who would want it if the last song heard on the show that will be remembered is a horrible song like You Oughta Know. The judges and the producers knew what they were doing. They were sabotaging Haley. Even if Haley changed the song around and gave her own twist to it–she still had to CHANGE THE INAPPROPIRATE LYRICS! How can anyone sing a song and make it their own when they had to change the words at the last minute?! I mean, even last year the Final 3 was manipulated. They had Lee Dewyze singing Hallelujah in the pimp spot. So the last song everyone will remember is Lee having a spiritual “moment.” This is NOT reality TV. There’s nothing real about it.

        • denise says:

          They need to change the voting to 10 votes per phone line. I don’t mind voting (and I did) but 10-15 minutes is my limit. I am not looking forward to the finale and am glad The Voice is out there to give me my fix.

          • lee says:

            I agree. I wonder what the results would be if votes were limited to a smaller number. Probably many older voters think their one vote counts when there are power voters that completely take it over. I did vote as many times as I could for Haley but I think most did not and did as I in past years voting a few times only.

            I think the finale will be a bit boring and also it is the first season in which there is no diversity in the finalists. At least before if my favorite didn’t make it to the finale there was one of the finalists I still kind of liked. This time much harder. I think they are too young and immature for my tastes.

            I was not a Haley fan at first but she really grew on me and I might consider buying her album (I’ve bought only a few Idol albums – and only one was a winner album)

          • djm says:

            I don’t think changing the voting will make a difference and here is why. I think the audience of this show is made up of two different camps. There is the Idol consumer – the people who look to the show to introduce new artists and then support those artists financially once the show is over and there are people who tune in for the entertainment/competition piece of the show. They will tune in religiously and vote vigorously without any intention of buying the music ever – it’s just principal. I myself am a consumer – I have bought music from contestants on every season of Idol – and in some cases I’ve bought A LOT of music. I’ve even gone to concerts. But, most people I know are not. They watch to be entertained and they vote on principal. Take Season 8 – at the finale I asked every person there if they would buy Kris’ CD and every person I asked said no. I asked if they voted for him and every person said yes – and that they voted hard and fast for as long as they could. So I asked them why they were voting if they had no intention of buying his music and they all said (and I am talking about 18-20 people who varied in ages from 30-65) because they didn’t feel like Adam was a “true Idol”. I left it at that. Last week I called my sister and she went on and on about how mad she was that James had been voted off and that it should have been Haley. I asked her why Haley was bearing the brunt of her frustration when she’s created WAY more moments this season that Scotty or Lauren and her response was that she just “didn’t like her”. So last night I couldn’t watch the results until way after she did so I looked up the results online and called her. She said “Haley looked PISSED when she was voted off. She stomped around the stage, didn’t thank the judges, didn’t say congrats to Lauren or Scotty and just went into the audience to be with her family. Lauren & Scotty looked scared like she would cut them with a knife if they approached her”. So I go home and watch and that is SO NOT AT ALL what I saw. My sister is not an Idol consumer. My point is this – Idol is NOT about finding the next big artists – it’s a popularity contest and your fate is being determined by a bunch of people who for whatever reason have very specific ideas as to what an “Idol” is. It doesn’t matter how many times people can vote – the facts are that until you require people to PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR OPINION IS and require them to PAY for the right to vote you are rarely going to have the best musician or singer win – you are going to have a winner that the producers decide to back with a compelling story that pulls at the heartstrings and god forbid they be gay, or liberal, or controversial, or an envelope pusher because that will turn people off. The closest anyone like that has ever come is Adam Lambert and let’s face it – if HE couldn’t win it, it’s doubtful that anyone will.

          • Sharon says:

            Limiting the vote counts like they do with Dancing with the Stars would make a truer outcome. The power voters and teen vote with 1000 vote texts per night, they’ve bragged about, makes the teenagers win. I work at a high school and the girls hated Haley and voted for their fellow teenagers PERIOD! American Idol actually added phone lines at least in Los Angeles to get a higher count they can brag about on their show. I checked every other voting line to see if any were busy because I wasn’t getting a busy with Haley which is usually a signal that she would make it another week. None of the lines in Simi Valley, 30 miles from Los Angeles were busy.

          • djm says:

            Sharon – that is what I don’t get. Haley is a teenager too – she’s only 19 – right? it’s like I asked my sister and what I posted here (and on the EW site too) – why is all this hatred being directed at Haley? When James was voted off there was all this anger being thrown at Haley and I don’t get why. What did she do? Why wasn’t it being thrown at Lauren, who, in my opinion at least, wasn’t delivering any memorable or truly spectacular performances. Neither was Scotty for that matter. So here’s Haley, who that week had her “I Who Have Nothing” moment being slammed for making it through when Scotty & Lauren both faded into the background. I mean really – be mad at them for skating by but don’t take it out on Haley who actually EARNED her spot in the final 3. But whatever. Rather than try to figure out what is going through the minds of my fellow American’s, I have (yet again) decided to just throw my hands up in the air and move on. The only thing I can control is what I do – and when it comes to Idol I can either particpate or not. Truth be told I vowed not to watch this year and decided to give the new judges a chance. LOVED them during the audition rounds and then recoiled in horror week after week during the live performances. Sorry, but J-Blow is just a vile human being for the way she treated Haley (and for the record I am not even a big Haley fan – or I wasn’t until House of the Rising Sun), but Randy & J-Blow just took the show to a low that I don’t want to be a part of. So honestly, other than missing Michael Slezak, I was honestly sory of happy and relieved last night because I can now walk away and not feel the slightest bit bad about it. You could not pay me enough money (OK, well, I guess if you gave me enough to buy a house in SF, CA I’d do it) to watch the finale next week and I am deleting it from my DVR. I am sure Idol doesn’t care and my absence will not be missed. And I will just have to be more creative about how I discover new artists and music.

          • LadyBug979 says:

            @djm Why would the producers want a winner who can’t sell albums? That makes no sense. Poor sells from past winners has caused the show a bad reputation and almost put it under.

          • LadyBug979 says:

            You’re kidding me Sharon. After all the bragging on these blogs from Haley voters about their power voting?

          • flower says:

            @djm. Not true. I voted for Kris madly and I bought his album and most of his songs through the AI journey. I just loved his tone of voice and the heart that was in it. He was also a good re-arranger of music. Kris’s album was also a good album but not as promoted as Adam’s album, even though Kris was the winner. Adam’s album was okay. Actually, the best album that came out of that AI season was Alison Iraheta’s. I think it will be good to limit the number of votes because the fanatics (who are in it for the hype and not the music) will be reduced in votes and the honest winners will emerge.

          • Denise says:

            I loved Kris Allen and bought his CD.

          • aislinn says:

            Those of you who are claiming that djm doesn’t have a valid point because you bought Kris’s album are missing the point. Yes, there are people who have been willing to put their money where their votes went, but clearly the majority weren’t. If they were, Kris’s album would have done as well as Carrie’s do, or other non Idol artists like Gaga, Katy Perry and the Black Eyed Peas – the number of votes he got should have led to those types of sales if the majority of people voting did view the show as a way to create a new artist they want to actually support.

            I think djm’s posts are spot on and reflect the reality of this “reality” show. It’s not about who has the best potential as a recording artist, but who the public is most taken with, and a lot of people’s reasons for liking/disliking contestants have very little to do with singing or performance. I’ve seen people on this board talk about voting against someone because they don’t like the clothing or teeth of the contestant, the expression on their face, or how they react to the judges. I’ve seen others say they’re voting for someone because they are the underdog, or because they have an adorable child, or are cute themselves. What does any of that have to do with their potential as a recording artist?

            I’m disappointed but not surprised by the results of this week. I do plan on buying Haley’s eventual album if it shows the same skills she showed us in Moanin’, House of the Rising Sun, and her exit song. I’m a bit surprised by your lack of ire in this recap, Michael, but I guess you saw it coming. I pretty much agree with what you’ve said here, except for the bit about “consistently solid” performances by our two finalists – there were no trainwrecks, but no real moments, no stretching, and lots of flubbed notes in amongst the solid performances.

          • djm says:

            Kris fans – please don’t take my comparison as Kris bashing – I was merely speaking about MY experience at a Idol finale party I was at. I know that Kris has a lot of fans but I also believe that the only way Adam could have won the show was if ose pictures of him kissing boys had never been posted and he definately would have had a better shot if he was from Kentucky and had a wife and child. I just think there are a lot of voters out there who look at things other than vocal ability and how the contestants perform (how else do you explain Gokey getting as far as he did, or Sanjaya, Jasmine Trias, and the other people who have lasted WAY longer than they should have? Also, for those of you that claim that Adam’s CD was better promoted or that he was given a better tour or whatever – a lot of that has to do with Adam himeself. He actually funded his own world tour with his advance for his 2nd CD so that was him, not the label (or so I’ve been told – my boss is a massive Glambert which came in handy on the day of his concert – I didn’t even have to ask to get off early). Oh, and to the person who asked why the producers would want a winner that doesn’t sell CD’s – they don’t. They want and need a winner that will sell millions of CD’s and I am sure that Scotty and Lauren probably will. My point is that the producers have manipulated the show to have these two in the finale because they think ey have a better shot in the country market – and they are right. However, throughout the season NEITHER of them have grown or stretched as “artists” and that is what bothers me. If Idol is just going to be the producers manipulating the public into voting for who they want to win regardless of how they actually perform then I wont be a part of it.

        • cookie love says:

          You were rooting for a Scotty/Lauren finale, Slezak??????? Must have missed that in all the outrage over Haley’s treatment.

        • Lee says:

          The answer is simple…they are both mediocre and will create a much more compelling finale. Haley (who I still don’t prefer, but prefer over both of these stiffs) would be a standout among either of them in the finale and it would be hard for a “chosen” to win. Same with James and Casey…both better than these 2 AND better than Haley.

        • Karen says:

          SIMPLE…Follow the money

          My guess…they saw the # of votes coming in for the country bumpkins and saw dollar signs

          evidently there’s a huge market of young bumpkins out there who aren’t exactly spending their time trying to find a solution for the global warming problem.

          Haley’s niche was much smaller…same with James and Casey.

          Smaller niche, smaller dollar return.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Karen, you’re on the right track – follow the money.
            AI, is after all, a TV show that generates advertising revenue for Fox. “Idol” is getting an average $467,617 per 30-second ad. During finale nights in Season 7, the rates went up to a $1,300,000 a spot. “Glee”, on the other hand gets an average of $272,694 per 30-second ad in the fall, and $373,014 per 30-second ad in the spring.
            Last year, the ratings for the finale dropped. At one point, Idol could generate 37 million viewers. Wednesday night’s show only had 23 million viewers. If a significant number of viewers drop off because of a Country Idol finale, So it doesn’t matter to them who wins. It matters that they create enough passion in the viewers to watch. I’m not passionate about a Country Idol finale between Scotty and Lauren. And I’m certainly not passionate enough about either one of them to vote.
            Fox wants the days of 37 million viewers, when it was Cook v. Archuleta. The only way I know to get their attention is not to watch. So I will be watching DWTS and The Voice on Tuesday. If enough of us do that, Fox will not be able to command these rates next year. And they will have to reevaluate the show.

          • B-scot says:

            A lot of politics this year behind the scenes and a young country singer was going to win this year for the start. They knew the performance show before the finale would take a hit but would boost Glee’s ratings and they pack the finale with stars to keep Idol’s ratings up.
            Idol can shift votes to a limited degree by disallowing some votes or other tricks, up to about 25% late in the season with the massive power voting. Haley got too many votes in the top 4 so it was either James or Lauren going home. In the top 3 Haley and Lauren were close enough that Idol could pick either to go home.

            I believe after alot of checking, Scotty had the more supports, James 2th, Haley 3th and Lauren 4th but James lost some of those the last 2 weeks or caused them not to vote heavy where as Haley’ were angry, then Lauren gain support for some of James’ angry voters.

        • dgman says:

          It’s simple really: They wanted their decison to lower the age limit to be validated.

          • LadyBug979 says:

            Now that is possible dgman. Although Lauren and Scotty weren’t the only 16 yr olds. in it this year. Still wish they would raise the age limit. I’m looking forward to XFactor’s premiere. Older people can sing too.

        • Brian says:

          I think it comes down to an ego thing with Nigel. As producer, he gave heavy airtime and marketing time early on in the show to feature Scotty and Lauren. To him it doesn’t necessarily matter who will sell the most (he’s only the producer) but he LOVES to be right. He likely told his higher ups, etc, that Scotty and Lauren were the best early on, and despite Lauren not wowing too much down the stretch while Haley did, he STILL wants to be right having marketed Lauren so much at the beginning and missing out on featuring Haley much. So he directs the judges and really influences what they say (although Steven doesn’t care and says what he wants.)

          As far as who wins, it doesn’t really matter, because they have the rights to all the contestants and will likely give Haley a record deal anyway. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Haley’s record came out first to capitalize on the momentum she gained.

          But all in all, Nigel has an ego and wants people to think he KNOWS what he is talking about when he decides to feature Lauren and Scotty HEAVILY from the beginning (and James). It’s as simple as him wanting to be right….people like to be right about what they predict and he has a huge ego and likes to influence it if as much as he can…he used Simon to influence it a ton too back in the day.

          • ladyhelix says:

            And I think EGO was an even larger issue this season with the judges. Both J.Lo and Stephen had big money to be made and I get the feeling Randy is fueled by ego alone.

            Once they committed to their favorites – they didn’t seem to be able to be able to stop themselves from defending/protecting them.

