Haley's safe again on 'Idol'

Must be nice walking onto the “American Idol” stage knowing you aren't going home.

It probably explained Haley Reinhart's swagger Thursday night. After she rocked Elton John's “Bennie and the Jets” and closed the show on Wednesday, she was pretty much assured a spot among the final nine next week.

Thia Megia and Naima Adedapo weren't as lucky. The two were sent packing because the judges used their save to keep Wilmette native Casey Abrams the week before.

The judges didn't love Adedapo's reggae take on “I'm Still Standing,” and Megia couldn't break out of her ballad rut with her version of “Daniel.”

Before the vote was announced, Reinhart, 20, took center stage along with Megia and Pia Toscano and performed Katy Perry's “Teenage Dream.” For the first time, the remaining 11 Idols were split into groups that better complemented their vocal abilities instead of performing as a group.

Haley's mom, Patti Reinhart, said her daughter struggled a bit before Wednesday.

“Haley loves all kids of music and she sings all kinds of music,” said Patti Reinhart. “I think the judges want to put her in a box.”

Harry and Patti Reinhart stopped by Wheeling's village board meeting on Monday. The Reinharts stayed for the almost two-hour meeting and chatted with audience members for a good while afterward.

Patti and Haley's dad, Harry, went to see their daughter perform last week but watched Wednesday's show from Tuscany Italian Restaurant in Wheeling.

“We're so proud of Haley,” Harry Reinhart said. “But she is a little homesick.”

The interest in this season is pretty high despite the absence of judge Simon Cowell. In the two hours after Wednesday's episode, 55 million votes were cast. a record for this stage in the voting. host Ryan Seacrest said.

The final nine “Idol” contestants take the stage again Wednesday before someone is voted off Thursday.