Haley Reinhart Earns Praise From Nigel While Top 4 Earn Over 70 Million Votes

Did you get the feeling that Haley Reinhart took a little extra heat from the judges yet again last night after her performance of “Earth Song”? Well you’re not alone and you might even have some company in high places. American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe went to Twitter last night with some authoritative praise for the targeted singer along with some big voting news.

Nigel sent out three Tweets last night with only two of those having any praise for the Top 4 and yes, both put Haley on the receiving end:

@dizzyfeet: “I, Who Have Nothing” was my favorite performance tonight.”

@dizzyfeet: “I personally feel Haley is the most improved contestant.”

So was Nigel trying to keep things a little more balanced with some support for Haley or would these Tweets have hit the interwaves regardless?

The other big news from Lythgoe was that this season hit its highest vote count yet. More than 70 million votes were registered across the phone lines, texts, and online voting. Pretty impressive, but the finale vote should be even higher.

I wonder which fans were moved to put in that many votes. Could it have been Reinhart’s? That just might spell the end of Lauren on American Idol 2011.