          • hmm says:

            Seems odd:

            (see second top comment and 2:13+)

          • aislinn says:

            Amen to this comment, Brian. Nigel does want to prove he’s right, and is notoriously manipulative in the way he goes about it. He’s much more about creating what he views as good TV than he is about seeking out the best potential in candidates(and admittedly is effective in the formula for that). His interview last week was telling, where he claimed not to manipulate things on the show, but immediately went on to describe actions taken on the show that he was proud to note did manipulate the public. He likes to take credit for things that help contestants, but deny any actions that might undercut them.

            He also is notoriously bad at taking criticism – he calls those of us who question his methods morons, and blocked some of us on Twitter when we dared to question/criticize his tactics.

            I also agree, ladyhelix, that the judges seem to have invested in not only protecting their favorites, but in disliking Haley for some reason, and Randy in particular, making sure we knew that each and every week.

      • SybilT says:

        An A+ for sure. That woman has a ton of grit as well as talent. Hers is the only album I’ll be looking for from the Top 3.

        • Corinne says:

          I agree 100%! I have been using that same word when talking about Idol this season. I like GRIT. I like EDGE. I like some sexiness. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top, it doesn’t have to be profane, but for the love of Mike – let me know you’re FEELING these words that you’re singing!! I have said it a few times to my friends, but I think it bears repeating (and let’s be real – I think I was pretty clever): THIS SEASON’S FINALE HAS LESS GRIT THAN COSTCO TOILET PAPER! They might be nice, sweet, Jesus-loving kids who hit most of their notes, but they’re BORING and emotionally detached for the most part. Haley hit her notes AND made me feel them. What a horrid finale this will be…

      • Buggu says:

        Micheal Slezak ,
        Is there anyway way we can start a petition to FOX to limit the idol votes to say 5 or 10 per line/IP ? I am sure more people liked Haley’s performances than Lauren’s ,but since ultimately it comes down to power voting and speed dialing ,Haley lost. FOX and IDOL producers just want to boast the numbers ,and the outcome of results show is skewed .

        • Steph says:

          I don’t think it would ever happen… How many times have you heard yesterday/today that there were over 95 million votes??? I think its a bragging right that they don’t want to let go of.

          • Karen Anderson says:

            The reason it will never happen boils down to one word: AT&T. Idol is a corporate money-making machine for AT&T, what with all the texting and the ad sales, etc. Look at little Lauren in front of the AT&T store during her hometown visit. Corporate profits are the bottom line on Idol, be it Ford, Coke or AT&T. It’s not the bottom line on DWTS, which truly does reflect a fair result in the voting.

        • LadyBug979 says:

          Seriously Buggu? You blame this on power voting? All I read on these blogs from people talking about power voting for Haley and you blame her loss on power voting and speed dialing? That’s the best you can come up with?

          • Lily says:

            I do think there is a problem for Idol of more and more people dropping out of the voting because “why bother, some teen’s got three phones autodialing in 1,500 votes each…the 5 votes I can maybe manage to get in between busy signals and taking care of the kids don’t count.” You get more and more people feeling like they’re disconnected, they don’t have a say, why should they even keep watching? That is the potential danger for Idol…especially as those people can now switch off and watch The Voice or X Factor instead.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Lily – before I learned how to turn my smart phone into a voting machine, I felt my vote didn’t matter. But I know that I can outmatch any teenager plugging away with a “Vote -> Send for 2 hours” mentality. There just aren’t enough people like me doing it on the other side.
            So it doesn’t really matter if I can send 15,000 votes for Haley each week, if other Haley fans are trying to use a dial-up number. They will always be outnumbered.
            I am totally in favor of limiting the votes. But Idol is a teenagers show. I’m willing to accept that fact and move on to other shows that include me and people like me. If the ratings drop, that may cause TPTB to reassess what they are doing. But if we continue to support the product they put out as it is, nothing will change.

        • Name That Tune says:

          Stop watching the show. That’s the only petition you need. They will get the message.

    • algalhi says:

      Haley’s exit performance: A+ with a wink. She was so electric, when the cameras returned to the main stage, Scotty, Lauren and Ryan looked oddly forlorn by comparison. Oh, Haley, we will miss you!!

      • CD Players says:

        Scotty looked a little forlorn, too, actually.

      • Agreed says:

        I think that a Haley-Scotty final would have been more fun. Now it is just going to be two contestants with some boring country songs and then a final original song written for them. I am certain that Fox will get by without my viewership, and there is no way I will spent my time with them for the finale.

        • Holly says:

          I won’t watch, either. I’ve been fast-forwarding through so much of the shows already. This finale will be boring! I know Fox won’t miss me, but oh well, it’ll add some time into my life to scrub the floor or something.

        • JeffNYC says:

          I won’t watch the finale either. But I will watch the results the next night because that’s always a spectacle. Nothing will ever top the results from the Season 8 finale…that was an amazing show with one awesome performance after the next!! Adam singing with KISS?? Priceless!!!!

          • aislinn says:

            Me too, JeffNYC – I have no interest in the final performances for Scotty and Lauren, but will tune in to see the fun that will be Casey and Jack Black performing together, and hopefully we’ll get to see Haley performing with someone great – my dream would be Robert Plant and/or Jimmy Page, or maybe Adam, since he’s been openly supportive of her.

        • Suncatcher says:

          Not only will the finale be Scotty & Lauren singing country/western, it will be all the guest singers doing country/western too. I can guarantee we won’t be seeing Kiss in this year’s finale.

        • Blair says:

          @Agreed: Agreed, Agreed!

      • buzz says:

        Like Haley, the air was just sucked right out of me when Lauren’s name was announced in the final 2. I have never downloaded AI performances before, until Haley’s Comet arrived. I have a whole Haley album now and it is a great start of things to come. Not only was she my favorite of all time on Idol, but I found Idoloonies with Michael Slezak in the same season…two superstars at what they do!

        • Sharon of Simi Valley says:

          I agree 100% to everything said by BUZZ. I’m so happy I found our modern times Haley’s Comet. I plan to buy all her albums. I’m 60 with a 20 year old son also a singer and musician. I haven’t bought any new albums since he was born, just enjoying his rise in music until Haley came along. I even pray for her every day like I do my own child that the music business, people and life will never tear her down and she will ride that Comet her entire life. Also to have found Michael Slezak. What a hilarious, entertaining, intelligent, sweet man. It makes me feel young again that I can laugh and enjoy him with all you young people.

    • Matt says:

      Anyone else catch how J-Lo defiantly sat on her hands at the judges table while Randy and Steven got up to go talk to Haley on-stage as she was departing?

      • Lee says:

        Matt, I think J-Lo went up on stage and hugged Haley before the end of the show. I particularly was wondering what was being said because of what I perceive to be J-Lo’s unexplainable iciness toward Haley.

        • @Matt says:

          JHo did go up and Haley gave her an awkward one-armed hug…..but you could’t miss the delight in Jho’s eyes……

        • Cloudzie says:

          J-Lo was giving Haley an ice cold hard stare and her face was set in stone

        • @Lee says:

          It’s not just her iciness towards Hailey. It’s towards any woman who is prettier or more talented. The iciness was there for Gaga and Beyonce as well. If you remember, also for Pia. Not Lauren, she’s too young to be threatening. She’s just a mean jealous woman.

      • mariana says:

        Yes- I have noticed that JLo can’t seem to hide her dislike for Haley.
        There was that one show when her face was just full of anger and contempt and I began to dislike JLo at that point. I am not sure that has anything to do with the outcome. But without Haley in the finals- I am just not excited about next week. I will only watch because there will be performances by the other eliminated contestants.

      • Lucy says:

        What I was wondering is if Haley changed the lyrics to insult Jlo and Randy or if it was a coincidence that the line she sang had spaced out in it.

        • tamara says:

          No, she didn’t change the lyrics that much. Just added their names. It would be too much to change them like that to “insult” them :) I wouldn0t have minded that at all (I wanted to punch them)…

          It’s a shame that JLo, after starting on the show as a sweet and honest judge, has plummeted into the most absurd, jealous-looking, ice-cold b***h of the AI history.
          To think I liked her before… but now I have no respect for her.

          JLo may be famoous, and somehow manages to bring 20,000 people to her concerts (that’s 10,000 less than what Haley managed to atract, hehe…) But she has less singing abilities than most Idol contestants. Not just Haley, but any other. I would love to see JLo on the Idol stage, singing LIVE the songs Haley and others sang this season. That would NEVER happen.

      • Mel says:

        Maybe Haley wasn’t the nicest behind the scenes. She came off sort of icy and rude at times so maybe that’s why JLo had an issue with her. I understand that some people just see her as laid back and some see her as having a major attitude so I’m guessing that maybe that had something to do with Jlo, Randy, and Jimmy being harsh. Remember Jimmy’s comment early in the season about her work ethic?

        Regardless, she is an amazing singer and she’ll have absolutely no problem making good music but I have always wondered if there is just something about her that comes off as unlikeable to viewers. Should that effect whether or not people vote for her? Who knows but it’s a reality show and America likes sob stories and “aw, shucks” humility. Not to say that she isn’t humble, but to some she may have come across differently.

        • happy says:

          http://mjsbigblog.com/haley-reinhart-reporters-conference-call.htm

          Conference Call (selected quotes)
          (She rearranged B&J herself)

          Was she angry last night?
          Not at all. Of course everybody is going to be surprised with the verdict. All in all, I accepted it very quickly, took it in, took it all with a grain of salt and Everything happens for a reason. This is a good thing. It happens for a reason and it only means that I’m going to start my career as a solo artist even sooner.”

          Did America get the real her?
          No. “It’s easy to get depicted in different ways on the show. It’s all in the way the cards end up playing out. The footage that was taken–I’m usually messing around with all the camera guys. I like to have a good time. I’m usually bubbly. It’s different to see what come out in all reality. You’re on there and you’re on that stage, you gotta perform in front of the judges. It’s not like you got a one on one where you can talk and show everybody who you are and give them a little bit of that personality you have inside. It’s really hard to get that all out in a short minute and a half.”

          Did she talk to the other contestants about how the judges were treating her?
          “On stage even, Lauren and them coming up to me, they just don’t understand it. The only thing I can get out of that is they really wanted to push my buttons, push me as far as I could go to get whatever they wanted to get out of me–that was fire that they wanted so I would get all aggravated and then try to take it out on the stage. It is what it is. Randy says it’s all love. Alright, I understand you want to get what you can get out of me.”

          On her initial reaction to her elimination last night,
          “You have seconds to think about it. I took a second and then I said–alright. This is it. Guess what–I have to sing a song in about 5 seconds. Let’s have a good time with it–show America why they kept me there so long. Give them a good show.

          What qualities make Lauren and Scotty the American Idol, “As far as the viewers of the show, this is perfect for them. We have a very young audience out there. They are both so damn cute. They’ve got the country calling for them. So this is a country year! I’m excited to see what happens. I can see young America being very captivated by these two.”

        • Kellie says:

          I love Haley’s music and wanted her to win or at least go into the top 2. However I agree.. .something happened that made Randy & JLO strongly dislike her… some serious gossip is in that hatred they have for her!

          • MamaLis says:

            Mel & Kellie. FINALLY someone writes what I’ve been thinking! – Haley should have hands-down made it to the Finale. But something was slightly ‘off’ there. While i AM a fan of hers and have grown to choose her in voting, I admit I did not like (what appeared to be) her inability to emotionally connect with other contestants. Their losses were NOT her losses, so to speak. I did NOT like how Lauren literally had to withdraw her arms from trying to embrace Haley after the ‘announcement.’ Throughout the season other contestants have been able to immediately respond to their fellow ‘mates, offering congratulations. Haley really could not. It makes me think that was slightly… off… behind the scenes. That said, JHo is an ICY Bee-otch in the way she treated her. And that (JHo) glare Slezak captured in the picture above…. So True. Oh well…. I think Haley will be fine.

          • kat says:

            mama lis, how could Haley have hugged Lauren after the announcement? Lauren was too busy jumping up and down clapping her hands together. That’s what was inappropriate.

        • ddjazz says:

          My kid was in high school jazz band with Haley. She is the sweetest, laid-back, most mellow kid you’d ever meet. She always says she should have been born in the 50s or 60s! She has grown so much as an artist since her performance in Europe two summers ago…I think she just got fed up with it and she decided that she wasn’t going to sit back and take it anymore. She is a very skilled singer and definitely knows more about singing than JLo.

          • tamara says:

            I’m remembering something Ryan Seacrest said after a performance, he said something like “look at her, she’s so chill”. To me, that showed how at ease she is, how she tries to take things with a grain of salt, not letting things put her down, whatever it is, she’ll get through it. A positive attitude, that is.

            And it pains me to think that so many teenage girls see Lauren as an Idol, a very insecure, cry-baby, and apparently withouth a mind of her own (I remember even Slezak mentioned it in an early Idoloonies, that she couldn’t think for herself).

            What better Idol to look up to than Haley, a confident woman, a risk taker, and always standing up for what she believes, and never letting negative comments put her down. That’s someone to look up to, a strong woman who stands up for what she believes and for her dreams. And all the while, remaining a sweet girl, cause at least that’s the vibe she gave me during this season.
            I don’t see how people took her talk-back to judges as bitchiness. I just don’t see it. She did it with respect, and it was honest and true.

            Anyway, I think my stomach ache is gone now. I’ve felt sick the entire weekend since the results show. But I think it’s actually better she’s not top 2 and under the Idol machine record deal contract. She can do what she wants more freely.

            I can’t wait to hear her single on wednesday. I have been listening to her songs non-stop the past few weeks. Her are the only songs I’ve downloaded.
            I absolutely love You and I, by the way. I don’t like Lady Gaga, but I love Haley’s version. Tht performance was fantastic. Just like Steven Tyler said, someone who can take a song they don’t know and make it work, that’s wonderfull. By the time she was singing the chorus, I was singing it along with her, with a smile on my face. It’s fantastic when an artist makes you enjoy a song and a performance when you haven’t even listened to the song before.

