Haley Reinhart returned to American Idol tonight and performed her catchy single “Free” inside a golden birdcage.  Reinhart, whose moxie and versatile vocal range landed her a third place finish last season on American Idol, talked about the craziness of the past year.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” says Reinhart.  “And I’m so thankful for that.  I’m on a good pace right now and I don’t want it to stop.  And it seems like truly this is only the beginning.”

Click on the media bar to hear Reinhart talk about the origins of “Free,” which is now available on iTunes:

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Haley Reinhart’s debut album, titled Listen Up!, comes out May 22nd.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi (Twitter: @gsrisavasdi)