Haley Reinhart is coming home Saturday.
The Wheeling native and Harper College student made it into American Idol's final three Thursday. Reinhart will receive a that will begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday with a motorcade to Village Hall (see attached map) and conclude with a performance at 6:30 p.m. at Arlington Park Racetrack.
During a ceremony in Wheeling, Village President Judy Abruscato will proclaim May 14 as "Haley Reinhart Day."
Tickets can be reserved by visiting www.arlingtonpark.com. The general-admission tickets will not include reserved seating and will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis. Updated details about Reinhart’s pending visit will be posted at www.wheelingil.gov.
In a bit of a surprise, James Durbin was eliminated Thursday. The final three are Reinhart, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery.
Reinhart has had some close calls finishing among the bottom three in votes four times. Despite those close calls, Reinhart has persevered and appears to have gained momentum.
Both of Reinhart's Wednesday performances were memorable for different reasons.
The first song she sang was "Earth Song" by Michael Jackson. American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson were critical of the song choice and Reinhart's performance.
When Jackson suggested Reinhart should have changed up the end of the song, she said she thought it was "beautiful the way it was." When judge Steven Tyler attempted to interrupt, Jackson reiterated his points, "My opinion is I didn't like it I thought you were screaming."
"I heard it, I know what your opinion is," Reinhart said.
The exchange was unusual on Idol, as contestants rarely say much of anything in response to the judges comments. For her second song Reinhart sang "I Who Have Nothing."
Reinhart received a standing ovation by the audience and by the Idol judges.
"This is why we can't take it easy on you Haley, look at what you are capable of. That was amazing," Jennifer Lopez said. "One of the best performances of the year."