Idoloonies: Haley Reinhart on Brutal Judging, 'Moanin' Duet, 'Bennie' Exit, Life Before Idol

Haley Reinhart may not have received a confetti shower at the end of her American Idol run, but the Season 10 third-place finisher says she got her “This is My Now” moment on Top 8 results night thanks to her “Moanin'” duet with Casey Abrams. In her long-awaited Idoloonies interview, Haley explains exactly how that performance came to be, reveals the movie-soundtrack hit she had planned to sing before switching to “Call Me,” and talks about the little coincidences that led to her legendary cover of “House of the Rising Sun.” Plus, Haley dishes the tough treatment she got in the latter half of the season from judges Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez, reveals a surprising wardrobe switcheroo she endured during Top 4 performance night, and (since Idol producers never bothered to tell us) shares what exactly she was up to before she auditioned for Season 10. Press play below on all five parts of the Haley Reinhart Idoloonies Experience, then hit the comments to share your thoughts. And for all my Idol and reality TV news, recaps, and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. DFT says:

    Love Haley. Don’t love Buffy. Needs more MechaGodzilla.

  2. nyhaleyfan says:

    I am 46 years old, and watched all five parts of the interview while “working.” There maybe something wrong with me. I haven’t been this obsessed with an AI contestant since Elliot Yamin. I hope she has a better career than Elliot. Great interview!

    • Haley's Comet says:

      I thought there was something wrong with me too, when I realized that I had downloaded six of her songs over the course of the season. LOL! Raw talent is a bit addicting…

    • IneedHaleyDaily says:

      Me Too…I have a backlog of work to get done but couldn’t wait another second to watch all 5 episodes and read all 311 comments. I’m addicted to Haley and I don’t wanna get sober. Thank You for pulling all the essence of Haley out of her…her passion, humor, graciousness, honesty, revelations and musical incites.

  3. Caroline says:

    I really do hope Haley has a successful career post-Idol. With her pure talent and overall amazingness, any record label would be crazy not to sign her! Sign the growler!

  4. Idolhead Ed says:

    This was so awesome I didn’t even mind having to watch commercials about a show I don’t give one damn about. Just one question, where are the other 10 parts? Best Idoloonies ever equaling Siobhan’s. And yes “Earth Song” was the best iTunes song of the season from any Idol. And if you are like me and didn’t get enough Haley and haven’t already seen this, check it out.

    or just click my name and go to it.

  5. Yo says:

    Reinhart and the Rostitutes! Ha! This interview confirmed for me why JLo didn’t like Haley: Haley is just too sure of herself; she knows who she is, sees herself as equal and does not do obsequious.
    JLo is into deference, not equality!

    • Yo says:

      But if Haley had not been a tough little nut and refused to cry – or give in – she would not have been the success on this show she was. They tried to break her down and she wouldn’t get broke; she will do well in life.

    • EvilEdit says:

      Reinhart and the Rastitutes…
      They did some ska and reggae beats (plus duffy, gnarles barkley, led, pink floyd, dusty springfield, hendrix, beatles, santana, pepper, weezer, cardigans, jefferson airplane etc.)

      • Tusk says:

        I’m a regular visitor to these vids. Love her “Time” by Pink Floyd, “I want You/She’s So Heavy” by the Beatles, and recently can’t get enough of “Love Fool” by the Cardigans. Freaking Haley easter egg of performances :)

      • BB says:

        WOW! Thank you soooooooooo much for posting this link. I just wish her mic had been turned up a little more…….sometimes the band was drowning her out…..talented bunch though. Listening to Love Fool, I kinda wish she had sung that one to the “so-called” judges. that would have been priceless!

    • whynotcanada says:

      your point about JLo is very succinct and absolutely bang on. we’ve all banged our heads agaisnt the wall from weeks trying to understand the Randy/JLo debacle aqnd I’ve had many theories i’ve considered for JLo, but you have figured it out in my estimation. Sometimes the truth is sad.

  6. JJ says:

    Wow they actually made her cry!!!!! I missed that episode. Almost made me want find her and give her a hug.

