'American Idol': Was Casey and Haley's 'Moanin' the best performance the season?

Considering the many missteps both Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart have taken throughout the season (see: Casey’s off-putting “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Haley’s wobbly “Blue“), it was quite a delight to see the contestants duet to the jazzy “Moanin'” during last night’s results show. Look at them! Both were in tune! Passionate! Fun! The performance demonstrated just how much stress factors into the competition: solo, Casey and Haley have the tendency to veer off-key, wander aimlessly on stage, and far too often rely on old tricks (which, for both, incidentally, is the angry growl). Together, during a no-consequences-attached performance, they knew exactly what to deliver: A well-plotted performance that truly showcased their smooth vocals and spoke to their undeniable, ahem, chemistry. (And, considering the song title, the angry growls actually made sense.) So, I ask you, PopWatchers: Was “Moanin'” the best performance of the season? (I’ll put it in second place in my book, below Casey’s undeniably gorgeous “Georgia On My Mind.”) Dare I say “Moanin'” even topped Idol‘s previous best duet of all time, Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta’s “Slow Ride”? (Ducks and covers.) Watch both performances after the jump and let me know what you think.

Read more:
‘American Idol’ recap: Guy’s Night Out
EW.com’s ‘American Idol’ Central
InsideTV Podcast: Can anyone on ‘American Idol’ beat Scotty?

Comments (194 total) Add your comment
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  • A.W. Baimun

    the best performance of the season so far was Haley’s “Benny and the Jets”… followed by last nights duet by Haley and Casey.

    • G

      That or Pia’s I’ll Stand by You.

      • H

        No, NOT Pia’s “Stand By You,” which would have made Chrissie Hynde rip out Pia’s vocal chords.

      • Anna

        I’ll second the Pia’s “stand by you”. That was a true Idol moment. That was my favorite with “Benny and the Jets” a close second.

      • Kiki

        Too ‘Stepford wife’ for my taste. As are most of the performances. PLEASE bring back Simon and we might get an injection of realism and Honesty.

      • Me

        I thought Pia was really boring – she sang all the notes right, but she never made the song better or different – she just sang it – same thing every week, no surprises. I was not surprised at all to see her gone

      • Jessica

        Pia is plain boring. There are too many artists out there who are like her and they will overshadow Pia if she makes it to the music industry.

    • Tatar41X

      I’d agree with Aw Baimun. But I would shift it to the duet 1st followed by Haley’s “Benny”.
      Not that Pia, Lusk, and Thia’s great technical vocals demonstrations were unappreciated – but the rub on those were they were not the complete performances of Haleys two. I hold there is a difference between “see how good my vocal techniques are!!” sort of demos – and full performances when the singing, stage presence, charisma, connecting with the audience all happen at once.

    • Dera

      Idol moments for AI10: Pia “Stand by You”; Haley “Benny and the jets”; Haley and Casey “Moanin”. Too bad Pia got eliminated and Haley and Casey were at bottom 3 or almost eliminated. The other contestant’s performances for me were forgetful. Hope America gets it right this season! If not, AI should change it’s voting system for next season. America picks the bottom 3 and judges eliminate the weakest performer.

    • NS

      Loved Casey and Haley’s duet performance. By far, Adam and Allison’s duet of slow ride is better. Vocally, Adam and Allison were impeccable. Also, the judges comments on Adam and Allison duet is way better and more technical.

      • Jules

        That performance by Adam and Allison was freaking GREAT!!

      • Squishmar

        Well, NS, you can’t compare the judges’ comments because Adam’s and Allison’s duet was on a performance night. Casey and Haley performed on a results night. The comments for Casey and Haley were spontaneous and prompted by the judges’ standing ovation. Ryan decided to ask them for comments because of that.

    • lostidol

      Haley made it great. I am so over Casey. The comparisons made of him to Will Farrell and Seth Rogan were spot on. His performances seem like comedic parodies of songs from their movies. What a waste of the save.

      • Me

        Only someone with absolutely no understanding of music or vocals would say Casey is a waste of the save. He is not my favorite – Haley has that spot, but he is the most artistically talented on that show and by that I mean that he could create his own music where a lot of them will only ever sing someone else’s.

