Archives For Idol2011

Haley Reinhart covered Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and did it more than justice on “American Idol.” Then, the Chicago native almost had it all, herself.

“I’m about to get ready for the show, just to sit in the audience, and I get the producers coming up to me,” Reinhart recalled of when she was close to replacing Lauren Alaina on the finale of “Idol.” Alaina almost fell out of the final two due to a voice ailment. Reinhart said the producers told her to take a deep breath, because she could be readmitted in to the show to perform three songs and compete against Scotty McCreery for the title. “As much of an honor it was for them to consider me to take that position and all, I just didn’t want to do it.”

Reinhart just didn’t feel it was in her cards to win, and felt horrible for the Georgia teenager, who she knew had been struggling towards the end of the season.

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“We had so much material to learn in such a short amount of time,” Reinhart explained. “We had our home visits, and it was just nuts. But at the same time, I wasn’t expecting someone to come up to me and say, ‘Hey, you’re going to take over in a second.’”

Thankfully for Reinhart, what was in her cards was a deal with Interscope Records. Next month, the singer turns 21 and wraps up the “Idol Live” tour before moving to Los Angeles and recording her debut album.

He has a band, The Grand Magnolias, waiting for him so the group can start playing shows. He has a fiance, “Twilight” actress Nikki Reed, waiting for him so they can get married. But while Paul McDonald may be thinking about his band and planning for his wedding, he’s still on tour with “American Idol Live” through next month.

“I’m trying to be a good man, I’m trying,” said McDonald of planning his pending nuptials. “The ‘Idol’ tour has our hands behind our back, bending us over to the side.”

The Nashville singer revealed tour rules prohibit Reed from even riding on the bus with him. Still, McDonald is giving it his all to make it work and finalize the details for their wedding.

“I’m trying my hardest to keep her happy on the other side of the country,” he said. “Like, ‘Yeah I’m working on this and that, promise I’m thinking about you and not just doing the ‘Idol’ shows!’”

It was a rather quick path to the engagement for McDonald and Reed – they reportedly only dated three months before he popped the question. But then again, McDonald took a rather quick path to national fame after years of touring with The Grand Magnolias. While his “Idol” audition is now yielding dividends, the band wasn’t always so sure it would.

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“The band was like, ‘Dude we’re about to get picked up by a major label and you’re going to sing karaoke on a TV show bro!’” the lead singer recalled. “But it’s been good. I took it for fun man, it’s a TV show.”

But McDonald wasn’t born yesterday – he took it for a profit as well. Just look at the sold out items in The Grand Magnolias online store and you’ll see he’s kept his fans waiting too, waiting for more material.

As “American Idol” finalist Pia Toscano is currently finding out, everything happens for a reason. The Season 10 contestant revealed on “The Ralphie Radio Show” that her early elimination from “Idol” afforded her a chance to get a head start on recording her debut album.

“I had a lot of time before we started the finale rehearsals and before we started tour, so I got about eight to nine songs done already for the album,” said Toscano of her first LP, set for a tentative November release on Interscope Records. “So now when I get off tour, we’re just going to finish up.”

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That also explains how Toscano was able to so quickly release a first single, “This Time,” after the season’s conclusion. It was a pace that has turned into a constant in her life: on August 3, 2010 she auditioned for the competition in New Jersey. The Queens, NY native has spent the past year gaining national fame while also finding a companion in “Dancing With the Stars” performer Mark Ballas.

“It kind of was like an overnight thing,” Toscano admitted of her success. “That was the scariest part, adapting to this life overnight.”

As Toscano is also currently finding out, “this life” can become tiring at times. But the singer, who despite barely sleeping the previous night seemed energetic during out chat, is doing her best to take it all in.

“It’s so much fun, we have a blast on tour,” she said. “This is the dream.”