    • Mia says:

      Exactly, finally some shedding of light on what happened.

      Can’t believe the judges reduced her to tears, the bast*rds. And she was nice enough to just elude to it, and not say it directly. What a gal. She deserved better.

  7. llomo says:

    finally!!!!! loooooooooooooved it :D

  8. TakenbytheWind says:

    I loved the fact it didn’t take Haley long to notice “you guys really paid attention, didn’t you?” (regarding work ethic in video I)… then Michael says, “we’re a little obsessed”. YES WE ARE!!!

    I also thought the part where Michael says that anyone who disagrees with the “fact” that HOTRS was the moment of season is wrong… Haley says “I LOVE THIS GUY!” <<< WE ALL DO TOO!

    Thanks again guys, this was quite a treat.

  9. Haley's Comet says:

    I love Haley’s tendency to tell it like it is. You could see her struggling to hold back and not say too much about the “ridiculousness” of Randy and JLO. I hope she doesn’t get into trouble with the AI production team for the little she did say. I am hoping she gets a record deal with 19 recordings or Interscope. Good luck Haley…love you.

  10. Andrew says:

    Im so in LOVE with haley! I literally waited for her interview everyday and came to this site to check! Thanks Michael for the best interview! I know i love her so much that i felt teary at the end of the interview and wished it went ON and ON and ON! And thanks for trying to scoop out some news bout her latest single! Gosh, i am so desperate for her new songs, kinda wish that she would come out with one quickly just for the desperate fans out there around the world!

    If you love her, you could do her ONE simple favor by just COPYING THE URL TO THIS INTERVIEW (ABOVE) and post it on your FACEBOOK & TWITTER!!!!

    That will let other haley reinhart fans who doesnt know bout idoloonies to have some air to breathe while we wait for her SINGLE. And also to snap up some non-idol watching people to be REINHARTED by this precious jewel.

    Officially REINHARTED…..

  11. Haley'sAlbum says:

    There are pre-orders available at Wally’s (sam club) and amaz on

  12. Alan says:

    Love her! Can’t wait to see what she does in the future!

  13. Ken says:

    I feel bad you had to interview the other contestants this year, that were just so – awful. You could truly tell this was THE day for you. And it was such a great & HONEST interview. She was candid, which was great. Didn’t feel rehearsed and the answers didn’t feel canned or repetitive. She truly enjoyed your company and appreciated how much you appreciated her. This was wonderful. What a great way to end Idoloonies. I’m glad you saved Haley’s interview for last. She was quite remarkable. I will miss her. She’s the only Idol I ever voted THIS much for. Truly. And she was worth every second. Can’t wait for her own album. In the meanwhile, I’ll be getting all her Idol-tracks. I didn’t buy any during the season but I need my Growler-fix. I do wish some questions were brought up: mainly: 1. Was she even a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? 2. What role did she play the night TMZ reported Lauren might not perform?

    • Jesse says:

      Agree with you this was a great interview. She is going to be a star but feel very sad that we out here in Haleyland won’t be having Haley visit us anymore. Will truly miss that girl, very sad, very sad :_(

      But… for us Casey fans we are still waiting for Michael’s interview with Casey. Hope it is coming soon!

  14. Kathy says:

    Really satisfying interview–thanks! Haley’s story of fighting her way up the AI Ladder will endear her. Think of all the people she had to prove wrong. It was a great season because of her. I’d love to go to one of her shows.

  15. Ricky says:


  16. annabelle says:

    Am I the only one for whom this is not working? I have been dying to see the Haley interview forever and now its right there and I can’t watch it. Come on!

  17. Nick says:

    I’ve been waiting and waiting for this interview. Thank you Michael for a most excellent job done. She’s captivating and will be the break out star of this season.

  18. Wyatt says:

    I loved Haley’s “Party with the misfit toys.” Great Stuff Michael and Company. A fitting farewell tribute to the one who should’ve won this year’s Idol. Bravo!