      • Suncatcher says:

        I caught that too, Matt. I also saw the first one to go talk with Haley, by a country mile, was Steven Tyler who went right up to her as the credits rolled and gave her a big hug. JLO was next but to approach Haley but it sure didn’t look like a warm and fuzzy moment to me.

        JLO did some serious damage to her self image this year on Idol and I’ll be she doesn’t even realize it – or care. Oh well…

        • tamara says:

          Definetely. I despise her so much now. I used to like her, even as an actress. But oh hell, she’s lost a fan. When I go out on weekends and her song “On the floor” comes up, I get so angry.
          Steven may have spent all season saying the same to everyone, (Beautful).
          But you could tell the last few weeks he really made a point of defending Haley, you could tell he just couldn’t take what Randy and JLo were saying, he just wouldn’t have it. He even looked angry at times. And even made the most sense when giving a critique.
          Steven knew Haley was the real artist there.
          And I love it that the guest mentors saw it too. AI could have manipulated us and edited only a few positive things, but you could see it in their faces that Lady Gaga and Beyonce were in awe of her, really admiring her talent. And you could also tell they were just saying nice things about the other contestants because they had to say something positive. But Beyonce had a little bit of a hard time talking about Lauren and Scotty, and you could see it seemed forced at times. But talking about Haley she was being honest and true.

    • pam says:

      Am I watching the finale next week? No.

      Haley was the only thing keeping American Idol alive for me. This show has become predictable, boring, and frustrating. Randy and J-Lo’s constantly giving Haley “constructive criticism’ but praising the weak, mindless performances of all the other contestants was ridiculous to watch. It just showed how played and staged out this show has become.

      I will NOT be watching next weeks finale because the top two are the most plain, boring, repetitive contestants the show has ever placed in the top two. I’m not sure if they’ve reached the finale because they have a hardcore fan base of young people (they really need to change how many times you can vote) or because they public has been fooled into thinking their talents are superior than they actually are. Haley brought that uniqueness to the show it was lacking. She took risks with her songs and sang the hell out of them. I wasn’t a huge Haley fan until “Benny and the Jets”, after that song she won me over. She consistently brought her game and showed her heart to America. She will have a great career.

      Having said that, I’m glad Haley won’t be under the contract of American Idol. This gives her a chance to find someone that will appreciate her talents and let her spread her wings. She’ll, hopefully, let the world see the voice she truly has and they will appreciate it. I cannot wait. Hope to hear from you soon, Haley.

      • adamziggied says:

        I’ll watch enough of it (thank gawd for DVR) to see what Lauren is wearing so I’ll get some more ideas for this year’s Halloween costume.

      • Sam says:

        Agree with you 100% Pam. I have enjoyed the finale’s in the past but as of 2 weeks ago, when I “officially broke up with AI” there is no way I will A. take the evening to watch it live or B. Waste space on my DVR to watch it later.
        Done with AI for good. As so many others have stated, what started out as a promising season turned into tedious, boring and “one note”
        yawn fests. No finale for me…i think i have to wash the cat or something, that will be way more exciting.

      • Jason McD says:

        I’m not watching the performance show and will not be voting….However, I will be watching the results show (probably not live, but on my DVR). I want to see Haley, James, Stephano, Casey and Namia perform one last time. I actually like Scotty and Lauren, they are great singers…not my cup of tea, but I realize they have talent.

        It was rumored (and confirmed I believe) that Stevie Nicks would be performing on the results show, how cool would it be if she did a duet with Haley? Oh and Gaga is supposed to be there, maybe they will duet on You and I.

        • aislinn says:

          I love Stevie Nicks, but I hope she’s not planned for a duet with Haley. I saw her last week on DWTS, and her voice is fairly wrecked – I can’t seem them blending well, and it’d be a shame for Haley not to have a shining moment in the finale.

      • Tani says:

        Everything Pam said in her post is exactly what i was thinking Haley was the only thing keeping me watch the show,her casey and James are the most talented and the most exciting to watch on the show while the others have been boring and lackluster.I know Scotty has a great country voice but too many shows his song were putting me to sleep.With the finals of Dancing With The Stars and Biggest Loser both on opposite Idol i will be watching those shows and really hope the ratings for their finale goes way down in and is the lowest finals in AI history!! Can you tell im upset, runner ups on The voice all sing better then the majority of the top 10 on IDOL this years. Scotty will get the country fans and Lauren may get some teen girls buying her record but right now Haley,Casey and James are all ready to go on tour and do an album and sell records while The F2 will eventually disappear from our memories like Justin Guardani or Sanjai!

        • Blair says:

          funny, but just as I was reading these comments and I’d see their names brought up (Scotty and Lauren), my mind would draw a blank, and I would wonder which of the other contestants on AI they were referring to. Then it would hit me, “…oh yeah”. And I really never had anything against these two all season, but I just realized that I also never had an entire thought at all about these two. And then I’d see them standing on the Idol stage, scratch my head upon seeing them there, and say to myself ..”oh yeah, he’s still here”, or “she’s still here”. Never in the history of Idol do I ever remember not registering a thought at all about a contestant on AI, until these two. …and they’re our top two …HOW BIZZARE! ..either that, or I’m in the first stages of Alzheimer’s ..LOL

    • Owen says:

      I’m sad.

    • Pete de Sneakey says:

      Haley was absolutely top drawer, top drawer. Thus ends the reason to watch the finale.

      • ladyhelix says:

        … except to see what new and creative lengths they’ll go to to keep Haley from appearing in her best light.

    • Tammy Sutter says:

      I’d give her a B. She’s no James Durbin, but she’s good.

      • Bet says:

        No she is not James. Haley is a little rocker without the the OTT props, bad vocals and the crying! What a girl.

        • Joe says:

          You are wrong about James. I will take the crying over her swearing
          in reaction to the judges. Ryan had to tell her to watch he language. She has a bad attitude and a lack of respect. I have no problem with the emotion of James. I do think,knowing how difficult it was for him to sing that particular song. he just have switched to another. No question that it was a mistake, although it did not bother me. James has had handicaps to overcome
          and he did well. His performances were awesome.

      • flower says:

        Yup! Thank goodness she is not James! She is so much better!

    • Suncatcher says:

      HEY SLEZAK!
      “…while gleeful malevolence flashed oh-so-briefly in J.Lo’s eyes.” Thank you for writing this! I saw it too but needed confirmation.

      I really liked JLO at the start of this season but, I gotta tell you, the past month, I so changed my mind about her. She became EVIL. I’ll take Paula back any day over this wolf in sheep’s clothing (or Arabian Nights pants).

    • kellybelly says:

      zzzzzzz….Oh, is finale over yet?
      Finale = boring snooze festival.
      Wake me up to serve me breakfast.

    • larry says:

      Her final grade?
      A+
      What a rousing send off! Fantastic vocals on it and performance was awesome totally worked the crowd, the stage, got in some witty humor at the judges table haha, mashed with her idol set in the crowd. Kept it totally together despite the upsetting news. The sparkly headband thing definitely worked for her too haha.

      Just left you wanting more.
      And feeling a little empty about next week, seems like we just saw the finale performance right there! In the end I guess we really only missed one performance from her then (two if you count whatever they wrote for her which may have been good too who knows).

      But as they say always leave them wanting more.
      So A+!
      She held strong, never say die, managed to maintain her confidence and did herself proud.

    • Mike says:

      WOW!! I usually agree with you Michael….Melinda,Alyson,Kelly etc. Who were true greats of this show. But Haley??? I guess that shows how subjective art is. With maybe 2 songs this year Rising Sun,and I Who Have Nothing, this girl’s singing was like nails on a blackboard to me. I wish she would have gone 7 weeks ago. When they kicked James,Casey,and Pia this year is almost a repeat of Season 5. Although I do think Scotty and Lauren are better singers than Taylor and Katherine….but then who is’nt? Still like your critiques, I guess we had to disagree eventually!! Here’s to next Season.

    • sandy says:

      HALEY WAS AWSOME. SHE WILL BE RIGHT UP THERE WITH THE OTHER “ONE” NAME WONDERS:
      CHER
      MADONNA
      BEYONCE
      ALICIA
      ELVIS

    • Michelle in Corpus Christi, Texas says:

      Haley gets a BIG A+ from all of us in Corpus Christi! She had the best range in voice, most variety in voice, and the most talent in performance. Rock on Haley! Loved the Tony Bennet duet!

  2. Jason S. says:

    Haley Reinhart — Beloved Growler — Jan 26, 2011 – May 19, 2011 — She Saved The Show — A Lot

    • SpyKi says:

      Yes she did. Now Slezak, get her on Idoloonies for an interview!

      • algalhi says:

        Can’t wait for that one!

      • the real wendy says:

        Haley on Idoloonies. STAT!

      • Sam says:

        Yes Yes Yes! We want that interview. And i really don’t see myself listening to Lauren’s music. I could listen to Scotty when i get drunk! What a travesty. Haley & James have major careers ahead of them. mmhhh… a Gaga/Haley colab….. hotness.

        • Just Jules says:

          How about a Haley/GAGA/Adam Lambert trio of crazy perfection on the final results night?

          • aislinn says:

            Oooooh!!! Now that would be fantastic! They would totally steal the show. I’m sending all my positive energy towards this reality happening, lol.

      • darclyte says:

        I’m STILL waiting for his Idolatry/Idoloonies interview with last year’s third place finisher Casey James. I also am hoping for a power trio performance next Wednesday of Casey & James with Casey James.

        • JayK* says:

          Ha, good call, darclyte! I waited for weeks in vain for that Casey James interview! I even emailed Slezak once asking where it was! Sad.

      • Julie says:

        We haven’t gotten a Casey interview yet… How about a 3-segment deal with the two of them together?

      • Agreed says:

        Would love to see an Idoloonies review with Haley! She is gonna be a star and her comeback is the only reason that I watched any of the shows live in recent weeks. AI (with the exception of Steven Tyler’s comments) was becoming a bore.

      • Kellie says:

        Agree! Hope she has a friendly personality that doesn’t make Randy’s dislike of her valid :)

    • Delon says:

      Nigel might have gotten the finale he so salivated for, but Haley put her stamp on this season and made it exciting and watchable.I’ve never seen any other AI contestant in the 10 season history of the show to fight harder than Haley. Her exit performance was so triumphant with Haley dancing with my girl Naima and Jacob as they cheer her on with genuine, giddy enthusiasm and her confident monologue at the end that made us so effortlessly believe in that ‘this ain’t the end of this thing!’. I love you, Haley. I’ll be watching you.

    • Jessabean says:

      I love you for writing this.

    • amy.. says:

      Haley did have a lot of moments as Michael said.
      Why even comment anymore. Lauren annoys me to no end and has since her 1st audition.

    • Bob says:

      Kudos to your Buffy nod!

    • swthompson says:

      this!

    • the real wendy says:

      I loved that she rocked that cute tiara! You rule girl!

  3. Sarah M says:

    As a massive Haley fan i’m glad she didn’t win. The Idol machine wouldn’t have looked after her properly. At least this way she can go and do her own thing, with a massive fanbase, making her own musical choices. SO not interested in the final now – the judges have lost all credibility and it’s a sure fire bet for Scotty to win. Bring on X Factor and Simon Cowell. I’m over Randy, J-LO, etc.

    • lyng says:

      Totally agree. Next week will be a no show for me. This year’s eliminations make no sense whatsoever, and I vote ‘no confidence’ in those so called judges, Randy and J Lo. I’ll be waiting for James’ and Haley’s albums.

    • whatashow says:

      Haley is a class act! She went out a winner. I actually pitied Lauren and Scotty watching her. They know that she has more talent than they have. It must be crushing.

      • Kiki says:

        She so does NOT have more talent than they do! Granted, she’s got some pipes, but she’s not more talented.

        • Fahtrim says:

          You should state that as your opinion not as fact. I am of the opinion that Haley has WAY WAY WAY more talent than Scotty, and way more polished talent than Lauren. Lauren and Scotty are good, but Lauren can’t keep her breath thru any song, and Scotty gets very thin when stretching his range.

          Haley has more range and versatility and adds a uniqueness to the song that makes me smile when I listen to it and watch her.

          I think Lauren has a ton of raw talent, if she polishes up her vocals she could be really good, but I see her as disconnected from the song and out of breath in the wrong spots a lot of times. It’s hard to say if she can get there or not.

          Can you argue against the statement that Haley had the best moments of the season?

          Did anyone else do anything as well as any of these?
          * House of the Rising Sun
          * I Who Have Nothing
          * Rolling In The Deep
          * What is and What Should Never Be
          * Bennie and the Jets (exit performance possibly better)
          * You & I (after seen Gaga version realize how good it was)

          • Jason McD says:

            Thank you for stating what many believe. ;) I’m with you on this. I think they other two are talented as well, but I believe Haley has more range and more emotion than the other two have shown all season.

            I was rooting for a lot of performers this year, I think they had a very talented group compared to last year. I just wish the judges would have given them the feed back they needed and deserved. Just imagine what this season could have been if they were.

      • Disappointed says:

        The most memorable moment of the season was Haley performing with her Dad. How a daughter who loves her father and wants to rock out with her parents isn’t just about the best thing in America I don’t know what is! Nice too see Steven Tyler who was the protective Dad nurturing the talent. Might not have made him the best judge, but certainly showed he was the best person and a great role model for others in the industry.

