Live at American Idol: Will Haley's Defensive 'Tude Send Her Home?

What we witnessed from our seat behind the judges' table

By Aimee Curran May 12, 2011 4:29 AMTags
AMERICAN IDOL, Top 4, Haley Reinhart, Scotty McCreery, James Durbin, Lauren AlainaMichael Becker / FOX

Only four remaining. It's officially crunch time on American Idol.

Tensions were running high on the Idol stage when Haley Reinhart shot back at judge Randy Jackson over a critique she didn't care for. Tempers flared, Ryan Seacrest had to step in, but what happened when the show cut to commercial?

We saw it all from our seat behind the judges' table and caught up with Haley post-show to hear her side of the story....

Not every performance on Idol is going to get good reviews from the judges, but week after week we've seen Haley get the brunt of their bad news. Wednesday was no different when Randy laid into her cover of Michael Jackson's "Earth Song." It was clear Haley wasn't happy about the feedback, and after the cameras stopped rolling she basically stalked off stage only raising her hand once to the audience. Ryan and producer Nigel Lythgoe swarmed Randy, who kind of laughed, threw up his hands and said, "What am I supposed to do?"

Although she killed it on her second song, when we chatted with Haley after the show she was still fuming over the disagreement. "Yeah I'm mad," she said. "Everybody else gets good feedback and they really let me have it. They don't feel bad for me. Never have, never will. I got a little upset because that song is downright inspiring and emotional. No matter what, that hit me to the heart."

Regardless of what the judges think, Haley isn't backing down and just taking the advice for what it is as she moves forward. "I'm not gonna crack," she said. "As much as they might want me to or try to, I'm not going to. And I think they know that I can be very strong and willed and everything else, and that's why they give it to me. I take that in stride, I realize it, [and] accept it."

Michael Becker / FOX

Haley wasn't the only one bothered by the judges' response. Lauren Alaina was on hand to put a reassuring arm around Haley's shoulders during commercial breaks. After the show, she revealed to us how she felt about the judges' feedback and how she sees Haley's standing in the competition.

"I wasn't a happy camper about that," she said. "That made me a little ill. I'm sorry, but Haley has the best voice on this show and she gets the most criticism. I deserve a lot more criticism than she does. I'm Haley's No. 1 fan. I listen to her iTunes songs over and over and over." Kind of cute, right? Nice to see the girls getting along so well this late in the competition.

Speaking of fans, Lady Gaga can't count James Durbin as one of her little monsters. We all saw her get his hips moving during their coaching session, but James told us the experience wasn't something he enjoyed. "To sum it up in one word, for me: awkward," he said. "Unexpected and very uncomfortable. I didn't like it."

With two weeks left until an Idol is crowned, the eliminations are gonna be tough! Who do you think will be going home? Did Haley go too far with her defense? Do you think Gaga was inappropriate with James? Let us know in the comments!