  19. Javi says:


  20. Elaine says:

    Michael and Jason, this was so worth the wait. Not only is she talented, she’s lovely, charismatic, charming, funny, and in a wonderful class all her own. I’m so thrilled with this interview. I loved watchng her reactions to Michael’s uestions … you could see how pleased she was that he really did pay attention, and caught all the nuances of the season. Love that she appreciated that and said so (cause he deserves it).

    I’m new to Idoloonies (late in this season) …. I’d love to see Jason sometime. Does he ever get “on cam”? He does such fantastic work…. I love these videos.!

    Kudos to you guys on an almost perfect Haley interview (only imperfection … too short!) :-)

    I saw the Scotty/Lauren interviews, too, and I have to say, Michael really humanized them for me. Saw a whole smart, approachable, non-whiney Widdle Wauren side to her that never came across on TV. Those two kids seem like nice people and that’s great. I wish them all the luck.

    AND I WISH HALEY EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD SHE EVER DREAMED OF! Can’t wait for your album gf. Can’t wait.

    Thanks again Michael and the invisible Jason (or does he have a column here I don’t know about?)

  21. jen says:

    I loved her evil laugh and the rubbing of her hands together at the part about her sing off to the judges!

  22. B-scot says:

    Great job Michael and crew, you do the best interviews, it was worth the wait.
    GO Haley, can not wait to buy your first album, I tried to pre-order Haley’s EP album of the season from Walmart but it simply sold out to quickly. I think they limited the amount for sale, with less for the 3th and 4th places.

    • brady says:

      looks like there’s a different album available on amazon due out July 5th… you can pre-order it now.

      I’m hoping it has something new from idol – like maybe RHIANNON!!! Can’t believe they made her learn two new songs in one day – more things that make you go Hmmmmmmm.

      • M says:

        I seriously hope that the AI album are songs that they haven’t released on Itunes before, say for Haley they could have Rhiannon and for the rest they could have the songs they sang during the top 24 performance.

        Still haven’t seen the videos, I’m resisting the tempatation to watch it here at work LOL

        • RTW says:

          What I wouldn’t give for a studio release of Moanin’.

          • Tusk says:

            My studio wish list is for “Rhiannon”, since it was shortened. I personally like Moanin’ as is because I think Jazz is best enjoyed Live and spontaneous. I also liked Haley’s live performance of Rolling in the Deep better than the studio version

          • whynotcanada says:

            agreed. interesting, though, Earth Song is fantastic in studio, cause it has the proper length to build up. You and I also fantastic studio.

    • Miguel says:

      I too was unable to pre-order Haley’s EP album from Walmart — UNTIL TODAY! (6/22) I just ordered it online for home delivery. Guess they ordered a second run?

  23. LAMusic says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve been waiting for this interview. Great stuff and lots of behind the scenes that I wondered about. Very interesting how Moanin’ came about.

    I’m looking forward to future music from Haley.

  24. RTW says:

    The intro in the first video is just so epic I keep replaying it! I can’t stop laughing at J-Lo being Maleficant and Randy being RoboDoucheTroll. Haley makes the best heroine ever and Michael is like her best buddy/sidekick. You guys get a Standing O from me.

  25. Seth says:

    Yes, finally! I love her so much, how could anyone not like her?

    • WDK says:

      Lol it’s going to be interesting/funny to see all of the Scotty and Lauren fans and anti-Haley people watch this interview and still find nasty things to say about her. I mean, on their interviews most of the Haley fans are like “I’m not a fan of Scotty/Lauren, but this makes me see them in a different light and they look like really nice people.” But on here, all of the anti-Haley people will still be like “Oh my God, she’s such a self-centered bitch! I hate her!”

      I’ll just be sitting here rolling my eyes and laughing

  26. Seth says:

    Vote for Haley as Idol of the month here! She is fourth out of 128 right now. Lets get her to the top!

  27. L says:

    Cool! Haley finally!

    I’ll be lined up to get her record and Pia’s too. Sorry, not buying the winner or 2nd place finisher.

  28. Princess Adora says:

    I LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!! I love you, Michael, thank you for such a great interview! It looked like you were ready to geek out at any moment the entire time :D And thank you Jason for bringing a little more Buffy into my life! Awesomeness!!!
    Sign the Growler!!!!!

