Haley Reinhart talks '90210' and keeping up with 'American Idol'

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haley-reinhart-free-idol.jpgFor Haley Reinhart, returning to the "American Idol" stage as a guest is probably the same way most of us feel about going back to our high schools after graduation. The singer performs her new single, "Free," for the "90210" gang on Tuesday, March 27, but dropped by the place that made her famous the week before to debut the song.

"It was fabulous," Reinhart tells Zap2it after her "American Idol" performance. "So cool to be back. It feels like a long time, but also feels like yesterday. Especially when I'm on stage -- I was really thinking about how crazy is that I've come full circle and am now doing my own original material and there's no judging. It's all good things and a great feeling."

Although she's been a little bit busy with the whole recording and now promoting her new album thing, Reinhart says she still keeps up with "Idol" when she can.

"I think there is a lot of great talent," she says of Season 11's crop of finalists. "I think Jessica Sanchez is amazing -- she's 16 and her presence is incredible. Along with her there are those that are returning like DeAndre [Brackensick] and Hollie [Cavanagh], and Colton [Dixon] -- they are all from last year so I am really proud to see them rise up and make it through this year."

Reinhart remembers those three fondly from their time together during the audition rounds of Season 10. "They have all transformed tremendously," she says. "Hollie has so much more confidence and such a bigger voice. DeAndre is letting everything loose a lot more -- and not just his hair!"

Though Reinhart's "90120" performance is brief -- she encounters Adrianna and Dixon at a music festival where we see her sing "Free" -- it'll be great exposure before the singer hits the road to promote "Listen Up!," her debut album due out May 22. She tells Zap2it that she'll probably tour over the summer, so look for dates soon.
Photo/Video credit: FOX