    • jep

      I agree completely, Best Performance of The Season was Benny and The Jets, period.

    • jep

      I think Haley’s rendition of Benny and The Jets was better than Pia’s rendition of I’ll Stand By You.

  • 3reddogs

    Hey, I didn’t think Haley’s version of Blue was “wobbly” – I LIKED it (including her yodeling).

    • Tarc

      Blue was pretty much perfect.

    • Yo

      Yup, I thought it was terrific when I first saw it and I just listened to it again. It is still terrific. I just don’t understand the problem with it at all.

    • Lyn

      Exactly! That yodeling bit is not everyone’s glass of Southern sweet tea, but it’s part of that particular song and she nailed it.

    • Curly

      One billion percent agree.

    • Morgana

      Agree!! BLUE was beautiful and not “wobbly” at all. Considering it was originally written for Pasty Cline and it makes total sense. I still can’t believe Randy called it “boring.”

    • Jason

      Agree. Nothing wobbly about it at all. Has the writer never heard of yodeling or the song before?

    • Tatar41X

      Got to chime in too. Kate Ward is 180 DEG off on that one. THAT was when I got hit with how talented Haley is when she is “on”. Her rendition of “Blue” was impressive.

    • Tommy 928

      Blue was spot on – you must be tone deaf

      • Jamie

        Blue was a very good vocal. I never understood the negative remarks. Haley is a talented vocalist who can sing in a few different genres. (Unlike a lot of the other contestants) The yodel in the voice isn’t easy to do either. I think it was her best performance of the season next to the duet. It’s crazy that the judges and press seemed so impressed with Scotty’s country vocals (which is just really the deep voice)-but didn’t appreciate Haley’s Blue performance.

      • Squishmar

        It totally agree… people don’t realize the control it takes to do that yodeling to perfection like Haley did in that song. Just beautiful. That’s when I really started to like her, too.

    • PepperJo

      So agree. Totally loved Haley’s Blue rendition.

    • irwan

      What da heck’ssamatter wit the article writer..?? Haley’s Blue is waaayyy better than her (highly overrated) Bennie and the Jets. while we’re on the subject, i still think Pia shoulda sung Bennie & the Jets, that night of Elton’s songs.

      • MattyB

        Pia couldn’t do a fun song like B&TJ justice. She doesn’t have Haley’s gift for performance (she finds a cool character for each genre she’s tackled, every week Haley puts on a very nuanced little character piece). Pia is a very solid singer with lots of emotional range but was still kind of the same every week.

    • Sandy Solomon

      First download I bought was Blue by Haley. (second was her I’m your baby tonight, and third her You’ve really got a hold on me). Unique vocal quality, great energy and beat. Love her! VOTE FOR HER!

    • Christina

      I agree. Blue was perfect. Benny and the Jets was amazing. She just get s better week after week.

  • Teena

    I still like Adam and Allison better, but Casey and Haylie’s “Moanin'” is right up there at a near close second!

    • Fun Performance

      Stefano and Paul together doing the song by Simon and Garfunkel was my favorite performance last night. I’m definitely buying the song Mrs. Robinson because of that performance. Stefano and Paul did a nice job. I had a lot of fun listening to that performance.

      • Ralph

        FP, are you Paul’s mother or Stefano’s?

    • babs

      Adam and Allison were far, far better. No comparison at all.

      • Jason

        Nah, and Haley’s stuff was trickier and more complex for sure.
        Not that A+A were bad by any means!

      • Templar

        IMHO Haley was far better than Casey. In that race Casey was an “also ran”.

    • LSCH

      Why choose? They were both great!

    • JLM

      Gotta agree. Allsion and Adam were the best, but this one with Casey and Halley is my #2 fav…

  • lenscrafter

    Have to agree, A W . . . Benny and the Jets was the reason I voted for the first time in several years!

    She was definitely the highlight here . . . If I could remove the “Unhs” from Casey it would go on my Itunes.

  • SallyinChicago

    That was a WOW moment….too bad it was during the duets/finals.

  • Sally

    Casey and Haley’s duet was good, and maybe even the best performance of the season to date. But no – not better than Adam and Allison’s duet.