  29. Phab says:

    Love it, love it!! However, I’ve watched just two segments and it’s taken about 2 hrs!!**!!##!! Can anyone tell me what I can do to not have it stop every 20 secs to load?? Please!

  30. Wayne says:

    I had totally forgotten about evil snide remark JLO made after Haley was “welcomed” to the top 24. It seems as if she had it out for her even from the beginning. I also hope that 19 passes on Haley so that someone who has her interests will be looking out for her. I hate what they did to Allison. Part of me believes that they do not want 3rd placers being as successful as the chosen ones. I think Haley has the potential to have a very successful Platinum grammy winning career if she is allowed to do what she is good at. Her love of music is infectious. I heard her sing at Harper Community College she was awesome then; she is even better now.

    • Yo says:

      I thought the most damaging remark made to Haley all season was Iovine’s work ethic comment; even on my personal planet, most comments fly overhead, but that was a blow I immediately felt for her. I knew then it might have been taken out of context and from Haley’s response in this interview, it was. Jennifer seemed to pick up steam after “Benny” when she scrunched her perfect nose up to make the cutest perfect face; She went after Haley after that night.

    • B-scot says:

      Sony/Jive records did poorly for Allison then dropped her, they did not know how to market her and tried to make her fit their style.
      19 seems to do little for the Idol contestants after the show, with Fox and Disney doing the marketing early then only the country singers get much support after that unless their label is able to book them lives shows some where. Jazz and Blues has somewhat of a support base which is far better than Rock now days.

  31. Lolibla says:

    Michael… thank you, thank you, thank you. An incredible interview about an amazing talent. Jut when I thought I could not love Haley more, your interview took me an even higher level. The interview was revealing, thoughtful, respectful and just plain good. Keep up the good work.

    Finally, Michael … you have a new fan. And, Haley … you are a mega talent and your legion of fans will reward your efforts.

  32. Gillian says:

    I have now watched the True Blood ad 7 times and I am only at the beginning of the 3rd clip. This is because Flash sucks so bad, I have to refresh my browser every couple of minutes to get it to play.

    Please, please, please, please, please upload Idoloonies in something other than Flash. I love this show, but I think the addition of the ads is the last straw for me. It’s just not worth the annoyance. Please. At least upload old videos to a YouTube page.

    • JBanana says:

      try this:
      1. press play
      2. wait for the ad to load and watch the ad
      3. once the idoloonies clip begins, press pause
      4. wait 5-10 minutes (video is loading during this time, but don’t start loading another video yet!)
      5. press play again
      when I’ve done it this way, the video plays all the way through almost every time. If you get partway through and the spinning dial comes back on, press pause immediately and then wait another few minutes before pressing play again.
      hope that helps.

    • AddsSuck says:

      If you download Fiefox and add the add-ons NoScript and AdBlock, you never see the adds. Takes 10 minutes. I didn’t even know about the True Blood adds until I read the comments section.

      • ladyhelix says:

        AdBlock is AMAZING – thank you!!
        It works like a charm and now I even get to smirk every time the little “BLOCKED” box comes up to let me know I dodged another annoying bullet.

        This has improved the quality of my “online life” in a very significant way – Thank You SO MUCH!!

  33. Volcfom says:

    Haley, I’m hopelessly devoted to you!
    Seriously, in 10 seasons I have never voted this much for somebody. And Haley’s songs are the only Idol performance recordings I’ve bought from iTunes.
    I couldn’t help but smile through this interview, until the last minute or so when I realized it was almost over! There was still so much I wanted to hear her talk about. Maybe they’re hiding another set of videos to surprise us with. A girl can hope!
    Michael, thanks for another great interview. And Jason, if you ever need an editing assistant, just look my way!

  34. April says:

    What a wonderful, delightful interview. Haley is just the best and I’m so excited to see what she comes up with in her career. Thank you so much Slezak and Jason!

  35. thelstrikeman says:

    Finally!!!! Thank you Michael, this was a great interview. It definitly deserved the wait. Now I hope to buy a Haley album very soon. She’s amazing!
    PS : You give me the envy to watch Buffy all over again (and for the 50 times in 10+ years)!

