Now for the strange part: two back-to-back top-four Idol finalists come from neighboring NW Chicago suburbs. Haley lives in Wheeling, IL, about 10 miles from where Lee DeWyze lived and worked.
American Idol's Haley Reinhart From Wheeling
In January it begins.
I swear in years past, the only highlight on TV in January was American Idol, but this year? I struggled. No WAY could it ever compare the thrill of having Idol finalist Lee DeWyze be from my town. All the signs. T-Shirt Tuesday. Crowded Idol viewing parties where he'd silence us all, then we'd roar with pride over him. The amazing hometown visit with a parade and a concert. Then he won!
(I am sure you'll remember all the to-do over him last season and my several posts (the first back in early April) about his home town's pride backing him. Did I go overboard? Hell yes, and I loved every second of it!)
Simon's gone. Will I like the new judges? Do I watch?
Well, maybe just the try outs...
I've watched almost every episode. And love the judges.
Has it compared? No. Is it still fun to watch? Yes. James, Casey and Haley Reinhart have been my top 3 all along. Casey was voted out again (he was saved by the judges earlier), which has bummed out everyone I've talked to, but our jazzy and sassy girl Haley is still going strong.
I thought I'd drive over to Haley's town and see what 'Haley Spirit' Wheeling has for their Idol after I saw a woman wearing a 'Vote Haley' shirt with the same colors as Lee's- but opposite: blue shirt with neon yellow lettering. Wheeling has no centralized downtown, but I visited their City Hall and Park District, and saw signs for her throughout town. I also attended a viewing party, where I opted against the 'Bob Chins' party and their new drink "Haley's Comet" to visit a pub more personal to Haley.
'PS Pub' is a local watering hole where both of her parents have played in a band called 'Midnight', and also 'Traffic Jam' which is just her Dad's band. They played PS Pub last week to a packed house. Her Dad even wore their shirt on the show Wednesday night.
I have included photos of the people there, who all know her family. Everyone sported a Haley t-shirt, and they were so genuinely excited for Haley. One couple is selling the "I 'heart' Haley" buttons to raise money for "Relay for Life" cancer walk.
Enjoy their pride over their Idol star!
And vote Haley!