'American Idol' week in news: Haley Reinhart sings opening day national anthem, Scotty McCreery heads off to college

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

Baseball stadiums across the nation are hosting opening day for their respective teams, and that means you may see one of your favorite Idol alums out on the field singing the national anthem. On Thursday, that honor went to season 10 Idol, Haley Reinhart, who sang a beautiful rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” before the Detroit Tigers home opener against the Boston Red Sox. (Click on the photo below to see her performance.)

Ousted American Idol contestant and funny guy, Heejun Han flirted with Wendy Williams when he dropped by her daily talker on Wednesday. Heejun got serious for a minute when he talked about how a Korean immigrant, who only got his green card last year, ended up as a finalist on the biggest show in America.

While he works on his debut album for Concord Music Group, season 10 Idol alum, Casey Abrams, teased his fans with a new song, the upbeat and sunny, “Great Bright Morning.”

When Idols collide!  Those lucky enough to catch Kelly Clarkson in concert at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on Thursday, saw the season 1 champ duet with a few of her pals, including Reba McEntire, The Voice coach Blake Shelton, and Michelle Branch from The Wreckers. But Idol fans were in for a special treat when Kelly’s fellow season 1 Idol alum, Tamyra Gray, joined her on stage for a powerful performance of “When You Believe,” the 1998 Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston duet.

Season 5 cutie, Kellie Pickler is lending her voice to a good cause. She’s participating on the charity single, “The Choice,” a song written by former child music star Billy Gilman. Proceeds of the song will benefit Soles 4 Souls, an organization that provides shoes for the needy around the world. Joining Pickler in the effort are fellow country music stars: Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes, Rodney Atkins, Montgomery Gentry, Amy Grant, Steve Holy, Wynonna Judd, Richie McDonald, Vince Gill, Ronnie Milsap, Craig Morgan, Diamond Rio, Randy Travis, and Josh Turner.

Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, CMT wanted to know how reigning Idol champ, Scotty McCreery, did on his SATs. “I did pretty well. The score was up there, and enough to get me into college,” he said. McCreery will be attending North Carolina State University come fall. “I’ve got four guys I know pretty well that I’m gonna room with,” he continued. “Guys I can trust. I don’t know what dorm life will be like, and I for sure didn’t know what a random roommate would be like.” McCreery did pretty well at the ACM’s too — winning the fan voted Best New Artist award. But before he heads off to college, McCreery will be heading to the Hart of Dixie. The rising country star will perform on the CW show’s April 23 finale, serenading George (Scott Porter) and Zoe (Rachel Bilson) at a bar after they skip town.

Fashion icon and season 4 Idol winner, Carrie Underwood, covers the April/May issue of Vegas magazine. In the cover story she talks about her new album, her tour regime, and American Idol. There are also more photos from the magazine photo shoot at their website.

Season 11 finalist, Phil Phillips admitted to the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he’s not the best singer on the show. In fact, the 21-year-old only began singing three years ago. On rejecting advice from Idol fashion adviser, Tommy Hilfiger, Phillips said, “I respected his opinion but at the end of the day, I could take it or leave it. Some people said that was arrogant. I just don’t want to be changed that way.”

You all remember “Chicken Little” from season 5? Kevin Covais, the adorable tenor from the Taylor Hicks season, has parlayed his sense of humor into a budding movie career. He can be seen alongside Will Smith in the highly anticipated Men in Black 3, but he also just signed on to join Justin Bateman, Melissa McCarthy and Amanda Peet in the Universal comedy Identity Thief. Covais will play an Eagle Scout seeking revenge after his identity has been stolen. The film is scheduled for release on May 10, 2013.

Read more:
‘American Idol’ recap: The Lions Sleeps Tonight
‘American Idol’ gallery: The top mentors

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