    • Steph says:

      I didn’t get to see last night’s results show because I was at the X-Factor auditions in Chicago… Good thing too because I’m sure I would have thrown many things at my television if I saw one more smirk from JLo or Randy. When I got home I fast forwarded through everything but Haley’s hometown visit and her sing-off. I’m officially done with AI now that Haley is gone and witnessing some of the auditions for X-Factor yesterday solidfied it. Simon was the same as always, brutally honest but such sharp instincts and spot-on critiques, he is like lightning in a bottle, something that AI can never recapture. Even Paula had more insightful critiques than JLo ever could muster. LA Reid is so much more coherent and competent than Randy, and Cheryl Cole is a sweetheart. X-Factor will be the death of American Idol.

      • Li-Li says:

        As much as Paula drove me crazy, in retrospect I have to agree with you that Paula probably had more “insightful critiques” than any of this year’s judges. Interesting that Haley has grown so much as a performer over the season. Not that I want to give the judges any credit for that, but the fact that she was regularly dissed did seem to give her that extra fire in her belly. Now we are stuck with two contestants who have never been criticized, and consequently have no fire, nothing remotely compelling to listen to or even watch. Yes, they are good – and obviously ‘good’ is good enough for the producers. I hope Haley lands a record deal and more. She is not just good, she is GREAT.

        • Steph says:

          You know somethings wrong when even Paula sounds intelligent LOL

        • Jason McD says:

          I think Haley grew because she actually did get feed back…not much of it useful, but it was better than being told she was perfect every night. She actually wanted to improve and show them they were wrong. If you were everybody else, why change a thing if you are consistently being told that you are perfect?
          I know everybody hated Kara, but she would have added so much to the judging panel this year. J-Lo and Steven started out so promising, I don’t know what happened to them. Steven disappeared at the beginning of the live shows and J-Lo turned bitter half way through.
          Randy hasn’t been a good judge since I started 4 years ago. He says the exact same crap every year…he isn’t helpful.
          I almost wonder if Steven didn’t want to go along with the “plan” so he decided to just tell everyone they were perfect so he didn’t have to feel dirty going home every night.

      • Suncatcher says:

        I gotta tell you, I went back in my library and looked at Seasons 7 and 8 and was VERY impressed with the comments Paula Abdul made. She is far sharper when it comes to judging performers and singing than most of us have given her credit for.

        Simon Cowell is no billionaire fool. He fought hard to get Paula on his X Factor – for a reason. I think we will all get to see Paula’s wonderful insight and talent. Kudos to Simon for giving her a second chance.

    • Frank says:

      I am done with Idol. What could have been the best season in the show’s history winds up being a mediocre snoozefest, along with HeeHaw reruns. The judges were pathetic this year, and made no attempt to conceal the fact that they had crowned a winner before the live shows had even begun. I agree with you that Haley at least ended up with a MASSIVE fan base, which will assure her success in what is certain to be an EXCEPTIONAL music career!!!

    • Posey says:

      Seeing Haley as the face of Idol after the way she was treated would have made my stomach turn a little. After Interscope shuttles our two country darlings off to Nashville, hopefully Iovine will pick up Haley as his in-house signee with some good songwriters behind her. Like he said, there will be “other winners” this season. Haley’s a badass and ready to sell records if the iTunes numbers are any indication.

      • Disappointed says:

        Although I probably should be embarrassed to admit this, I’ve never watched Idol before this year (I’m 50+) and I had to learn how to download iTunes to my computer. But I’m thrilled to say that I did that just so I could listen to Haley and Casey and Paul. (James you have to watch. Besides, he needs some good vocal coaching so that his singing catches up with his performance skills and creativity.) Wouldn’t download his music but would happily go see Stefano on Broadway, which is where I think he should head.

      • JBanana says:

        in retrospect, I kind of wonder if we all have misinterpreted the whole “other winners/work ethic” conversation Jimmy had with Haley. He must have known that the producers were pushing for a Scotty/Lauren final 2. (after all, he’s the one that will be signing them, so he had to have been okay with the two they were pushing..) In that light, his comments take on a more significant meaning. In other words, “Hey Haley, the highest anyone but McLaina is getting this year is 3rd, but work hard and show us what you’ve got, and we’ll pay attention.” When I think about it this way, it was good advice, and it also kinda means that Haley was victorious for making it to F3. That was the highest spot that was realistically up for grabs, and she won it over all the others.

    • linda says:

      I don’t think you all understand that she is still owned by AI for 7 years…they all are-unless allowed out by the Machine..and they all get treated better than most places by doing so-they get paid well-as will haley-she will make a fair amount of money each year even if she doesnt cut a record though I am sure she will get a contract.

    • Harmonica08 says:

      I am so glad to hear you say that. I have been saying since day one…b/c Haley and Casey were always my favs….that I hope she makes it to the end but does NOT win it. I would be so disappointed to see what kind of corporate-nightmare “makeover” they might force upon her due to contractual obligations and then make her thank them until the end of time for all the ways they stripped away her creative edge. She’d probably wind up like J.Lo… singing the same line over and over again for four solid minutes and then calling it a song (instead of a soundbyte with background music) which evidently was too complicated for her to sing live. BTW… Isn’t that why they are paying her millions of dollars? To judge LIVE performances?…hmmm…Does anyone else smell the hypocrisy?? Maybe J.Lo needs a little peanut butter to go with that Jealousy. (Afterall,money does not buy you a voice like Haley’s or her youth…”oooh, I’m sorry baby”). I cannot wait until Haley and Casey’s CDs come out. I’m confident they will be very unique and loaded with depth, substance and lots a soul. I just hope she sticks with the blues/jazz-rock thing and doesn’t cross over into R&B. I still wish the two remaining AI finalists luck on their journey as well. They seem like nice kids. I cannot believe I wrote so much… Oh well…I guess I had a lot to say.LOL.Clearly…
      P.S. I think J.Lo and Randy should be ashamed of themselves for how unjustifiable, inconsistent and biased their critiques for some and praises for others were. (Especially toward the end of the competition.) What I saw from them was so ugly! …and 20yr.old Haley handled herself with beauty and grace in spite of their antagonizing sabotage and debauchery.

  4. emjay says:

    Haley will ALWAYS be a winner in our hearts!! I will DEFS be buying her album!!! and that sing out? FREAKIN’ PERFECT!!!

  5. Emy says:

    Do you think ratings will be hit somewhat by ousting of all but the country kids? I know Gaga will rake in some ratings.

    • Volcfom says:

      The producers will probably blame the drop in ratings to moving the show a day earlier. They’ll say people were confused, because they won’t admit that they lost a lot of fans/votes by having an all-country finale.

      • bamabunny says:

        I think the performance show will have lower ratings, with a possible boost at the end thanks to 1. David Cook fans tuning in for his performance of the exit song and/or 2. Glee fans tuning in early for that finale. But the finale-finale may do better since it will have more variety, return of Top 13 favorites, etc.

    • Julie says:

      I think idol will see the lowest ratings in its history for the top-two final showdown. Tweens may be able to vote 100’s of times apiece, but they can only watch one tv set at a time. (So sweet revenge on the producers for their absurd voting system.) The adults will not bother to turn on idol until the results finale.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Why give them that? You are giving them ratings points, which they sell to advertisers. They will consider that a victory. Anything you might want to see will be available later online.
        If you want to make a point, don’t watch.

  6. Chris says:

    As much as I loved Haley and wanted her to make it to the final I knew it wouldnt happen.
    Theres no way at all she could have derailed the Scotty/Lauren Express Uncle Nigel has been piloting since the first episode.
    I was so thrilled she made it to Top 3 and I promised myself that that was it and I was happy with that outcome and not to expect or be disappointed whether she made Top 2 or not.
    Needless to say I was angry and upset and felt like throwing dishes when she didnt make it!
    I will 100% support Haley in whatever she releases here on out!
    Total fan for life! I have never been so sucked into a show like this and loved a contestant like this!
    I even voted for her here from New Zealand which costed money per call but I still did it anyway! (heres hoping the votes were counted)
    The one upside to her booting this week? All the HALEY REINHART INTERVIEWS THIS COMING WEEK!
    And Im expecting and hoping for an extravaganza of an interview from Slezak thats more than the usual 10mins.
    OH and A whole segment dedicated to Haley the Growler that Could in next weeks Idoloonies!
    GO HALEY!

    • carla888 says:

      I’n from nz too, and I just watched the performances here. I wish I’d tried to vote too, however wouldn’t have had a clue how.

      Hey Michael, when you interview her, tell Hailey to come to NZ for a tour. Probably sell out Auckland!

      Love to Hailey. Probably won’t bother watching AI next year. This is the 4rd year in a row that the american public have voted like unimaginative sheep. First Alison, then Crystal now Hailey… sad.

      • emjay says:

        More Kiwis!! and here i was thinking i was the only one!! would go far and wide to see Haley perform! NZ FTW! :D

      • stevenjaba says:

        Uhm… I take exception to that… Adam and Kris both beat Alison and they were amazing – all three deserved final slots. Agree on Crystal though.

        • anon says:

          I take exception to your exception. Kris Allen is not amazing, just average, as his post-Idol success clearly demonstrates.

          • Davey says:

            That’s your biased opinion. Everyone Kris works with loves him. He’s a real musician and is doing fine with her career. People forget how young he is.

      • Liz says:

        Please don’t blame the American public — it’s the voting system that allows unlimited voting to those willing to spend two hours texting. If it were one vote per person, I can’t believe the results would be the same.

        • mariana says:

          I totally agree- the voting system is awful. Grown-ups don’t want to stay up for 2 hours voting non-stop. I always feel like my votes don’t have that much impact because I would despise sitting there like a dummy for so long trying to get through to AI. It’s ridiculous. So who really is this “America” that votes? I would have to say the really young crowd and fanatics. Though I must say- I actually did a lot of voting for Haley this season but I didn’t like spending so much time on it- plus- I had to take breaks.. However, the AI producers love the hype that goes along with this silly system. Plus, the producers were too transparent this year with their cheesy and obvious biases as to who they wanted in the finals.

        • azale says:

          Why does nobody ever mention that for one to do the most effective spam voting (texting), one has to be use AT&T. That is disgusting to me. Not AT&T necessarily, but that you can’t equally participate if you go with like say Verizon.

    • violet says:

      Hey, Kiwis, Just popping in to say Hi. I’m in L.A., but have been all over NZ and love it!

      On topic: I have watched just about every episode and will not be watching the final performance night, because I just have no desire to see either Lauren or Scotty. I even have a ticket to see the show live, but am choosing not to go. I am going to the finale, though. :)

    • Jafa says:

      Helloooo ANOTHER Effin Kiwi here!!
      I’m absolutely gutted that Haley’s out, just like I was gutted when Adam didn’t win and Crystal didn’t win.
      Dunno why I put myself through the heartache every year!!
      Will skip this year’s finale but no doubt will be glued to the TV when season 11 starts up.

    • bamabunny says:

      Um, actually, there won’t be any interviews with Haley until long after the final two have done their publicity rounds. Since it’s the week before the finale (and a shorter week at that, since they moved everything up a day to squeeze it into sweeps), Haley will be busy rehearsing group numbers plus any “celeb duet,” so she won’t be able to travel to NY or do other publicity like other contestants. And of course right after the finale, everyone wants to interview the winner (and the runner-up, of course). Thus is the curse of leaving in third place…Casey James, Danny Gokey, Syesha Mercado, et al., all beared the same burden.

  7. Kumbaya says:

    Season 10 Finale is Rated “Z”, for Zzzzzzz…I wish Haley good luck. #SignTheGrowler

  8. Sad Bunny says:

    Talk about swimming upstream. Not only was mother nature against Haley, but if not for Oprah taping her show at United Center on Tuesday, the Bulls vs Heat basketball finals wouldn’t have been postponed to wednesday at the same timeslot as AI. It’s a good bet that most if not all of Chicago and the state of Illinois weren’t watching their hometown girl giving her all. So sad….so very very sad.

  9. Supermoo says:

    I love Haley, but I actually prefer she got 3rd, she will release her own album and kick those country asses to who knows where. At least now she won’t be forced into the idol factory, they do have a choice of signing her and boy they would be the most foolish people on earth if they don’t, the idol winner is not always the “winner”

    In my eyes, Haley is already the “winner” and was always.

    Go Haley!
    Oh and I can’t even vote ‘cos I’m in the UK, so she already has international fans!

    Scotty and “Waaaren” …..enjoy country idol while it lasts!

    Bye.

    • EvaneSam says:

      I second that. Greetings from Romania :D. I can’t wait to get Haleys album but until then the idol performances will have to do.

      Slezak you better have a 1 hour interview with her for Idoloonies or I will never watch or ready your show again!!! :P

  10. Abby S. says:

    I’m so excited for Haley! She’s only 20 and we already love so much about her as an artist. She proved this season her ability to learn and grow, and that’s a very promising sign for her career, and for us, as listeners. Can’t wait to hear what’s next!

    ps. Voted for Haley for 2 hours last night. My first AI vote since John Stevens in S3 (gah! I used to be part of the problem!!)

    • McFudge says:

      The eternal optimist in me hoped for Haley in the finale, but I voted all two hours also, and after the first fifteen minutes or so, almost never got a busy signal. Bed bad sign. The tweeners who are no doubt Scotty and Lauren’s biggest fans are the ones who will ordinarily spend all that time hitting redial.

      • Pam says:

        I’ve been watching and voting since the very first season of Idol, and I rarely get a busy signal. I’ve never considered it a bad sign.

        As far as tweens and teens go – here’s my perspective: I have 2 teenagers and they never watch the show except to make fun of it. I also have a 10 y/o tween girl, and she’s not a fan of Scotty or Lauren. She has been for Haley since she sang “Blue” and is now heartbroken. Not only did she say that next week will be boring, but she asked me why America’s so stupid. How do I answer that?

