Kirstin At Idol: Watch Out, Pia Toscano! After Elton John Night, Haley Reinhart Is 'Jetting' To The Top!

Thu, March 31, 2011 5:12am EDT by 15 Comments

I’m not usually her biggest fan, but Haley Reinhart had the performance of a life time on American Idol March 30. I bet even Elton John would love her version of “Benny and the Jets!”

Elton John night on American Idol always makes me nervous because I don’t think anyone other than him can do those songs justice. However, in keeping with the magical, mystical Season 10, the majority of the Top 11 contestants held their ground — and a new front-runner even emerged from the pack.

Throughout the last several weeks, I’ve enjoyed the recordings of Haley Reinhart‘s singles, but her actual live performances have been inconsistent — and far from the strongest in the group. That said, the 20-year-old Illinois-native WAILED on her rendition of “Benny and the Jets” and had even the biggest cynics (yes, I’m talking to you, Mom) tapping their toes. It was no wonder producers used Haley’s performance as the grand finale — it was one of the only songs when I wasn’t wishing I was hearing Elton sing instead.

Backstage in the green room after the show, Haley explained to all of us reporters why she felt drawn to singing that particular hit:

“I was telling my folks about it and as I was telling all of them in Chicago, the song came on and I was like, ‘Okay.’ And then I was telling another friend out here about it and I caught the end of the song and I was like, ‘Okay.’ I just believe in different parallels and things like that,” she said.

She added, “It felt like I could do different things with the song. I started it off my own way, I took it a little slower, a little jazzier. And then I switched it up and made it a little rockier. I like to show a lot in one thing, so I’m glad I stuck with it.”

Meanwhile, Pia — the long-running fan favorite — sat across the room from Haley, slightly isolated from the group because she’s fighting a cold. Although she didn’t speak too much during the group interview, the 22-year-old beauty brought her A-game once again to the stage for yet another power ballad. Her rendition of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” had the audience on its feet and made the judges rave.

Although I highly doubt Pia is in any danger of being one of the two contestants eliminated tomorrow, I’m confident she’s acquired a new top competitor in Haley. That girl is in it to win it. Don’t you think?

Haley Reinhart:

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Pia Toscano:

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And just for fun…Scotty McCreery:

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Last but not least, Lauren Alaina:

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Actually, I lied. Do YOU think Casey Abrams redeemed himself?

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Who do YOU think will be leaving us tomorrow? How did you feel about Naima’s risky reggae performance? Now the judges have no remaining saves, so let’s hope America voted wisely!

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ED

Posted at 1:07 AM on April 2, 2011  

Beautifull and hot Pia was my favorite since I watched Top 24. But she has became so predictable and boring …….. Pia has the advantagde of a great voice no doubt, but Haley has called out my attention. Haley may not have the amazing voice Pia has, but she is more fun to watch and listen. And Haley has stolen my heart since Motown, and I guess that is what an “Idol” makes you feel.

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nanlu

Posted at 5:51 PM on March 31, 2011  

Tough nite to a degree……i kinda think maybe PAUL might go with Thia……just a funny feeling……..James to me is always the showman……like him and am not a person interested in rock…..go figure…….

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gbtw

Posted at 4:58 PM on March 31, 2011  

btw, i don’t think casey redeemed himself. he still seems a little bored and weak/tired or something. i wish he would feel “free” again and really let loose. glad he tamed his crazy hair and beard a bit.wish he’d have gone a touch tighter on the beard though.

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gbtw

Posted at 4:54 PM on March 31, 2011  

haley was great last night. pia is getting tired, but she should have a great ballad career regardless. i don’t see her winning, no matter how great her voice is. i don’t really see the hate for haley… i mean, i’ve been disappointed and felt “something’s missing” often with her, but she has a unique voice and a good personality and is fun. she won’t win, but she was for sure great last night. i replayed her performance a couple of times, and jacob’s once… nobody else was all that great. okay, good, but not great. even casey.

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BTR

Posted at 11:28 AM on March 31, 2011  

hey people you guys ROCK huh

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tinamarie

Posted at 9:27 AM on March 31, 2011  

Every time I here Benny and The Jets I think of the scene in 27 Dresses where James and Katherine sing it. I enjoyed the song but I also do not like Haley. She is my least favorite girl. I think she thinks she is a lot better than she really is. I like Pia (she’s a great singer) but she is so boring. Livin it up a bit and show us something else.

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Kirstin Benson

Posted at 1:33 PM on March 31, 2011  

It’s funny Benny and the Jets makes you think of 27 Dresses…Haley actually told us that’s one of the reasons she chose it!

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idolFAN

Posted at 10:07 PM on March 31, 2011  

Pia is a one trick pony. She bores me to tears, even though she is technically a very good singer.

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Mark

Posted at 7:19 AM on March 31, 2011  

Good Performance. Keep it up.

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tori

Posted at 5:51 AM on March 31, 2011  

can’t stand hayley. she has no stage presence, even if her voice can be strong at times. she was stronger this week, but it does not make up for the last several weeks where she sounds like she’s about to throw up her dinner with those dumb growls.

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Kirstin Benson

Posted at 1:38 PM on March 31, 2011  

Haley definitely has a love/hate relationship with the audience. The people who love her are obsessed with her and those who don’t like her, can’t stand her!

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idolFAN

Posted at 10:06 PM on March 31, 2011  

I am not a fan of Haley’s either. I completely agree with you re: her growls and the way she prances around it seems like she thinks she’s so much better than she is. She makes me very uncomfortable watching her.

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kb

Posted at 5:48 AM on March 31, 2011  

Couldn’t agree more. Haley is in a league above every one i saw tonight.. and, everyone i’ve seen since Molly Dewolf Swensons was mysteriously booted. She’s going to win it.

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Jen

Posted at 7:11 AM on March 31, 2011  

Haley was very good last night but please already going to compare her to Pia. (hold on NOW) ok so one great performance compared to 5 great ones in a row by Pia? Pia is still frontrunner and I am sure Haley is the least of her worries :)

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idolFAN

Posted at 10:08 PM on March 31, 2011  

If Haley wins Idol so many people will quit watching.

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