"I didn't think it was going to be that distracting. It's just shorts," said Scarnato during a conference call with reporters on Thursday afternoon. "It hurts of course... It's just legs. It is what it is. It's legs. I mean I don't even know what to say about it. It's frustrating because I'm just trying to go out there and perform and sing -- and it is a singing competition -- and they weren't listening to me anymore."
Scarnato made Idol 6'sTop 12 but didn't really capture America's attention until the following week during the Top 11 performance episode when she sang "Tell Him."
"I thought about the shorts just because it was a more upbeat kind of song and it would be comfortable to wear," said Scarnato, explaining why she decided to bear her legs for the performance. "And [Idol stylist Art Kahn] just kind of finished the style. We just molded it together... you get so much feedback from everybody and they're kind of like, 'Keep it.'"
Following her rendition of the song, Idol judge Simon Cowell called Scarnato a "naughty little thing" and added he though "people are going to be talking about a lot more than your singing tonight."
"They always say this is a singing competition and yada yada yada I'm like, 'Okay. This is a singing competition.' But you know, it is what it is, you just kind of brush it off and do the best you can do," said Scarnato. "I got a good vibe from the judges and I didn't want to loose it because I didn't get any great vibes from them before. My stylist liked it. It just seemed to kind of work, everybody was kind of liking it."
Idol executive producer Ken Warwick stood-up for Scarnato and the way she was presenting herself and performing prior to her elimination.
"I think she's good looking kid. I think she has a very good voice. I think she was given a really bad rap by Simon earlier," Warwick told reporters during an April 3 conference call. "She's quite a shy girl; that's the problem. She's not one that's in your face all the time. But she's a lovely kid. I love her. She looks great on stage and she has a good voice. I don't care what Simon says."
The next week Scarnato's vocals didn't receive the best of compliments from the judges, but Cowell commented on how nice her legs were following her Top 9 performance of "Ain't Misbehaving" when he said, "I think you've got great legs." However her appearance apparently became a negative following her Top 8 performance of "Turn the Beat Around." Cowell told Scarnato, "I think you have a very good tactic at the moment Haley: wear the least amount of clothes as possible. Because, look I'll be honest with you, you can't do well in this competition based on your voice because there are much better singers."
"I'm on international TV... I still want to stay in that frame of mind you have to respect him. He's Simon Cowell. It does hurt a little bit, but you've just got to brush it off and try to get through it. You can't please everybody. I didn't go shorter. I didn't wear less clothes. I just did the same thing," said Scarnato. "I mean I never really changed my look since Hollywood Week. I kind of showed my midriff a little bit and stuff like that. I want to stay true to who I am and it's fun dressing up... you know playing the part of the theme week and the song that you're singing. I don't think I wore less clothes than before... I think I stayed true to who I am."
With Scarnato's wardrobe and appearance judged more than her singing, at least the 24-year-old from San Antonio, TX was able to take her elimination lightly.
"Definitely if I was still going to be here next week I was going to wear a choir robe," she told reporters.