  11. EvaneSam says:

    I just watched Haley’s last performance and I can’t stop laughing at her little jab at the judges. “Randy and J.Lo have you seen them yet, oh but they’re so spaced out, B-B-B-Bennie and Steven, they’re weird and they’re wonderful” ROFL. YOU GO HALEY!!!

  12. One of Haley's Fans says:

    Dear Slezak,

    Please give Haley a special Idoloonies interview, like the one you did with Allison and Crystal on Idolatry. Interview in a restaurant, put a lot of special effects, and give her flowers.

    From a humble Haley Reinhart Fan.

  13. takakupo says:

    Can’t wait to see Naima, Pia, Haley, Thia, Ashton and Karen (somewhat, lol) on the Idol stage again and outshining the guys and the rest of the competition by a mile :]

  14. Arthur says:

    This just shows how disconnected the idol blogosphere and the audience are, a bunch of New York and LA journalists who have never supported a country contestant in ten seasons, when it’s evidently a huge market.

    Can’t wait for next years 4th version of the plucky underdog story narrated by Slezak and Averett.

    • Mark says:

      Yes, us Californians (born in New York) could not stand Carrie Underwood, we hate her now, we do not think she is gorgeous, we do not think she is charming, we do not think she is down to earth, we do not recognize she is a superstar, we do not think she sings like an angel, we did not root for her to win, we do not sing along to her songs even though country is not our first choice in music, in fact we just plain wish she’d go away.

      Oh, wait, never mind, none of the above is true. Except we are living in California and from New York.

      • McFudge says:

        Ah, stereotypes. Don’t you just love them? I love country, live in the more-or-less south, sing in my church choir, and am in mourning wearing sackcloth and ashes today because the only unique singer left on the stage is gone. Ah, well. I guess I wasn’t surprised, but dangit….

        • nunnya says:

          Preach it! Except I am in the more-or-less Deep South. I don’t sing in my church choir, but I might be around to greet you at the door on Sunday. Voted like I was getting paid for HALEY!

          • Gavin says:

            Agreed. I’m a Southerner and huge country fan. Scotty is just a pale imitation of country singers who already exist, like Jason Aldean, Travis Tritt, and Josh Turner. Could we even distinguish between Scotty and Josh when they sang together? Heck, I (and anyone with a deep voice) could sing like Scotty. Lauren is immature, mediocre, and generic. Coutnry music is largely based on life experience, and while youngsters like Taylor Swift can occasionally break into that scene, neither Lauren nor Scotty seems to have the life experience to make great country music. Oh, and this: http://www.radio-info.com/newsletter/html/sc-05172011.html?utm_source=Subscribers&utm_campaign=9f9cef57a5-Stark_Country_05_17_2011&utm_medium=email .

          • Blair says:

            @Gavin: great article. Truly shows what Scotty and Lauren will be up against post-idol. Another thing that came to mind while reading this, was how differently things were for Carrie Underwood a few years ago while undergoing her journey on idol. Remember how often Carrie was given, and welcomed herself, different and challenging material in very different genres to perform. This made a world of difference in Carrie’s success on idol and beyond, and truly showcased the much wider range Carrie had and still has as a performer. Very little, if any creative challenge at all, was given to either of these kids this season. I wish them the best, but at the same time am very worried for them.

      • tatyana says:

        Finally! Words of truth are spoken!!
        Amen.

    • Lily says:

      “A huge market.” Well, I hope so, for Lauren and Scotty’s sake. One measure will be the ratings for their final performance show. How many people will still tune in to watch Idol now that it’s an all-country show? Are any of them people old enough and with money to actually buy the products, like the Ford cars now or the winner’s and runner-up’s albums a year from now?
      I think Scotty will be ok but I’m a little worried for Lauren. She seems very young and vulnerable, and I wish she could have had a chance to finish high school and grow up a little first.

      • McFudge says:

        I’ll be interested in seeing how many votes come in next week. I’m doubtful that a lot of Haley voters are going to be rubbing the skin off their thumbs power dialing for Lauren or Scotty. I have nothing against them, they seem like really nice kids, but at this point in their young lives, they just don’t measure up artistically.

        • agrimesy says:

          I’m a Haley fan, and I have to say the final two are a lose / lose for me. I think Scotty is the better contestant, but I cannot support a 4th season in a row “man with a guitar” winner on Idol. As for Lauren, I have never believed she was mature enough to handle the rigors of a career. Her win would make Idol just a pageant. So, I cannot in good conscience vote for either one of them.
          .
          As I said last night, Haley was the ready rocker chic! She was the perfect winner from my perspective. For me, Haley won by clawing her way with raw talent from the bottom three to the top three. I’ve decided to finish the season by watching next week, but I won’t be voting.

  15. Go Go says:

    I deleted AI from my DVR. After 10 seasons, I guess I am done.

    Ironically, what I felt was a sense of relief.

    It’s like finally got a divorce from a dead marriage that hasn’t worked in years.

    • Lori says:

      For me, I’m still in the abusive relationship. AI keeps bashing me, but I keep going back.

    • allie says:

      Lol. Not quite as sad as a divorce but it is certainly like being freed from a bad habit. I dvr’d last night’s episode but when I heard she was eliminated, I erased it. Didn’t feel bad at all. Won’t watch the finale and if the same judges are in next year I am out for good. It isn’t about Haley – this isn’t like when Daughtry was voted off for me -it’s about how lame this season was, how useless the judges were and the utter lack of creativity from anyone. The finale will be a one note snoozefest and I actually like some country – just not these two children.

      • Carol B says:

        Erased it? Ooh. Be sure to watch Haley’s sing-out performance at the end of the show, on youtube or wherever you can find it. As so many people have said on this post,it was PERFECT, electric–pick your own superlative.

    • wendeeloo says:

      This is my first ^this.

  16. Jason S. says:

    I have to say if those voting results were real and Lauren and Scotty both got more votes then Haley even with splitting the country vote then I have to tip my hat to the Machiavellian genius of Nigel Lythgoe. He played America like a banjo!!!! I mean to get two country artists to the finale without either of them really dominating one night that I can remember!! That guy played America like Boston Rob played the other Survivors this year. Total domination!!!PErsonally I think the votes didn’t count last night!!! I just can’t see 70% or more of America voting country over rock!!!!

    • Liz says:

      While I don’t endorse any serious conspiracy theories about the voting, those vote totals always sound made up. “We received 86 million bajillion votes last night, whoooeeeee!”

      • Darsy says:

        The thing is, I never voted as crazily as I voted for Haley two days ago, and it’s a fair bet I’m not the only one who started voting 5+ or more times after not bothering for many seasons.

        • @Darsy says:

          YOu think voting 5 times is “crazily”??? No wonder Haley was voted off with dedicated fans like you.

        • Blair says:

          I voted for Haley the night before last night way more than I’ve voted for anybody on AI ever. And I went back to season 8 where I thought I voted a ridiculous amount of times for my all-time favorite, Adam Lambert. But I voted at least three times that amount, and I thought the Lambert votes was way more than I’d ever vote in my lifetime. But of course, the reality of it is that there are kids and bible-belters out there, that vote the likes of which no amount of voting can equal. At least that’s one of my hunches.

    • Joe says:

      The votes don’t count which Scotty and his fans will learn next week when Lauren gets her confetti shower. If you look at Lauren’s online impact it’s far less than Haley or Scotty’s. Get ready for shocking finale results next week before Hee Haw Barbie puts on the tiara she was just born to wear.

    • Think Math says:

      They say 95 million votes. Say each person dialed ten times. Really only 9.5 million people voted. The producers like to make it out that 1/3 of the nation voted. Ha.

      • S. Lee Stack says:

        they also fail to mention this is the first year of online voting, so obviously they will have greater vote totals…

        its like when a cable provider expands their coverage area from 1/2 the city to the whole city, then brags that more people than ever use their service…

      • Name That Tune says:

        Think far less than 9.5 million. AT&T reports that my smart phone sent over 9000 votes Wednesday. By your math, I count as 900 people.
        It’s hard to gauge how many of the AI voters have learned to use their smart phones this way, but it would only take a 10,000 people to deliver 90 million votes. I suspect that I represent a small percentage of AI’s voters. But the potential for a few thousand people to make a big impact is there.

        • john says:

          wow do I feel like an idiot. I will never vote or watch it again. I have an older cell phone and thought my 25-50 voted meant something. What a joke if what you way is true. I also was going to vote on line but you have to have a facebook page and I don’t want one. Also, I can’t text votes because I am a verizon customer. Just three examples to show how even if I wanted a say, there is no way I count with American Idol.

  17. takakupo says:

    Each Idol and their runner up had a moment on Idol save for Justin Guarini. The entire platform of season 1 was Kelly’s moment:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Season 2 – Ruben w/ ‘Superstar’ & Clay w/ ‘Solitaire’
    Season 3 – Fantasia w/ ‘Summertime’ & Diana w/ ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’
    Season 4 – Carrie w/ ‘Alone’ & Bo w/ ‘In A Dream’
    Season 5 – Taylor w/ ‘In the Ghetto & Kat w/ ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’
    Season 6 – Jordin w/ ‘I Who Have Nothing’ & Blake w/ ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’
    Season 7 – D. Cook w/ ‘Billy Jean’ & D. Archuleta w/ ‘Imagine’
    Season 8 – Kris w/ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ & Adam w/ ‘Mad World’
    Season 9 – Crystal w/ ‘Bobby McGee & Lee w/ ‘The Boxer’
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In season 10, the only contestants to have moments were two girls who aren’t in the finale next tuesday:
    Haley w/ ‘House of the Rising Sun’ & Pia w/ ‘I’ll Stand By You’
    Nuff said.

    • mark says:

      Justin wasn’t bad and he had his moment too: his Get Here was pretty darn good. So, yes, every season but 10, had finalist moments. Man, season 10 started with sooo much promise…

      • takakupo says:

        I’m not too sure that “Ger Here” was really a moment. If you’re going to say that it was just “Pretty darn good” than that kinda leaves the door open for Scotty to insert “You’ve Got A Friend” or Lauren’s “Anyway” which I wouldn’t agree with at all. Though to each their own :] I still agree with the original point which is this season is the only one without a moment for either finalist.

    • ben says:

      I was just telling a friend about this, how none of the final two had genuine moments. I was very disappointed with the judges’ choice of songs. When Simon was still there, he tried everything that he could to create moments for the contestants that he like. Kat McPhee with Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Lee Dewyze with Hallelujah. I know thats’s practically bordering on manipulation but at least there was a judge back then who knows what he’s doing.

    • stevenjaba says:

      some of your “moments” are very disputable. I never thought Lee had a moment – we were just TOLD he had a moment. I also didn’t think Pia had a moment. Her performances were yawn-inducing, though technically perfect.

      • Denise says:

        I loved The Boxer and actually bought it on itunes and still listen to it.

      • GinaBallerina says:

        I’m not really a Lee fan, but I actually thought his “Treat her Like a Lady” Top 10 week was a “moment.” It was so good. To me it was his only real moment, but at least it was one, so I was kind of okay with him winning.

      • Kim says:

        This may have been due to Crystal’s involvement but I thought their duet of “falling slowly” was a moment for both of them. It didn’t bother me that Lee was in the final but Crystal was far and away the better of the two.

    • jaxguy says:

      And takakupo you are being nice just calling House of the Rising Sun her moment. She had moments every week since including her scorching Benny & the Jets send off. You are also so right about Pia. Our 2 finalists never left their comfort zone thus for me, they were both average every week at best. Sorry folks I just never bought Scotty at all. And I like some country music.

    • railyardblues says:

      Those were definitely season 10 moments but come on now… if you’re going to call out the moments from season 10 let’s give some props to Casey for his version of Nature Boy, if that isn’t an Idol moment I don’t know what is. You also gotta include Casey’s and Haley’s duet on Moanin, they brought the house down on that one and it is one of the best performances ever given on any season of AI.

    • anon says:

      I will say, however, that Scotty’s eyebrows had a “moment” or two this season.

    • CAT says:

      You cannot POSSIBLY be serious with Lee’s “The Boxer”, can you? Putting that in the same category as “Imagine” or “Mad World” or “I Who Have Nothing” or “You Give Love a Bad Name” is just short of insanity! (Or tone-deafness).

      • takakupo says:

        I never liked Lee Dewyze but there’s a lot of love for his performance of “The Boxer”. I guess if we’re going by general consensus, the closest thing he could get to a moment is actually “Treat Her Like a Lady” for soul night. It’s his highest rated performance at whatnottosing.com

    • N says:

      Adam had a heck of a lot more than ONE “moment” in Season 8. What about “Tracks of my Tears”, “Feelin’ Good”, and “Ring of Fire”?

      • takakupo says:

        Adam’s “Tracks of my Tears” is my personal favorite from his run but everyone is far more familiar with Mad World. I only really wanted to make a quick point so I gave everyone what I thought was their most resounding moment even if they had more than one.

    • Ablo says:

      I’m not sure Pia’s I’ll Stand by You belongs in that list.

      • takakupo says:

        Objectively speaking, I still think that Pia’s “I’ll Stand by You” is the resounding performance of the seasons if only by an inch.

        Speaking with imperical data, it’s tied with Haley’s “House of the Rising Sun” which you can view a rating of across the board as well as all other performances in all ten seasons from a handy dandy website here: .

        • Ablo says:

          Pia’s version was so, so less than the original that I can’t rate it very highly. Pia, to me, is the non-country Lauren.

      • Lily says:

        I wish Pia had stayed long to show what else she could do besides sing a la Celine Dion. It was strange this season that the judges encouraged contestants to ‘stay in their lane’ and not take risks, when contestants who took risks and sang interesting songs were the ones I really enjoyed (such as James, Casey, Haley, Naima). Isn’t risk-taking with songs from different styles and years is supposed to be the fun part of Idol, even when sometimes a risk falls flat? With contestants who sang the same song type or performance style over and over again this season (Scotty, Lauren, Pia, Stefano), I can’t seem to remember or name any of their performances.

