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'American Idol' week in news: Haley Reinhart sings, David Cook runs, and more

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Haley Reinhart
Michael Becker / FOX

Fall behind keeping up with headlines on Twitter? Never fear, EW.com has your round-up of this week’s biggest American Idol news. 

Haley returns!

Season 10 alum Haley Reinhart released her debut single, “Free” this week just prior to making  a triumphant return to the Idol stage last night (see video below). American Idol.com has also posted exclusive video of the singer talking about the single, selecting her band members, her fans and more.

Casey James’ reunites with Ellen

It was reunion time for season 9 Idol Casey James as he visited The Ellen Degeners Show on Wednesday to perform his new single, “Let’s Don’t Call it A Night.” Ellen and Casey go way back — well, two years — from when Ellen was an Idol judge during the season the country singer competed. The 3rd-place finalist’s long-awaited self-titled debut album dropped on Tuesday.

Power Couple

Kelly Clarkson made a surprise appearance at fellow Voice celebrity mentor Miranda Lambert’s concert in Colorado last Friday night. The duo sang the season 1 champ’s current hit song, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” and Kelly joined Miranda on her hit “Gunpowder and Lead.”

Run, David, run!

David Cook finished the LA Marathon on Saturday in 7:11:51.  Not bad for a newbie running his first-ever 26.2 mile race! The season 7 Idol champ was running on behalf of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure.  David’s brother, Adam Cook, succumbed to the disease in May 2009. The effort raised over 72K for cancer research.

Bo Bice talks personal troubles

Season 4 runner-up Bo Bice, in the midst of prepping a Christian EP, talked to Billboard Magazine about getting his priorities in line, revealing that he has been sober since October. Since then he’s been focused on his family, his ministry, and “what the Lord has for me next.”

Soul Patrol is ready to roll

He’s been flying a little under the radar lately, but make no mistake, season 5 Idol winner, Taylor Hicks, is hard at work on a new album. Watch Taylor perform a new song, “Teach Me To Dance” co-written by country songwriters, Victoria Shaw and Candy Partonm at the Avalon Theater in Easton, Md. Saturday night. The incredible guitar work is from Jamie McLean, whose band backed Taylor on the performance.

J-San talks

Season 11 finalist Jessica Sanchez conducted her first interview since her show-stopping performance of “I Will Always Love You” on March 7. In the chat, the home-schooled 11th grader, who lives in Chula Vista, Calif. with her parents and two younger brothers, told UT San Diego, “It’s important to work hard, stay humble and not let the criticism or the compliments go to your head.”

Just say no

Brandon, Miss. American Idol season 11 finalist Skylar Laine tells the Clarion Ledger, that she didn’t know very much about Interscope chairman and Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine before she was a contestant on the show — but she sure does now. On saying “no” to the producer of such legends as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, the 17-year-old country singer said, “It’s hard saying no to someone like Jimmy. You don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone, especially someone who has done so much in the music business. But you just have to say it in a nice way — ‘I’m not feeling it for myself.’ And it’s something you have to do because the last thing you want to do is go out on that stage and sing a song that you’re not comfortable with.”

Kandi-coated Fantasia

She hadn’t recorded in a while, so R&B singer/reality TV personality Kandi asked season 3 champ Fantasia Barrino to go into the studio with her to record “Be Alright,” one of the songs from Bravo’s The Kandi Factory. Check out a little taste:

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