  36. callieann says:

    Dude … that was so right on and entertaining … you’ve got some serious skills yourself. Haley was one of the all time best vocalists idol ever had … she survived the AI beatdown … so no no limits for Haley.
    HOTRS was the best rendition I’ve ever heard.

    • MarkS says:

      I agree with you about HOTRS, but I would add “Benny”, “Moaning”, “I Who Have Nothing”, and “Rolling In The Deep” as songs Haley now owns. In future seasons, anyone attempting these songs better look long and hard at what Haley did with these, or risk embarrassing themselves

  37. Reed says:

    Erm, why is this article not on TV Line’s “Today’s Hottest Stories” sidebar by now?

    Yeah, it’s only been up for a few hours. But my point exactly, it’s generated more number of comments than all of TV Line’s articles of the last two weeks combined.

    Although, if the sidebar’s based on pure traffic alone, I’d imagine more casual internet trollers would click on a link that has “Emmy” or “Chris Colfer” in it. But even then, I doubt the Lady Reinhart would lose on account of site traffic either.

  38. whateverblah says:


    Just needed to get that out. I can’t watch it till I get home from work.

  39. coronado says:

    I like Haley even more now!!! very real and produced by the idol machine.

  40. Floridajeff says:

    LOVED the interview! She seemed so happy to have someone in her corner (great chemistry with Michael)… I was pissed when I realized that they actually made her cry during top 4 week before her second song. Way to be strong, Haley, and deliver the performance of the season! Thanks Michael and Jason, you two are the best!

  41. marygrace says:

    LOVED IT, LOVED IT. She’s the best. Thank you, Michael, for a great interview.

  42. Crazymoony says:

    LOVE IT … It’s like watching an epic movie.

  43. Cat says:

    Yay!! What a wonderful season 10 closure interview! I’m glad to see that Haley is awesome in interviews, too. Well done, Michael!

  44. elr says:

    Thank you for this Michael and Jason. Haley has become one of my favorite (top 5 for sure) contestants and watching these videos has just been a big confirmation of why? Reach for the stars Haley!!!!

  45. landmda says:

    Thank you so much for the interview, was well worth the wait!! I was on the Haley train very early on and just could not figure out why she keep being in the bottom 3! I did not watch the final 2 night, was already bored with them at that point! Haley was great on the finale night! I really hope we get an album from Haley, Im ready to buy now!!

  46. Wayne says:


    Just watched the interview for a second time. It all holds up as a great interview. I only wish you would have asked her where she sees her career going from here. Hopefully time will bear that out very soon.

    I want to thank you for your efforts this last season. You have produced a commentary show that truly compliments the material you are covering. I appreciate your wit and willingness to be more than just a commentator and show yourself as one invested in the show from the love of the show. I don’t know what went on between you and EW but it is their loss.

    Thank you!

  47. Dani says:

    Awww, LOVED it! LOVED IT!
    What a great way to REALLY end the Idol season.
    The interview was great, extra cool points for all the Buffy stuff )and OMG the “I’m the slayer” part was just AWESOME), and it was just delightful to see her reactions to Michael’s praise.

    I loved every second of it. With a crazy season with enraging stuff going on, Idoloonies was, for me, as entertaining (if not even more) than the actual show. Congrats and thanks to Michael and Jason!

    And HALEY IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!

  48. too much slezak... says:

    My only critique – too much Slezak, not enough Haley.
    We got more of Haley singing than Haley talking.

    Sounds familiar… oh yeah, just like on AI itself!

    • whynotcanada says:

      that’s actually true. 5 vids, but with cartoons and singing, only same amount of Haley Lauren and Scotty time. Oh well. How bout a sequal!!!

  49. Starly says:

    I love her……this was awesome. We have NOT seen the last of this woman!! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her, and plan on supporting her every step of the way!!

  50. LavenderPixie says:

    Thank you so, so much, Michael and Jason! The wait for this interview was torturous, but totally worth it. We love the Lady Reinhart! <3