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'American Idol' fashion: A diva is born

"American Idol" broke out the wind machine causing

"American Idol" broke out the wind machine causing Haley Reinhart's silky pewter dress to billow and her curly locks fly in the breeze, during her rendition of Stevie Nicks' Fleetwood Mac classic “Rhiannon.” (May 18, 2011) Credit: Fox

Maybe she won a spot in the "American Idol" final Wednesday night.  Maybe she didn’t.  But one thing is certain: Haley Reinhart elevated herself from rocker chick to diva with some excellent fashion choices and a camera-loving savvy that rivals the pros.

First up, a shredded-suede black mini dress that shimmies when she dances. It was sleeveless, emphasizing her trademark moves – the beckoning hand, the over-the-head wrist curl.  She struts in peep-toe high heels, and -- fall, shmall -- she works it.

Second set, she's pure seductress.  They break out the wind machine – her silky pewter dress billows, her curly locks fly in the breeze, the shoes sparkle … a stunning visual.  She looks you in the eye -- heavy lidded, major lashes – and it’s hard not to stare back.  She’s transfixing. The judges take note. Randy Jackson says, “I would grow my hair out if I could have a wind machine.”  And Jennifer Lopez admits, “It was an ethereal moment.”

Weakest fashion look is her final set, slim dark pants and a royal blue lace top.  It shows her curves, but the top isn’t a great fit. Yet she's still got the “it” factor.

Not so, at least from a fashion standpoint, for country crooner Scotty McCreery who could have easily been going to a hay ride in his first ensemble – a distressed jean jacket, red plaid shirt, jeans and boots.  The second one is – yawn – the same, except no jean jacket and the plaid was blue.  Aaah, and for the final song he breaks out a T-shirt and tops it with a suit jacket.

OK, so poor, dear Lauren Alaina continues to make some horrendous fashion choices.  The red and pink halter top, slit up in the back, worn over skinny jeans with white rhinestone emblazoned cowboy boots…um, not good.   Add to this bad accessories, like the oversized flower earrings and you’ve got Ellie May Camplett goes wild.

The second silhouette is terrible on Alaina -- gasp – the dreaded dirndl.  The top, a black sequined bustier, would have been fine with something sleeker but instead she opts for a mini superpouf of white taffeta, expanded further by black petticoats.  And the big pearl hoops and matching bracelets? Sorry, cheesy.

Her final and most decent dress – a prom-y turquoise confection, strapless with a crackled mirror belt – is such a fashion relief that it prompts Ryan Seacrest to say, “You look stunning.”  Phew.

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