Tuesday, April 5, 2011

American Idol's Haley Reinhart Puts a Bluesy, Torch-Song Spin on "Bennie and The Jets" on Top 11 Revived



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Haley Reinhart, American Idol Season 10's 'Ingenue', turns the Idol stage into a lounge with her bluesy rendition of "Bennie and The Jets." Idol finalist took on the classic songs of legendary singer/songwriter Sir Elton John for this week's Top 11 Revived Show.

Producer Jimmy Iovine, who has produced Elton John in the past, said, "Haley moves great, she has great tone, and she has a great style of singing. But, she doesn't always bring all three things to the game. Tonight, she does!"

Haley begins the song perched on a red piano. Her performance is riveting. Loved the 'hiss' at the end of "Jetssssss". Loved the bluesy trills, the Janis Joplin-esque rasp and how Haley 'rrrrrrrreved' the lyrics. This was probably one of Haley's best, strongest performances - she showed tons of confidence and individuality. The only misstep was her wardrobe. When you sing a Torch Song ~ sexily draped across a piano ~ you do not dress for a Saturday afternoon wedding at the Country Club! You either dress like Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Fabulous Baker Boys", or dress like "Bennie" and wear a dress like Lauren Alaina's, but a tad shorter in front, and with knee-high black boots. The song is about "the greed and glitz of the early '70s music scene (and) is portrayed by Bernie Taupin's lyrics:

We'll kill the fatted calf tonight, so stick around,
you're gonna hear electric music, solid walls of sound.

Taupin also goes on to describe the flashy wardrobe of "Bennie", the leader of the band:

She's got electric boots, a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine Ohh..."
(Dress with a eye toward your lyrics. Singing "We'll kill the fatted calf tonight" doesn't work while wearing a sweet, pastel floral dress! If you need a new stylist, give me a call! I worked as a personal shopper at Bullock's Wilshire for several years!)

The judges LOVED it! All three were applauding, and the audience was on it's feet. Jennifer Lopez praised, "YES! That was it Haley! It all came together. The voice, the moves, the confidence. You felt every place you were going. It was a great way to end the show, and it was amazing." Randy Jackson said, "For me, Best Performance of the Night!! You gave it up. You deserve it. (Jennifer: "That was hot!") Steven Tyler has been smitten with Haley since auditions. "You sing sexy," he raved.





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