American Idol's Haley Reinhart just can't catch a break.
During her Wednesday performance of Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" — selected for the "songs that inspire" theme — Reinhart was slammed by judges Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez for her scream-y, high-pitched rendition of MJ's 1995 classic.
While Lopez felt Reinhart didn't have her head in the game, it was Jackson who really swung the axe.
"These are the things I didn't like about what you did: It confused me about who you are as an artist," Jackson sniped. "The song didn't suit you. It felt like you were screaming at the end and you were at the top of your range. The song needed you to deliver it. I didn't like it…I thought it was a bad song."
But the singer, 20, didn't go out without a fight, and stood up to her critics.
"I know, I heard you, do you need to keep saying [stuff]?" she shot back testily.
Steven Tyler quickly leapt to Reinhart's defense. "They're both wrong," the rocker said. "It wasn't a hit song but you nailed it with feeling, pushed it over the top and America heard it."
Redeeming herself with her second performance of the night, "I Who Have Nothing," Reinhart insists she isn't letting the harsh criticism get to her.
"I'm not going to crack," she told reporters after Wednesday's taping." As much as they might want me to, I'm not going to. [The judges] know that I can be very strong-willed and everything else and that's why they do it to me. Everyone else [competing] gets good feedback and they really let me have it. They don't hold back [with] me. They never have, never will."
As the final four are whittled down to three Thursday, tell Us: Were the judges too hard on Haley?
By Allison Corneau for UsMagazine.com. For more Channel Surfing, click here.
Were the Idol Judges Too Hard on Haley Reinhart?
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