    • Aaron says:

      I think Katharine McPhee’s moment was undoubtedly “Over the Rainbow” and a close second was “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”. But “Someone to Watch Over Me” was good too. I have repressed every performance of Taylor Hicks’ and cannot remember a single one.

      • takakupo says:

        I was trying to keep with performances that were before the finale but undoubtedly, “Over the Rainbow” is her bitch now :D

        • Violet says:

          In my eyes, Jason Castro owns “Over The Rainbow.” Granted it’s a different version, but it was beautiful.

  18. Chris says:

    SHAME ON MICHAEL SLEZAK
    Hahaha Im watching one of the earlier Idoloonies right now and a direct quote:
    “Haley is one of those contestants that doesn’t have any sophistication or artistry. She doesn’t really understand what shes singing so every song gets delivered like a come on. Shes working these songs like a stripper works a pole!”

    LOL OH HOW WRONG YOU WERE MICHAEL
    AND HOW WRONG WE ALL WERE ABOUT OUR GROWLER!

    • marie says:

      I dismissed her at first too. But she pushed the envelope and grew so much over the course of the season. Sometimes it’s the ones you’re slow to recognize that prove to be the ones that last vs. the ones who might grab you immediately (i.e., Casey). I came to really appreciate and respect Haley as an artist; she took risks and showed her versatility. And all the idiot “judges” could do was deride her because THEY couldn’t figure out “what kind of artist she was” while patting the little kids on the back for never taking risks and turning in the same dleepy performances over and over again.
      No way am I going to watch a two-hour sleeping pill next Tuesday.

      • McFudge says:

        I didn’t like Haley at first either, mainly because her words were always a bunch of mush. She never seemed to know a consanant that she liked, but she got over that. I really grew to enjoy the raspiness in her voice, the way she didn’t play it safe, and her phrasing. Didn’t like it much when she started screaming. (Didn’t like it when the amazing Adam Lambert did it, didn’t like James did it, hid my head when Jacob did.) That said, she was usually very controlled and had that ability to be hitting a glory note and then pulling back very quickly and singing a note very softly and clearly with no pitch problems whatsoever. That’s talent.

      • South TX Haley Fan! says:

        Marie, agree 100%! Haley definitely grew on me over the course of the season. I had a total opposite experience with Lauren – I liked her at first, but then as the season wore on, she began to get on my nerves. Boring and predictable.

        However, I was NEVER a Scotty fan. Yes, he can sing – but what a total yawnfest. Only song I liked that he did all season was his cover of “Gone”.

        Add me to the list of people NOT watching the finale next week.

    • Jason s says:

      Yeah! I remember the good ole days of bitching at Slezak for bitching at Haley! Slezak rarely likes the sexy girls! It wasn’t til she got a bit goofy that he liked her! She had me at “blue” I think the only reason she was in bottom three that night was because she did country and the other two had the country vote locked. Up!

      • karen Anderson says:

        Haley had me at “Oh Darlin,” “God Bless the Child,” and Motown Week. She was consistently good from the get-go.

    • GSOgymrat says:

      Barbara please… Haley went from “unremarkable” to “the best remaining”.

    • COOKaineAddict says:

      That was written during his love affair with Pia. Soon as Pia was outa sight, outa mind, he went straight for Haley without a moments hesitation. Such a fickle boy. Yeah, I know, Michael, you already told me you can have more than one favorite in any season.

      • funkycoldmedina says:

        PIA is an amazing vocalist. To each their own.

      • loopdeloo says:

        He was on Haley’s bandwagon way before Pia was eliminated – I think it was actually during Motown week. I remember because that’s also when I officially jumped on her bandwagon, although I never had the contempt for her that Slezak seemed to have :P

    • Kevin C. says:

      That certainly WAS true at the start of the season.

      Look back at performances like ‘Fallin”, ‘Blue’, and ‘Piece of my Heart’. However well they were sung, the effect was ruined by the style she sung it in (I’ve never seen a girl so happy to see a guy taking away pieces of her heart!).

      Her good performances back then (Bennie!) were the ones where the style she brought to every song happened the song she was singing at the moment. It wasn’t until Top 7 week (where you could see her successfully fighting the urge to smile and act sexy during “Rolling in the Deep”) that she started really connecting with her songs and what she was singing. Once that happened, the quality of her performances just shot upwards.

    • Chicken says:

      Actually, you could use the same description now, especially after last night’s goodbye song!

    • Buster Cretin says:

      Dude… WRONG! Slezak had every right to claim that at that moment.
      Who knew that Haley would bounce back time and again. Haley won me over, but she did so over time. Now, she’s one of my favorite all time contestants, but for me, that’s always been the joy of Idol. Watching someone grow is part of the experience. Scotty and Lauren are pretty much the same as when they started. Not our Haley. She went from nobody to superstar and I love her.

      • growler forever! says:

        Yeah, this. I spent the last several weeks thinking how “wrong” I must have been about Haley earlier in the season, but then they showed her audition the other night, and I thought, “Whoa, no, she actually WAS that bad!” She did have some good moments earlier (I liked “Blue” a lot), but it was a lot more “miss” than “hit”…and yet over the course of the season, she turned that around and became pretty consistently amazing. Her growth this season was maybe the most extraordinary I’ve ever seen on this show — and much as I already love her, that trajectory makes me even more excited for the artist she’s going to be by the time she finishes recording her first album, and then her second, and then… The sky really is the limit with this one.

        Haley, you are 100% *my* American Idol!

      • john says:

        Well said Chuck. I was thinking the same thing. Maybe that is what drew me to Haley. She is the one who sang music I hear on the satalite radio. (Oh yeah…I used to hear Lauren’s songs on radio Disney with my 10 year old in the car.

        I became a musical fan with “Rolling..” But, I became a fan of Haley’s earlier than that when she was in the bottom three 4 weeks in a row and she ALWAYS took it in stride and with a smile on her face. Funny how no one talks about this. They only want to remember her final 4 critique (or should I say lashing). Think back to the beginning. Haley ALWAYS had a smile on her face.

    • Joe says:

      You were right then, Michael. Not so now.

  19. happy says:

    Haley’s album. Need it. Please. Make. It. Happen.

  20. Mark says:

    Edited and cleaned up a bit from the pre-cap post comments…

    To the tune of “You Oughtta Know”

    Haley:
    I want you to know
    I’m ha-ppy for you
    I wish nothing but the best for you both
    Scotty (to Lauren): A female version of me
    Lauren (to Lauren): A male version of me
    Scotty/Lauren: We will be crooning in the Nokia theater
    Toons that are purely country
    Clones, no originalt’y
    I’m sure they’ll make for some really excellent TV
    ‘Cause the stuff that we sang all the time was the same
    To make it this far for you all be convinced we’re stars, yeah
    And every time you text your votes
    You know that Nigel’s judges notes
    Will praise our names, chosen ones
    And we’re still alive
    Haley:
    But I’m here to remind you
    All the “moments” from season 10 were mine
    Is it fair that the judges
    Found fault only with me all season long
    I, I, I, gotta go
    Scotty:
    Eye brow raised again, micro-phone askew
    Alfred E. Neuman, in case you don’t know
    Country Bieber that’s me, plat-i-num records you’ll see
    Baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low
    I’m off to Nashville you see, to sing at the Old Opry
    Whether or not I am showered with confetti
    Lauren:
    Out of breath again with this quick paced verse
    Gonna bend down low and shimmy around, yeah
    And please know when you say my name
    Do forget that I have a real last name
    And someday soon, someday soon
    I will truly shine
    All:
    Oh, J.Lo, Steven, Randy
    You’re a mess even compared to Paula
    It’s not fair to miss Kara
    But dear lord she was brilliant compared to you
    You, you, you truly blow
    Haley: Yeah, they’re (points at Scotty/Lauren) here and I’m outtie
    Scotty (to Haley): Oh we’ll miss you miss when you go away
    Lauren (to Haley): It’s not fair to deny you
    Scotty: Of the cross I wear? (chuckle, pause)… Just kidding babe…
    Haley… I, I, I gotta go

  21. L says:

    This has to go down as THE worst year of AI ever – including season 6 and 9. I won’t be watching the finale or next year. The show has jumped the shark.

  22. Justin says:

    Regarding Lauren’s “If I Die Young” –

    I can’t believe j-no tried to put a positive spin on her missing the key change. She said, in one long sentence, “There was a couple things at the end (mumbles a couple words that we can’t understand) I know it was because you got caught up in the honesty of what you were creating in that moment, and it was beautiful.” Ummmmmm…

    I saw something a little different. I saw an ear-to-ear smile on Lauren’s face as she windmilled her right arm and sang the words “If I die young.” Then, she gave the “Ooops…I screwed up” smile while she skipped a line of the chorus. For me, this really ruined what I thought was going to be her first great performance. I fell in love with her voice during her audition, but I think I’m done waiting for her to blow me away. “If I Die Young” was just another 8 out of 10 from 16-Year-Old Lauren Alaina.

    By the way, check out how the big girl over on NBC sings it:

    Now that is a country voice I’m excited to hear more of…unlike our AI finalists.

    I could rant all day about the irrationality of the judges, but I’ll just point out one very telling thing. Almost every week they piled on the praise for Scotty, James, and Lauren and offered no constructive criticism as they said nearly every single performance was without flaws. They made it clear that those three were the best of the best. HOWEVER…according to my memory, not one of the judges’ favorites earned a standing ovation all season. Haley has RECENTLY earned three…and I have to listen to Randy preach to Jimmy Fallon about how wrong it was that James went home and that it is SO important for the viewers to vote for their favorites. No, Dawg. You forgot to vote for your favorites when you told Pia to quit boring you with her ballads. You forgot to vote for your favorites when you absolutely trashed Haley every other week.

    • EvilEdit says:

      Memo: Standing ovations.
      Order of the day 5/24/2011. Do NOT forget.

    • marie says:

      Wow, thanks for the link. Casey Weston is wonderful. Great demonstration that Little Lauren is absolutely not ready, vocally, emtionally, or as an artist. I have zero interest in what she does post-Idol.

    • @justin says:

      Wow, that “Voice” contestant is great…much better than Idol’s final 2…

    • CindyofAngels says:

      Her voice is great….but you can understand only about every fourth word.

  23. Paisley says:

    I can’t decide which was more fun for me this season: watching the actual show or following you on TVLine, Michael. Anyway, I agree with you about Lauren and Scotty being very talented and seemingly really sweet kids. Although I prefer the likes of Haley, Pia, Casey (& Adam Lambert, Crystal, Allison), I can understand the attraction of a Lauren-Scotty finale to many Idol viewers out there. Not my ideal finale or my fave kind of music, but so be it. We all kind of knew this would happen and Haley did a fantastic exit performance. Now, try to get her on Idoloonies!!!!!

    • ladyhelix says:

      No Contest for me! Visiting Idoloonies beats enduring the live show with all it’s commercials – hands down.

  24. happy says:

    Her exit interview is a gas. She was definitely following the beat of her own drummer.

    http://www.americanidol.com/videos/season_10/curtain_call/we_say_goodbye_to_haley_reinhart/

    No Regrets.

    • Lily says:

      “Showing versatility is not a bad thing in my book.” – Haley Reinhart. Amen, Haley!

    • happy says:

      “I came into this strong and knew who I was ALWAYS.
      But I’ve definitely gone outside the boundaries.
      Taken on completely different things and never backed down.”

    • pj says:

      When I try to watch video on AI.com, I get no audio. The video works perfectly?????

    • agrimesy says:

      This segment made my morning! Haley is so strong and so well-spoken . . . no tears, no regrets, no blame . . . just a solid message of gratitude and perseverance. I loved her little promise at the end that she would show us how much our support meant to her. I’m guessing she meant she’d record us an amazing album! :)

    • Adele says:

      Thanks for this! LOVE. HER.

      • azale says:

        I just sent my sweetie the link to this AI exit interview. The subject to her was “Love. HER!!!” With the full-stop and everything. ;)

    • Gone says:

      they seem to have already removed it

  25. Keresey says:

    Song selection did do Haley in. If the judges/Jimmy “the sweater” Iovine really knew her well, they wouldn’t have picked those ridiculous songs that were so not suited for her. If it was truly a level playing field and the other two contestants were lobbed country standards, Haley should have at least deserved one jazz or blues pick. A Cole Porter number or anything Ella. Oh what a show it would have been for America if she had interpreted “Summertime” or “How High the moon”. Watch her version of “Night and Day” on youtube when she sang it in high school to know what I mean…Her duet with Casey on “Moanin'” is by far one of the best AI duets ever.

    • Pam says:

      I disagree about Jimmy’s selection. I’ve been wanted Haley to sing Stevie Nicks and I wasn’t disappointed. But as soon as I heard the judges’ choice of You Oughta Know, I knew they were gunning for her. It’s not a “singer’s” song, not a good fit for Idol, and not a good fit for Haley. She did alright with it, but it’s unfortunate that was the last song she sang on performance night. Because Randy and Steven are such jazz fans, I really thought they’d pick something from that genre too, but since Haley in the finals wasn’t part of the plan, that couldn’t happen.

