Haley Reinhart came close to be one of the final two contenders on season 10 of "American Idol", but on Thursday night, May 19, she became the eleventh finalist sent home. The morning after her elimination, the 20-year-old from Wheeling, IL spoke to reporters and opened up her thought on why the judges seemed to pick on her.
When asked about the judges' criticism, the third placer admitted she has no clue and added that even fellow contestants like Lauren Alaina would come up to her and said "they just don't understand it." She went on to point out the positive though. "The only thing that I can try to get out of that is that they really just want to try to push my buttons - push me as far as I can possibly go to get whatever they wanted to get out of me," she said.
She continued, "It was, most of the time, fire that they wanted to get out of me - to get all aggravated and then try to take it out on the stage. You know, it is what it is. Randy [Jackson] and all them would tell me, 'It's all love.' And I'm like, 'Alright, well, I understand. You want to see what you can get out of me.' "
On what she was thinking after learning about her elimination, Haley said, "You literally have seconds to think about it. So, I took a second to think about it, and then I said, 'Alright, alright,' and I just kept saying, 'Okay. This is it, and guess what? I have to sing a song in about five seconds.' So I said, 'Let's have a good time with it and show America why they kept me there so long,' hopefully, you know? - give them a good show."
Having said that she was not angry at all about her elimination, the singer who experienced the bottom three four times before stated, "Of course everybody gets surprised when they hear the verdict, but all in all, I accepted it very quickly and took it all in - took it all with a grain of salt. I said, 'Hey! Everything happens for a reason,' and this is a good thing. This happened for a reason and it only means that I'm going to start my career as a solo artist even sooner."
On the question what she would have done differently if she could go back, she responded, "You know, I don't live in regret, really. There's of course going to be some things, and I do nitpick - I'm a Virgo - but other than that, I don't regret anything because each step along this way has gotten me to where I am today."
Addressing rumor of her dating previously-ousted Casey Abrams, Haley shared, "It started a long time ago. I forget which week, but it's when we just started bonded a lot more and getting really close and really could just confide in each other. We had a different kind of connection from the rest, and so we'd sit by each other and all that jazz."
She added, "So, I'm pretty sure that's when it all started, and we laughed about it. I mean, obviously, we have a really, really strong relationship. We're not dating, but just the musicality between us and everything else has just been wonderful."
Asked if the rumors became a distraction for either one of them, she replied, "You know, not really, and we really didn't give into them at all. 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, but either way, that's not going to hurt anybody. We had a lot of fun with it. We played the game. It was fun."