    • babs

      I agree, Sally. Definitely not as good at all as Adam and Allison’s duet.

  • susela

    Why is it not available on iTunes????

    • Myynnx

      My question too – I’d download that in a heartbeat.

    • Squishmar

      I thought that was why they started doing these duets instead of the (usually) awful group numbers… so they’d be available on iTunes. What a wasted opportunity for both the producers (for the money) and the fans (for the music).

  • Kate

    It was very entertaining….But the singing? Eh. Casey’s voice sounded thin and Haley mostly growled. I think this season is such a disappointment that people are grasping at straws trying to find that ‘moment’ that never comes.

    • @Kate

      you are exactly right! I kept hearing what a phenomenal season of talent this was going to be and honestly I am so underwhelmed every week. This duet was good but there have been no ‘moments’ (as Simon would say).

      Every year (excluding last year), there was a lot of buzz about one or several contestants. People talked about it at work and school etc.. This year the only contestant that has generated any buzz (outside of EW – LOL) is Pia. And that was not even for a particular performance. It’s not a great year, IMO.

    • PN

      I think that most of the singers left are saving their best performance moments for the finale show or the upper ranks of the competition. You see some of them holding back now until they belt their best performance of the season. Pia should have put I’ll Stand By You in the later weeks instead of the very first performance and the huge standing ovation. She did it too early.

      • Kiki

        Holding back can easily lead to being voted off.

  • Felicia

    Even though Adam and Allison’s duet made me want to run out and buy a ticket to their concert, Haley and Casey had something A & A could never have: sexual chemistry. You could feel it through the screen those two wanted each other. It was hot. And I’ve always thought those were the best kinds of duets: when the partners felt each word of the song they sang to each other. (ie, Rick James & Teena Marie)

    • Barf

      Well, according to US magazine Haley & Casey are “dating” – Stefano apparently dumped Haley to try and tap Pia and Haley started “dating” CVasey in order to make Stefano jealous. Sounds like Haley gets around.

  • Kate

    Hmmm…so when I originally saw Adam and Allison’s I spent most of the performance thinking I feel bad Kris has to do his duet with Danny. Last night it was just fun (and we like all know while between A&A there is just brother/sister chemistry we all know there is another kind between Haley and Casey)

    • Lily

      Yeah, as if big brother Adam wants to say “take it easy” to sister Allison. Sometimes I wonder what would have been the result if Adam had the duet with Kris or Kris had the duet with Allison.

    • Amy

      I wonder what it would have been like if it was Adam and Danny and Allison and Kris. As great as “Slow Ride” was, I felt bad for Danny and Kris because neither of them really do rock and I feel like they could have been great if they got the right song.

      • Let

        Adam said he picked Allison as soon as he found out about the duet and she said h***yeh. So not point in worring about some other match up. Adam and Allison were great as they were.

  • Yo

    I think Haley was a lot stronger than Casey in the duet, but I have liked her for a while. She has taken more chances than most, but has generally been punished for it; I’m glad she is hearing some positive stuff.

  • Miles

    Just watched both back to back…gotta go with Adam and Alison. But props to Haley/Casey – it was good!

  • boston keith

    Both duets were undeniably great. Haley and Casey should do another duet next thursday, they certainly got the chemistry going. With that being said I still miss Allison Ireheta, what is she doing these days? I thought she would be the next big thing.

    • Kat

      Allison is currently working on her 2nd album. Should be out sometime later this year.

  • shela88

    No one tops Adam Lambert ever in my opinion but Haley and Casey were best this season and yes, also Pia’s farewell I’ll Stand By You.

  • TLW86

    Sorry, Ms. Author, but Haley’s performance of “Blue” was not “wobbly” – it’s called yodeling, and the song calls for it. She performed it flawlessly. I don’t understand the need for women critics to attack young, beautiful, talented and successful singers on American Idol. Blue was a flawless performance – perhaps you need your hearing checked.

    • john

      Don’t understand the need for music critics. My ears are as good as theirs and after seven decades of listening to music, I would bet that my ears are a lot more experienced. Haley simply killed “Blue”. Not crazy about Haley, but I’ll admit that she can sing. That was a great vocal performance.

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