Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Sleet, Nor Hail Shall Keep Haley From Making Her American Idol Hometown Appearance...

Wheeling's very own Haley Reinhart still made her American Idol "Hometown Visit" last Saturday, amist a dreary, rainy, and gloomy day in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.

It wasn't going to stop her from visiting the area that just a few months ago she called home without all the cameras and lights.

Starting her day at the AT&T store in Deer Park, Haley had a packed day that included:

  • Heading to back to Wheeling High School to check in on her former band director, Brian Logan, and band members that were practicing for her parade.
  • Her favorite restaurant Bob Chinn's Crabhouse on Milwaukee Ave, where they serve "Haley Comet" drinks since American Idol began back in March.
  • Visiting the Wheeling Aquatic Center, where she used to work.
  • Receving the key to the city from Village President Judy Abruscato.
  • Finally performing in front of a sold out 29,772 person crowd at Arlington Park, same as last year's American Idol winner Lee DeWyze.

But most that attended said that they got a different feeling with Haley's celebration than they did with Lee DeWyze's last year.  

The final stop of her tour at Arlington Park kicked off around 7:15pm and Haley didn't disappoint those that waited a long time in the rain to see her hit the stage.

With her Father Harry playing guitar, mother Patti playing tambourine with backup vocals, and sister Angie rocking out on bass guitar, Haley performed six songs:

  • Elton John's "Bennie & The Jets"
  • Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart"
  • The Beatles' "Oh Darlin"
  • The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun"
  • Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago"
  • Duffy's "Mercy"

And according to reports, it wouldn't be a surprise if Haley performed Alanis Morrissette's "You Oughta Know" on this week's episode.

Visit Heather from Trib Local's first hand account of last Saturday's festivities or the Tribune's up close and personal photographs.

It was a fitting visit from the next hopeful American Idol!

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