      • Keresey says:

        Much as I love Haley, she was just covering Stevie Nicks without much variation. It was good. It just wasn’t Haley-great. I suppose if she had opted for the soft acoustic style she did with “Like A Star” by Corinne Bailey Rae and end up with something close to that with a rougher edge, it would be something. Honestly, they cornered her on that song. If she did it soft, they’d just compare her to Didi Benami’s rendition. In the end, she picked the Fleetwood Mac style, which her folks would have loved but all the kids are like “Didi did it much better”. I personally wished she went with Didi’s style but rough it up in the end. No band, no wind machine would have sealed the deal. As for “You Oughta Know”, she should have done the acoustic verison Alannis did in her unplugged sessions. Not only would that be unique, it would have slowed the tempo down and given her more time to “work” that song and find more sweet spots to give her that moment standing still in front of the mic instead of doing that ridiculous run around the judges bit. Haley’s voice has enough magic to entertain everyone. She doesn’t need props or stunts to “take it up a notch”. She just needed to be still like the other two contestants and she’d still blow them away. Whoever is advising Haley to prance around the stage didn’t do her any favors.

    • Li-Li says:

      And the “judges” harped on song selection all season, only to select one of the worst possible songs for Haley. On purpose? Probably. Also on YouTube is a sweet, understated version of Haley singing “Like A Star” by Corinne Bailey Rae. Haley would have had yet ANOTHER moment if they gave her a chance to sing something soft and sweet. I didn’t think “Rhiannon” was that great of a choice either. Both songs they chose for her were very specific to the original artist, but no matter how great Haley’s performances were, the original version is still there like a ghost. Of course for the teen voting sector, they would have probably gone crazy if she had done something they could relate to – or recognize. When Haley sang “are you perverted like me”, my heart sank as I realized the “judges” did her in.

    • Mary says:

      I agree with you the judges song choice for her was awful and totally unfair but I can see that she could have blew the roof off with the best song choices ever and she still would not have made the final. As it was she came out on poll after poll as taking the night even with the bad song choices. Scotty and Lauren were written in stone already and nothing was going to stop it. Scotty is okay and a nice kid. Lauren is a nice kid and I am sure she will have a incredible voice someday but she is too immature and coming across so sugary a dietetic would go in a coma watching ans listening to her. She is just not real enough. Haley is a breath of fresh air and a joy to watch. I didn’t like her in the beginning but she is an acquired taste and I grew to love her stronger than any other idol contestant ever. She is the only idol contestant ever that I downloaded all song of. I am certainly not a kid, I am a 63 year old woman and she took a piece of my heart. I just hope she does not get lost in the system like so many other great idol contestants have. She truly is and needs to be a shining star.

    • Blair says:

      I know! I watched her video singing “Night And Day” with her high school jazz band, and immediately thought, “That was so awesome! She should do something like that on Idol with the big band behind her!” What a moment that would have created. I really hope she’ll do at least a song with that type of influence on her upcoming CD.

  26. Jake says:

    I suppose Haley’s elimination was inevitable, but I’m glad she survived as long as she did. Pia was the best of this season’s finalists, and Haley was next. That two adolescent country singers made the finals shows the layers of flaws in the Idol selection process.

    As someone commented above, it does appear the coastal crowds and bloggers are wildly out of touch with the rest of the Idol voting bloc. I don’t know anyone who loves country in general or Scotty/Lauren in particular, and certainly no one I know would vote for them. Almost all of my Idol watching friends in NYC were Pia and Haley fans, followed by a mix of Casey and James fans. I just can’t figure out who keeps voting for Scotty and Lauren….

    • Growlers United says:

      Wednesday night, a number of times I called Haley’s numbers, I heard “Thanks for voting for contestant 1″ and once “..2″ Now that there is computer voting, what’s to keep the Idol Machine from just generating its own votes for their chosen two?

  27. charlie says:

    Loved Haley’s farewell performance. Only part of the show I watched after learning on line she didn’t make the finale. I will not be wasting any of my time watching the finale. It will be a snooze-fest!
    It will not bother me if Idol is soon gone, knocked out by THE VOICE and X Factor US. But I am grateful that Idol has brought us so many talented young singers over the years: Kelly, Fantasia, Katharine, Adam, etc, etc. I hope Haley get signed by a record company that will couple her with really great writers and producers and she will have the rising superstar career that she deserves to have!!! GO HALEY!!! LOVE YOU!!!!

  28. Ben says:

    I have no problem at all with having a Country Idol. Heck, I was a big supporter of Carrie Underwood back in the day. What I don’t like about Scotty and Lauren is how they are very unwilling to take risks. Yes they love country music, yes they want to make their careers in their genre. But they also have to prove that they are versatile. Carrie’s big Idol moment was singing a rock song. Whenever there was a week that gave them leeway to choose their own genre, Carrie chose songs that are not in her comfort zone. She stretched herself, she showed her versatility and willingness to take risks, and that is why she is one of the most successful Idols ever!

    • Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

      Ben, I was going to write a comment, but after reading yours, I realized that you said everything I was going to say. And no, Mr. Slezak, I won’t be watching the Tuesday performance show since I know exactly that I’ll see — two young country singers performing safe, predictable, mainstream country songs. At least we’ll see some variety on Wednesday’s results show when Scotty is crowned Country Idol 2011.

  29. Renee says:

    I can’t believe people were mourning instead of celebrating last night.

    Haley took that tired Idol cliche about the hero’s journey and gave us a narrative truly worthy of Joseph Campbell. Starting as an unremarkable, often diffident and inconsistent performer, Haley got caught in the crossfire of TPTB’s agenda and went through a trial by fire that ultimately produced a remarkable talent with nerves of steel and balls to match.

    Her exit performance was gorgeous, but it was more than art. In a few short minutes, she used her rippling vocals, witty lyric changes, and every single sway and smile in her arsenal to offer a clearer, more moving commentary on this season of Idol than all the bloggers and critics in the Idolsphere. It was a performance that revealed everything that is wrong (and even what’s right) with Idol right now.

    When Ryan guided her to the front of the stage and her chin came up with that defiant expression, I thought “oh, f*&k, Haley, don’t do it!” but she was a deadly ninja; every slice was surgical. When she sang the Randy/Jennifer lyric line leaning over that table, Randy looked slightly scared and JLo seriously looked like she was gonna cut a girl before hastily pasting a smile on. (If you have it DVR’d, pause it and check out that cold Medusa glare. Even at the end, you could see Jennifer was in no hurry to get up from her chair and climb those steps for the ritual goodbye.)

    And after weaving blithely past the judges with a ‘you’ve been served’ dismissivenesss, Haley turned her back to them and joined the other Idols to boogie down – creating an almost uncomfortable contrast for viewers as the camera cut between the two awkward cornfed teenagers bobbing awkwardly on the stage, completely out of time with the tune, and the joyful gyrations of Naima, Jacob, Casey, Paul celebrating Haley’s arrival among their outcast ranks – quirky, artsy, sometimes creepy, but anything but bland.

    It was a delicious moment of anarchy. Even masterbot Ryan seemed to realize a 20 yr old girl had completely seized control of the channel and defied anyone to take it from her until SHE was ready to bring the curtain down.

    Hells yeah, Haley. I mocked your awkward first performance of this song and your weird arm movements in general. But I now bow before your greatness; you told Nigel to go f%^k himself with with wit, class and heart. You are hereby promoted from Growler to Slayer, the true Chosen One.

    • Yo says:

      Very nice!

    • Growlers United says:

      Bravo!! Excellent post – I too did not like Haley’s early performances but she completely converted me the last seven weeks! She is the only person for whom I have ever power voted. Her “Rolling in the Deep” is better than Adele’s.

      • renee says:

        Did you check out Vicci Martinez on The Voice? I didn’t think her cover was better than Adele but I really liked it and I like Vicci’s vocals on ‘Perfect’ better than Pink’s version — and I looove Pink.

        • marie says:

          Vicci’s cover BLEW ME AWAY. As did Haley’s. But The Voice gave Vicci a MUCH better arrangement to work with, too – the song sounds great as hard rock.
          It’s a fantastic song, quite a showcase for the singer who’s up to it, and both Vicci and Haley are.
          (But neither one of them recorded a version that’s “better” than Adele’s – pretty damn close, but not “better.”)

    • happy says:

      I loved the way she teased us about falling by leaning back going down the steps.

    • Scarlett says:

      Lovely recap of Haley’s au revoir. Bravo.

    • Frank says:

      AWESOME!!! Please start a blog of your own; I want to read MORE!!!!!

    • sueju says:

      EXACTLY! Perfectly put Renee!!!

    • pj says:

      WELL SAID!

    • agrimesy says:

      “from Growler to Slayer” ABSOLUTELY! I loved how Haley dismissed the judges and the stage and went out into the audience to rock it out with her family and friends . . . the weird and the wonderful!

    • kim says:

      “Growler to Slayer, the true Chosen One.” -No truer words have ever been said Buffy Summers would be proud. “If you think that’s enough to kill me, you obviously don’t know what a Slayer is.”

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Renee, Bravo. Please don’t take my job next season. -Slezak

      • Renee says:

        *squeak* Oh, Sensei, I merely play at the feet of the master. You are my gold standard. Your kind words truly made my day.

    • Jessica says:

      BEST POST EVARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Do you do this for a living??? sERiously!

    • dgman says:

      Post of the mofo season! Yes, Sleazeboy be afraid, be very afraid….

    • Blair says:

      THIS! ..what you said!! mm hmm Preach!

    • Larry says:

      So well put!
      Epic exit! All her vocal and performance talent plus her witty sly commentary on the season so definitely has wit and brains along with the vocals.

    • Swept up says:

      You’ve summarized what happened to me this season with Haley. I will only add this–I was first drawn to Pia and Kendra, and a little back and forth with Casey. Then, as the weeks past by, a sweet singer named Haley began to stand out. Her sound was different. Her personality charming. And her toughness, unmatched by anyone.

  30. Linda says:

    Slezak, although I know you’re a big fan of Haley, I got to give kudos to you for not being bitter or complaining. Believe me I have seen a lot of nasty things said about Scotty and Lauren because of Haley’s elimination.

    Haley will have a great career I’m sure.

  31. sarah says:

    For weeks Lauren and her outfits have been reminding me of someone and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until last night. It’s Blair from Facts of Life (you take the good, you take the bad..). You know, the later years when there was a bit more of Blair to love with the 80s belted jackets and big hot-rollered hair. I’m completely serious – and yes, I feel very old thank you.

    • DC says:

      I noticed that she looked like Blair a few weeks back. I didn’t think later years though because wasn’t the whole cast (minus Mrs. Garrett) wrapped up in those silk outfits made popular by Ann and Nancy Wilson?

      • S. Lee Stack says:

        I see where you’re going with that, but Blair was actually attractive and engaging…
        Lauren looks like Ms Piggy and may be functionally mentally-impaired

    • SallyinChicago says:

      God help Lauren with the styling, because she definitely needs it. Somebody is giving her styling tips — her big hair and loud colored dresses were a turnoff and I was sure that would eliminate her. She has potential, can grow and that’s what the audience is looking at; she’s the “sweetheart.”

  32. Peggy Sue says:

    Hey Michael – thank you for your assessment of the Top 3 results night situation! I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. I loved Haley. And I think she did herself proud. I just voted above that “the right people are in the finale” only because as you said it was fairly destined. I don’t think Haley could have won it because of the huge fan bases of the other 2 – so let them duke it out. But after so many weeks of getting to hear Haley sing, I am hoping she will find “her place” and have a great career. I see her as sort of a younger, more vibrant Nora Jones – who is a great jazz/blues singer and has tons of fans, most of which are NOT teeny boppers – and she does just fine, thank you!

  33. Aiden says:

    “Dare I say Haley’s final “Bennie” equaled Allison Iraheta’s “Cry Baby” as the most rousing and celebratory exit performance in Idol history?”
    Dare say it, Michael, because it’s true.
    Oh well, now that Haley’s gone, I can honestly say that I don’t mind who wins anymore between the two left. They’re talented, but I really can’t feel myself rooting for any one more than the other. I truly believe that we did #SaveTheGrowler, and I’m satisfied with the season now.

  34. karenb says:

    God, this sucks! And JLo-well, she can just go suck it. What a b**ch!!

    • Delon says:

      JLo proved that she is not the B word. She is the C word.

      • McFudge says:

        That was unnecessary.

        • Delon says:

          I don’t think it was unnecessary. Everything JLo uttered this season was thoroughly unnecessary. She maybe the world’s most beautiful woman on the outside, but she is truly ugly on the inside and personifies the C word. She is more preoccupied with promoting her own career over young amateurs’ blood, sweat and tears. She stinks!

          • S. Lee Stack says:

            it may have been unneccesary, but it was accurate…
            I’ve always been a fan of J.Lo’s under-rated comedic timing as an acress and charm…but this season on AI, I think we got a real glimpse of the b-word/c-word cold diva behind the shimmering million-dollar smile…

          • marie says:

            I may not love the word, but I agree with the sentiment. I have no use for that witch JLo.

          • McFudge says:

            Think whatever you like; I have no love lost for JLo’s judging, or lack thereof. But that word, (even not spelled out)as a woman, is beyond offensive to me. No different in my mind than called an African-American the N word.

      • Jenn says:

        So because Jennifer Lopez doesn’t like who you like, it makes her the c word. You sounnd like a great person. Lord knows what you’d think if me because I was doing cartwheels when Haley was eliminated. I never liked her voice or her attitude, and if Elton John were in the audience last night he would have gone up on stage and slapped her in the face. DISGRACEFUL!

        • Delon says:

          Oh, Jenn, it is SO not about you. I have all the right to call JLo whatever the heck i prefer. Through my TV screen she displayed herself as one big C, and that’s my judgement of her as a TV viewer. I’ve no interest in being a great person, especially if the title is handed out by you;someone who runs to the defense of a frivolous pop persona like an overzealous self anointed PC police.

