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Television Fri May 20 2011

Chicago's 'Idol' Contestant Just Misses the Finale

HaleyI guess it could be worse. A lot worse. A regular visitor to American Idol's "bottom three" stools, the soulful, raspy-voiced Haley Reinhart (of Wheeling, IL) came close to being voted off the show week after week, and was perhaps as surprised as anyone to find herself in this Wednesday's "Final Three" battle, up against countrified teenagers Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery. But third place was as far as Haley would make it. Despite an evening of three gutsy, exciting performances (my favorite was her rendition of Led Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be," with her dad wailing on guitar), Haley was voted off of Idol's 10th season last night.

In a season marked by an astonishing level of talent, surprising early exits (Pia! Casey! Jacob!), and strange, inconsistent criticism from the new Simon-free judging panel, it was never easy to predict who'd be going home on Thursday night. Personally, I was rooting for a Haley/Lauren matchup, not only because I felt that they were the most talented and versatile singers, but because it's about time we saw two girls in the top spots. Considering the wide variety of musical styles this season's contestants embodied - jazz, R&B, gospel, metal, pop, country - it's a real let down to lose Haley's dynamism, leaving the finale to two decidedly country-pop kiddos, talented though they are. Of course, American Idol finales aren't really made for dynamos. With few exeptions, they showcase the two milk-toast crooners who chose the most popular songs to sing. The show's history is full of interesting also-rans who are now more famous than the actual Idol winners. As Ryan Seacrest pointed out, last week (when four contestants were cut down to three) "was the week Daughtry was voted off." Seacrest's statement was intended as a warning that voting was critical, but instead it ironically pointed out the opposite: If an artist is talented and interesting, making it to the end is unnecessary. Regular old Kris Allen won Idol Season 8, not the exciting and celebrated Adam Lambert. And who could forget how Oscar winner (and Chicagoan!) Jennifer Hudson went home after reaching a mere seventh place.

So, Haley fans at home and abroad, fear not. As a smiling Haley pointed out while singing her farewell number, "this isn't over."

 
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Lesley Gibson / May 21, 2011 10:43 PM

Haley. More often than anyone else she had the performance of the night! Steve Tyler did say she was his pick for best performance after all 3 songs were sung! We love you Steven! Haley performed with more courage and risk than anyone could ask For I just loved her! When she did Adelle's song I loved it more than the original version she is awesome!!!!!

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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