Born: September 9, 1990
Musical Style: Rock/Blues
Audition City: Milwaukee
Backstory: Haley Reinhart originally tried out for season 9 of American Idol, but was told to work on her technique and come back. Heeding the judges' advice, she ended up placing third in season 10.
Influences: The Beatles
Haley Reinhart originally auditioned for season nine of American Idol and was told she wasn't quite ready but to try again, which she did in season 10. For her Milwaukee audition, her cover of the Beatles' classic "Oh! Darling" was very stylized and a bit all over the place, but she showed promise that prompted all three judges to vote her through to Hollywood. "Oh! Darling" appeared on Abbey Road, but was never released as a single in the United States. Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees recorded the song for the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie in the 1970s and took the song to #15 on the pop chart. Katelyn Epperly performed the song during the semi-finals round of season nine on American Idol.
There are a few songs throughout your life that you can remember the first time you heard, and that is usually because the song was unique and struck a chord with you. Such is the case for many people who remember the first time they heard Alicia Keys's debut single "Fallin'," which was unleashed on the world in 2001. The song has been so popular with talent shows that it is banned from being used on Australian Idol, but Haley Reinhart took it on during Top 24 week and tried to make it her own with middling success.
The ability of different people on the same judging panel to have differing opinions about the same song is one of the factors that makes American Idol interesting and fun to watch. In the case of Haley Reinhart's Top 13 week rendition of "Blue," both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler loved the stripped-down, traditional performance, while Randy Jackson thought it was boring. To be honest, they were all right. While Haley Reinhart did a solid job with singing "Blue," there wasn't a lot of wow factor in her performance, either. Part of the reason the song was such a hit for LeAnn Rimes in 1996 was that she was only 13 years old at the time. "Blue" was a number 10 hit on the Country chart and also climbed to number 22 on the pop chart
Haley Reinhart was most likely looking to shake up her image after her Top 12 week performance of "Blue" fell a bit flat. Judges rightfully questioned Haley Reinhart's musical direction, as it seemed she does a different style of music every week, and Jennifer Lopez cited her awkward moves as she performed. "I'm Your Baby Tonight" was the title track and first single from Whitney Houston's third album released in 1990, and it became Whitney's eighth number one single.
Haley Reinhart's performance of "You've Really Got a Hold of Me" on Top 11 week was her first during the live shows where all three judges gave high praise for her bluesy, soulful vocal delivery. While one good performance will go a long way toward saving a contestant on American Idol, the quality of singers on season 10 was so high that Haley Reinhart would have a big struggle to define herself as a frontrunner in the singing competition. While most people associate "You've Really Got a Hold of Me" with Smokey Robinson, the song was only credited to the Miracles when it was released in 1962 and reached the Top 10 on both the pop and R&B charts.
The biggest raves of Elton John week on American Idol season 10 went to Haley Reinhart, who finally pulled all of the feedback and constructive criticism together and pulled out the stops for a sexy version of "Benny and the Jets." While the arrangement wasn't exactly contemporary, Haley Reinhart's solid performance went a long way toward reminding viewers why she made it into the Top 13. "Benny and the Jets" was the second number one hit for Elton John in the US, reaching its peak in 1974.
Haley Reinhart picked up a lot of momentum during the Top 11 redux week of American Idol season 10 when she performed "Bennie and the Jets," and the judges felt that momentum continued to build during Top 9 week thanks to her performance of "Piece of My Heart." While the song is normally credited to Janis Joplin, the proper credit for her number 12 hit goes to Big Brother and the Holding Company, who Janis Joplin sang lead for. "Piece of My Heart" was originally recorded by Erma Franklin in 1967, but country fans will recognize it as Faith Hill's second number one hit from 1994.
In season 10 of American Idol, the quality of vocalists was so high that even mediocre reviews from the judges could be reason for concern. Haley Reinhart encountered that dilemma during Top 8 week singing Blondie's "Call Me," which featured in the movie American Gigolo. While her performance was energetic and her vocals were alright, Haley may have had an issue with connecting to the audience. Blondie spent six weeks at number one in 1980 with "Call Me," which contributed to that song being the number one song of the entire year.
When judge Jennifer Lopez joined American Idol in season ten, there was some concern that she might just replace Paula Abdul as the "nice judge." While she has been a friendly presence on the panel, Jennifer Lopez has also added some welcome constructive feedback to the contestants throughout the season. Haley Reinhart received some of that feedback when Lopez hinted that Reinhart was not showing her full potential in her Top 7 week rendition of "Rolling in the Deep." Adele scored her first US number one with "Rolling in the Deep," which had peaked at number ten at the time of the broadcast. The morning after Haley Reinhart performed the song, it returned to number one on the iTunes singles chart.
The first duet of Top 6 night on American Idol season 10 went to Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams, who selected "I Feel the Earth Move." The chemistry was so strong between Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart that judge Steven Tyler asked Casey how long he had been in love with Haley, fueling rumors and speculation about the duo's level of friendliness. While "I Feel the Earth Move" became part of Carole King's first number one single along with "It's Too Late," the song also hit the Billboard Hot 100 a second time in 1989 for pop singer Martika, marking her third top 40 hit from her debut self-titled album.