Reinhart greets fans at Wheeling store

  • Haley Reinhart

    Haley Reinhart

Updated 5/26/2012 5:38 PM

Haley Reinhart may not have received the "American Idol" title last year, but you wouldn't know it from the devoted fans who showed up Saturday to see the Wheeling native at her hometown Wal-Mart.

Among those fans were early risers Bill and Andrea Levey of Streamwood, who arrived at the Wheeling store about 7:30 a.m. Saturday for an afternoon meet-and-greet with the 21-year-old who appeared there to promote her debut CD, Listen Up!


The couple and their two young daughters were first in line to see Reinhart, who signed CDs and a T-shirt for 10-year-old Alayana and her 3-year-old sister Lily.

"She's really pretty," said Alayana Levey, who described Reinhart, last year's third-place finisher, as her favorite "American Idol" contestant.

Sporting a T-shirt signed by Reinhart who dotted the "i" with a tiny heart, self-proclaimed "dad fan," Steve Klumpp, 59, recalled how it wasn't that long ago that Reinhart worked in guest services at the Wheeling Park District aquatic center.

Like most fans, Patricia and Darin Tucker were introduced to Haley Reinhart through "American Idol." However, the Wheeling couple knew Reinhart's parents, musicians Harry and Patti, first.

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"They performed at our wedding," Patricia Tucker said.

Reinhart's admirers had nothing but praise for the petite blonde with the bluesy voice.

"It was indescribable," 14-year-old Angela Kazda of Westchester said of her brief meeting with the singer.

"The first time I saw her (on 'American Idol') I knew she'd be in the top three. Her singing is amazing," Kazda said.

"She took my breath away," said Kazda's friend Diana Ferraro, 13, also of Westchester.

"She took a picture with us," Ferraro added. "She wasn't supposed to but she did it anyway."

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