Here is what Haley Reinhart had to say to reporters on Friday morning before being whisked off to a rehearsal for the American Idol finale next Tuesday night. The results show will be on Wednesday…
Is she aware of the celebrity support?
“Definitely. I’m not too big on the blogs. I look at the tweets. I pretty much read everybody’s that they send me. Getting that support from Adam [Lambert] was amazing. He’s just spectacular and one of the best who ever layed foot on that stage.”
Pick one cover that she did on the show to put on her debut album.
“There’s so much different types of songs. “Benny” launched a lot of different stuff for me. I took a different route with the song. That would be pretty cool. There’s a bunch of different ones I could think of. “Beautiful”–I totally changed Carole King’s…I kind of funkified it–that was a different kind of cover.”
On singing with her Dad.
“My parents have taught me the rules of the stage since I was 8. The first big thing I got to do I was on my 9th birthday I got to play the International Tattoo Festival. It was huge,. I sang “Blue” from Leann Rimes. I figured out I could Yodel, I heard Leann do it and was captivated by it. Going from that to on Wednesday–It’s always been a dream of mine to get somewhere. I thought it would be an honor to have my mom and dad on stage with me. I got to go back home and play with them–having them on the stage and actually getting to give them a couple of licks and show America what they could do was so special to me.”
On hanging out with the teenagers.
“I’ve grown up on the stage and I’ve grown up around adult crowds. It’s been fun. Lauren she takes me back to when I was younger. 5 years can be a big difference. It’s been really fun to hang out with them. I like being a goofball so I always make the best out of it.”
On the judges being critical, did it help or hinder how far she got in the competition.
“It could go both ways. I believe their intention throughout this whole process was to get me along further. It was apparent that they liked to get me to where I could be at the top of my game, and get me a little fired up…I come out with something that they didn’t expect. It’s up to America. I got to Top 3 and that was quite alright.”
Does she have any regrets?
“I don’t live in regret. I do nitpick. I’m a Virgo. Each step along this way has gotten me to where I am. All these different songs and the genres that I got to show off in the early stages–I wouldn’t trade that in for the world. I got to show versatility. I’m proud to do that.”
What did America learn about her during the season?
“I took a lot of risks in the beginning when usually you do the opposite, maybe they didn’t know how to take me. I started getting into my own little niche–the rock, bluesy sultry feel–and I think America finally started to catch on.”
What did her Dad tell her after the show last night.
“He was on cloud 9. He had a blast. He said this was my best concert ever–a keepsake for life that we’ll always have. Nothing can take that away from us.”
On being in the bottom three so often.
“I don’t like to sell myself short. I believe that taking that all in stride–I’ve been in it so many times that I’m still around–there’s something going on I just got to step my game up even more week to week, and it pulled off.”
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 was it like backstage after the show?
“I got off stage and I was at peace with everything. I realized how much I was going to miss everyone. Everybody is such a big family. It’s one of the most wonderful parts of this whole experience is to create bonds through everybody. I knew I’d miss, but then I knew I’d see them, like, today. It was just that reality check. Everybody was so supportive. They’ve got my back. Gosh, I love everybody back there.”
On the Chicago area folks that didn’t make it all the way to the top.
“That’s all the confidence in the world. I absolutely adore Jennifer Hudson and what strength that woman has. Being a fellow Chicagoan it’s just great to see what she has conquered. It gives so much hope and faith for me. Even having Crystal on the show. Seeing her, second place, getting to do the kind of music that she really really wants to do in life. It was just a beautiful thing. I’m excited for the future.”
What goals does she have for the upcoming tour.
“Performing–it’s such a different ball game in front of the judges. Performing on stage is what I’ve done since I was a kid–it’s the passion that started from the very beginning for me. That’s what I’m going to enjoy–letting loose, knowing I’m not going to get judged one more time, I’m just going to love that crowd and look out into each and every seat and show them how much I appreciate them.”
On the Casey Abrams romance rumors.
“It started a long time ago–when we started bonding a lot more and started getting really close. We could just confide in each other and have a different kind of connection from the rest. So, we’d sit by each other and all that jazz–I’m pretty sure that’s when it all started. We laughed about it. Obviously we have a really really strong relationship. Maybe not dating, just the musicality between us and everything else has just been wonderful.”
Did the rumors help or hurt?
“We didn’t really give into the rumors. We never said yes or no. That’s probably the better thing to do. It’s funny, because we got so many questions about it. Either way, it’s not going to hurt anybody. We had a lot of fun with it. We played the game, it was fun.”
Best memory from her homecoming.
“It was raining out, it was very gloomy, yet I had 30K plus people just waiting out for hours in that rain. I saw so many familiar faces it really got to me, I took it right to the heart. Definitely a highlight of the whole thing other than just everybody that showed up and gave me support was getting my parents and their band up there playing with me. It was just a really really fun gig.”
Has she seen the Idol summer tour?
“I’ve been a fan, I’ve watched the show since it started, but I’ve never gotten to see the tour, so I’m really really excited to see what it’s going to be like.”
The judges advice can go from one extreme to the other each week. How hard is it to figure out?
“If I do get the positive, I’ll stick with that. I’ll take every kind of criticism in. What you do with it and what you believe inside–I know what kind of artist I am. Steven he really really helped me out to make me feel good about some of those performances that I got some harsh critiques on. It balanced out. I really appreciated what Steven had to say, just being such a great musician that he is.”
Do the judges matter?
“Everybody is always saying–it’s not up to them, it’s up to America. That’s true. Thankfully enough, America saw it in me enough and let me stick around until I got to the Top 3. That’s amazing–more than I could have imagined. It’s just a blessing.”
What will her album be like?
“I have a lot of ideas of what I’d like to do. To begin with, I would love to do an album that’s like sultry bluesy rock. I absolutely love jazz, so if I can slip that in somewhere. Or even just in the future get more into jazz and a blues album. I’m loving the sultry bluesy rock feel.”
Working with Jimmy Iovine, Lady Gaga and the other mentors, how much has she grown as an artist.
“It was really, really cool. I wasn’t really that nervous. I was excited to meet them. The experience was just so surreal. I walked up to them, and I felt like–we’re both artists–and they treated me like that. The feedback that they gave me was so wonderful every time–on and off camera–I just walked away feeling on cloud nine. It was wonderful.”
“I had a great time with Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Sheryl Crow is somebody I look up to and have grown up with. Her music–I could definitely see me going into some of that kind of feel–her earlier stuff especially. They were all so down to earth and very generous with their comments. It was very sweet all around.”
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.”
Who will win?
“You know I can’t do that! It’s a close one. It’s so close because their in such a close lane together as far as country goes. It’s anybody’s game.”
Who would she like to work with on an album?
“I love classic rock. I’ve grown up with rock n roll all of my life. If I could do something with Steven that would be fantastic. There are plenty of people out there I would love to collaborate with. I adore Esperanza Spaulding, Janelle Monae–I think they’re very unique and powerful. I hope to do something just as cool.”
One favorite moment from the show.
“I picked “Benny and the Jets” last night because I felt that was a big turning point. I had good performances leading up to that, staring with “You Really Got a Hold on Me”, they started seeing ‘Oh, this is what you want to do.’ With “Benny and the Jets” I had a whole vision of how I wanted it to pan out. It was my arrangement–how I started it off. I planned out that whole…thing on the piano. It worked out very well. I guess I would say that performance.”
Is she better off not winning?
“You never know. I’m excited to go out there and try to do exactly what I want to do. This is a great position for me to be in. I’m very excited for the future.”