‘American Idol’ notes: Jessica Sanchez rumors; Haley Reinhart album cover

The rumors begin…

In kicking off the weekend, we have some “American Idol” stories that touch on a little bit everything — from the save that kept Jessica Sanchez around to Ryan Seacrest having to chat with his old pal Simon Cowell.

The Jessica controversy – Did producers really lobby to keep Jessica Sanchez around for another week? Mjsbigblog has a great piece up on it, using a post from TMZ honcho Harvey Levin for evidence:

“Idol people telling me judges didn’t know beforehand Jessica was being kicked off..But producers indeed lobbied them to use save last night.”

If this is true, it really doesn’t come across as surprising at all. The producers are out to create the best show possible, and they know that sending Jessica packing in the same sort of fashion as Pia Toscano would have turned “Idol” fans into jelly. (Not only that, but she’s clearly one of the best singers left.)

At the same time, we don’t really think the judges needed any convincing. Outside of maybe Joshua Ledet (and that could even be a debate), they would save Jessica over anyone else this season.

Here’s the cover.

Haley Reinhart’s track list – For those of you wanting some more details on Haley Reinhart’s album “Listen Up!” (coming May 22!), we now have the official track listing along with a rather sunny album cover.

1. “Oh My!” (featuring B.o.B)
2. “Free”
3. “Liar”
4. “Wasted Tears”
5. “Undone”
6. “Now That You’re Here”
7. “Wonderland”
8. “Keep Comin’ Back”
9. “Hit the Ground Runnin'”
10. “Walking On Heaven”

We’ve heard about half of the tracks on this album at some point, and we have to say that it’s working out thus far to be a rather stellar collection. More than anything, we’re just thrilled that Jimmy Iovine and the folks at Interscope are giving her the freedom to create an album that plays to her retro roots rather than just something that is over-synthesized for top 40 radio.

Just for the sake of having something to listen to, you can also check out below a rather engaging conversation between Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest below about “Idol,” “The X Factor’s” second season, and the success of One Direction. Do we wish that Simon would drop this whole “Ryan’s in the closest” humor at this point? Yeah, but to Ryan’s credit he’s at least not letting it get to him.

Photo: Fox

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