          • Li-Li says:

            I have to side with you, Delon. As harsh as Simon was, I never found him to be mean. Brutally honest, yes. And the contestants NEED some criticism and advice. But I found Jennifer Lopez to be entirely self-absorbed and completely disingenuous. I liked her in the early part of the competition, but after that it was all about her, and she was drinking Nigel’s kool-aid. I thought that when they picked popular recording artists to be judges that they could never bring themselves to be critical because it would reflect on their career and fan base. Odd how J-Lo seemed all too aware of how she was coming across – until it came to Haley.

          • b-line says:

            These naive kids have dreams and JLo(who is worse than Sue Sylvester) is walking coarsely all over them with her fugly Louboutins. Her treatment of Haley exposed her as a poisonous, jealous b*tch of a person. She is fake, cold, heartless, and has no respect for hard work.

  35. dctoronto says:

    Someone needs to sit Nigel and co. down and do a serious postmortem of this show. I just cannot figure out how a season that started off so fresh and that was willing to take risks on some pretty creative people ended up with two of the most mediocre and boring contestants ever.
    On one hand I hope Haley gets signed so she’ll release an album by the late fall. On the other if she doesn’t get signed, she’ll be able to do something without having to contend with the vice-grip control of Simon Fuller and his 19 minions. The problem is, it will take a lot longer to come out and by the time it does any momentum she had will have dried up.

    • dctoronto says:

      Oh…I forgot to mention I hope Lauren wins the whole thing. While I am not a big fan of her musical choices on the show (although she is more interesting to listen to than Scotty and I hope she comes out with a country-rock type of album) her reaction to the tornado devistation as well as how she defended and supported Haley after her being torn apart by the judges demonstrated to me that she has a good character. I just hope a never have to see her trailer trash mother ever again.

      • selena says:

        I agree. Lauren is only 16 and she has a heart of gold. She is very sweet and loyal. I really think she has a great voice, but she hasn’t been able to pick the correct songs and let herself go. She overthinks it.

        • McFudge says:

          She’s just a young 16. Not really enough life experience yet to connect with the lyrics of so many songs. It’s been said ad infinitum, but with a few years more and some vocal training to solve her breath control issues and she could have been excellent instead of just promising.

          • EvilEdit says:

            Some of her “breathiness” is an affectation. Cute while you’re young but…

          • McFudge says:

            I think it might be a combination of nerves, never having paid attention to it because she just has a naturally good voice, lack of confidence, and possibly being out of shape aerobically. Don’t know if she ever took voice lessons, but that’s pretty much the first thing you’re taught to work on.

      • GSOgymrat says:

        I don’t spend money for “good character” I spend money for good music. Let’s hope Lauren makes some.

    • Scott says:

      I know exactly how it happened. The judges only critiqued certain contestants. Others just got a bland “in it to win it” pats on the back. Bland critiques make a bland show.

    • Ell says:

      THANK YOU. Teenage Country Idol is not for me. The voting is how it is, but the fact that people can vote 300 times or whatever really skews things in the direction of people who would actually do that.

  36. SallyinChicago says:

    The thing about Haley is that she’s more mature than the other two, esp. Lauren, and she has “personality.” I think somebody will sign her. In her interview, she said she showed versatility, and I think that’s probably what the problem was….she couldn’t be put in a box and the judges wanted everybody in a box. To fit what they envisioned to be a star. The problem is the audience goes along with the judges and the “star” they choose rarely becomes a big “star.” They all make a living, but they don’t get to the Carrie heights.

    I think James plateaued, but Haley kept climbing upward. IMO the winner will be Lauren. Bet on it. “They” want a female singer to win this time, hoping to break the WGWG spell, esp. for those who become “unknowns” after the tour. Ask any man on the street in America who Lee Dewyze and Kris Allen are, they wouldn’t know. But say, Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson, or Jennifer Hudson, and they would likely know.

  37. Linderella49 says:

    I guess I’m too disappointed to have any interest in the finale. If I absolutely had to choose I’d have to say Lauren. But I can assure you, I’m out for next season. Uncle Nigel went too far this time. It was an obvious hack job trying to eliminate Haley. I can only imagine the entire AI production team robo-calling to vote for Scotty. I wonder if the judges got a “bonus” every time they critiqued Haley – ya gotta love Steven, though. HE may be wackadoodles but HE knows talent!

  38. Claudia says:

    I’ve agreed with you for the past few seasons, but you’ve lost me here with Haley. I don’t think she is that special – her “growl” is particularly annoying. Yes, she is talented, but is she Kelly Clarkson/David Cook kind of talented? No.

    Then again, neither is Lauren, although she is quite amazing for her age and will continue to grow, especially if she gets some good professional voice coaching (her problems from time to time are only mechanical – breath and focus).

    Scotty seems the one with the most talent this season and should win. Then again, this is the show that gave us Jordin Sparks winning over Melinda Doolittle, one of the best singers to ever grace that stage.

    • Frank says:

      I find Haley’s “growl” a LOT less annoying than Scotty’s predictable and over-used “scoop”; God, what a turn-off!!!!!

    • Joe says:

      I have to agree with you Claudia. Good observaations. My only point of departure is that James should have been in the finale. Michael,
      in pushing Haley, was unfair in his valuations of James. He was not off key or pitch as much as Michael claims. Other site hosts gave him a better evaluation. There is no denying he gave great performances. While, I agree with Michael that more past contestants should have been brought back to sing, I am puzzled by Michael’s
      panning of the Italian trio. Contrary to his evaluation, I thought they were super. I really enjoyed their singing, even if it was in Italian. They deserved an A rating. I am appalled by Haley’s behavior. The attitude she displayed was horrible. The recap that Michael just gave is the worst that I have read from him. I have always liked Michael. He is a great writer, even when I disagree with him. That is why I followed him to TV Line. Michael has written and done many great interviews, but I have been disappointed with his bias and attitude regarding Haley, the judges, and the Idol Machine. Some of his criticisms this season have been valid, but I think his bias in regard to Haley has clouded his judgemen.

      • Cup of Joe says:

        With having back-to-back weeks of off-pitch and off-key singing, I don’t think James made his case as to why he should’ve been in the Finale. He sure gave great performances but ending his run that way? Uh, no.

        And seriously, calling out her behavior again? How about, oh, i don’t know, judging contestants on the merits of their talent over their personality? American Idol is, at its essence, a TALENT competition. If anything, I think YOUR perception of Haley’s attitude clouds your judgment, no?

  39. Rock the Vote says:

    Rupert Murdoch attended the Top 4 performance night, when Randy ranted at rocker Haley, rocker James gave what became his last competition performances, and Scotty kissed his cross after being near rocker Gaga. Looks like Fox’s Idol now gets the conservative Christian teen country finale that Rupert Murdoch wanted.

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/05/12/american-idol-on-the-scene-top-4-performance/

  40. Jim Richardson says:

    What cracks me up is the producers pushed for this all country final, but the guests they kept bringing out every thursday (Nicole, J-lo, Gaga, Jordin Sparks)did the kind of music Haley could do, and probabaly better.

    • dctoronto says:

      I would probably implode if Haley sold her soul to make the bland paint by number, decided by committee songs that all your examples of “singers” (except Gaga) do.
      How come Naima got slammed for putting on a faux jamacain accent during her reggae number but Nicole gets a pass for doing the same thing?

  41. Mary says:

    No shocker here. I for one am not looking forward to a country finale, but I think this is what AI needs. Country radio is a little more friendly to knew artist than pop. Although, I think Scotty will win, I am hoping that Lauren does. I would like to see a girl winner. I think both have good voices, but personally believe Lauren has the potential in a few years to do well. I also believe she can cross over where as Scotty is strictly country. Also, if she doesn’t win we might see a real live nervous breakdown. Tuesday night might be a little slow, but hopefully they will have great guest on Wednesday to liven up the show. Last night guest just plain sucked.

  42. Erinn says:

    I guess the one good thing that came from Haley getting the boot, I won’t have to waste 4 hours voting next week. I’m still deciding if I should watch…I probably will, but it won’t be very interesting.

  43. Liz says:

    My question is, why didn’t they show Haley at FoxChicago? They showed the other two at radio stations but never should her at Fox, where she sang this GORGEOUS song:

    • M says:

      I was thinking the same thing! Why didn’t they show that?!

    • ddjazz says:

      Night and Day is her jazz signature…sang it in Europe and at the Midwest Clinic – – a music convention for music teachers from all over the world; her jazz band was one of 4 HS bands in the US to perform. Haley always got standing o’s. Check out the link.

  44. Robyn says:

    I liked Haley, but the past two weeks I’ve found myself seriously putt off by her eye rolls and attitude in general. I guess I like a little humility served up with my Idol contestants, at least until they actually sell some records.

    • Pam says:

      It’s hard not to show attitude when so-called “judges” tell you that the song that inspires you was a bad song choice, or that nearly everything you do is wrong, while everyone else gets a pass for bad notes, bad acting, bad clothes, bad performances. I don’t like it when the contestants talk back, but sometimes, you just have to stand up for yourself. Especially when it’s people who have little to no talent (I’m looking at you, Randy and Jennifer.)

    • notmzbehavin says:

      I’m tired of the whole “bad attitude” meme that seems to be popular in some quarters. I hear you say you liked her vocals, but my lord, the girl was being given the worst edits in this season by the producers and the judges were singling her out consistently.

      Honestly, if I were standing there getting the same crap from the judges, I’d probably have done more than an eye roll.

      I don’t know why people think it’s “humility” to take a verbal beating from people that don’t have ones best interest at heart. To me, that’s masochism, not humility.

    • Cup of Joe says:

      Robyn, what kind of competition is American Idol, a talent one or a personality one? And which aspect should you judge in said show?

      I thought so.

  45. Jessabean says:

    If you think about it, Haley’s singout was a synopsis of her entire season. She got kicked in the gut and looked totally crushed and then …. then, she came out fighting like a champ. That very thing is what made people (like me) love her.

    And I second the comment about the cut to the final two on stage. Haley was out there KILLING it and then they cut back to Scotty/Lauren, who suddenly looked so young and so …. dull. I actually laughed out loud. Now, THAT was an Idol moment. :)

    • agrimesy says:

      I think that shot of the finalists on stage while Haley was rocking it out will serve as more than just a moment. Not only did you and I and the commentors on these boards notice, but the entire media will have noticed the stark contrast. The media LOVES to make fun of American Idol, and Haley’s oust is a goldmine. There were more headlines after the season 8 finale about Adam Lambert’s loss than about Kris Allen’s win because even people who had not followed the show that season had already heard about Adam. I think Haley has had similar press because she’s interesting. Her 3rd place finish will stay in the news as the media scrambles to put the final nail in the Idol coffin for good. The competitors like the Voice and X factor will hold this season’s teen country final as evidence that Idol has lost it’s edge as a talent competition. Lauren and Scotty were frozen up there as if they were going down with the ship. They’ll get their recording contracts, and they’ll do fine, but I think Idol itself should be manning the lifeboats.

      • marie says:

        Re X Factor: Don’t forget that X Factor accepts contestants AS YOUNG AS TWELVE – that would be torture for me and for that alone I am reluctant to give that show a try. 15 is too young on Idol, but TWELVE…????? NOOOOOO!!!!!

  46. takakupo says:

    I have to say this: I’m a huge fan of Haley. I abhor the other two country bumpkins that made the finale. They’re boring or mediocre at best. I won’t be watching tuesday’s performance show but I will be watching the finale. HOWEVER! Those of you who keep bringing Lauren down on the basis of who she is as a person are just as pathetic as those who are trying to obliterate Haley’s character since she started this show or since she started sticking up for herself after the judge’s rancid comments.

    There’s absolutely no proof in the last thirty episodes with Lauren to tell me that she’s a puppy killer and a grandma hater or a homophobic/racist etc; etc; She’s not a bad person, nor are any of the contestants. GET. OVER. YOURSELVES.

    • McFudge says:

      So true. It’s very fair to critique performances, but it’s just not OK to be a hater. I can only imagine being one of these contestants and reading comments like “I LOATHE her”. It’s the rare person who would say such a thing to somebody’s face, and I hate hearing it on the boards.

  47. Chicken says:

    Give it up fantard Slezak!! You bore more after awhile.

    • Chicken says:

      And the rest of you Haley fantards are PATHETIC!!! She sucks and the rest of America knows it. Rock On Haleytards!!

      • Yemanou says:

        Maybe we are pathetic and yes we will rock on with Haley and all the other tough cookies that try to make good music.

        Please enjoy the final of “country teen karaoke idol”. As far as I am concerned I am out, with Haley. Good luck to the finalists!

      • luke says:

        Hey Chicken – “You bore more after awhile”?! While you are yelling “pathetic” and calling people names like you are in junior high — You may want to make sure your postings make sense.. Oh wait, maybe you ARE in junior high… Never mind.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Haleyites! Here’s a chicken that needs to be plucked. (Or something).

  48. aunt_deen says:

    Not planning on dvr-ing Tuesday’s show. Lauren & Scotty have not held my interest for more than half a song all season.

    I don’t dislike them, necessarily. They both have great voices and seem like sweet kids. And in a few years, when they’ve matured a bit, I might have a different opinion. But for right now? Nope.

    Can’t wait for Haley’s album. Hope she brings Casey on for a duet.

  49. Lyn says:

    I don’t hate the country kids, but find I have absolutely no interest in watching the conclusion of the competition. On the other hand, I AM interested to hear the singles & album Haley will eventually produce!

  50. Holly says:

    I’m so disappointed that Haley will not be in the Final Two performance show, and I won’t even bother watching that snooze-fest! Scotty and Lauren have a great deal of talent, but at their current levels of artistic development they can be considered nothing more than “safe and boring.” I will DEFINITELY buy whatever music Haley puts out, as I have always supported the real talent that manages to come out of the Idol machine. And please Michael, GET HALEY ON IDOLOONIES ASAP!! The only Idol show I will be watching now is yours!

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