American Idol Backstage Report: James Durbin's Not Gaga for Gaga
It was a night of hot tempers and one very uncomfortable close encounter: James Durbin, who was less than thrilled at being man-handled by Lady Gaga.
Preparing at the recording studio for his second number, "Love Potion Number Nine," Gaga tried to get Durbin to loosen up by standing behind him and putting her hands on his hips to manipulate the swing. Durbin played along, but clearly wasn't having fun. "To sum it up in one word, awkward," he says after the show. "It was unexpected and very uncomfortable."
So much so that Durbin, 22, says he felt compelled to give a heads-up to his fiancé, Heidi, that the scene would be shown on his taped package. "I warned her first," he says. "And I was like, 'Didn't like it.'"
You'd think young Scotty McCreery, 17, would be more unglued by Gaga, who instructed him to "make love" to the microphone. But he was fine with her outrageous ways. "Everyone has their own way of getting their point across," says McCreery after the show. "She just has a unique way of doing it."
Meanwhile, Haley Reinhart was still simmering after getting another tongue lashing from the judges (except Steven Tyler) for her first number, Michael Jackson's "Earth Song." Jennifer Lopez told her she needed to be more strategic in her song choices. And Randy Jackson said it confused him — once again — about who she is as an artist.
"You know," says Reinhart after the show, "I'm not gonna crack. As much as they might want me to, or try to, or whatever it is, I'm not going to. And I think they know that I can be very strong-willed and that's why they give it go me. They did tell me, 'We know what's in you and we do this to you because you can take it, and we want everything that's inside you to come out.' I take that in stride, I realize it, accept it."
But she looked really annoyed. "Yeah, man," she says, nodding. "Come on, everybody else gets good feedback, and they really let me have it. I got a little upset because that song is downright inspiring and emotional. So that hit me to the heart. Got me a little bit."
Then Reinhart shrugs, resigned. "Hey, it's a show, we do what we can and I'm staying strong here." Lauren Alaina jumps in to defend her friend. "I wasn't a happy camper about [what the judges said]," she says. "That made me a little ill because Haley — I'm sorry guys [meaning James and Scotty] — Haley has the best voice on this show."
Says McCreery, simply. "Agreed."
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