Lauren Alaina Suddeth has her summer job lined up.
The 16-year-old known as simply Lauren Alaina to the American Idol audience advanced into the top 10 Thursday night and a spot on the post-season tour that begins shortly after the May finale.
Ms. Suddeth, who was wearing a white and silver sequined dress, gray cowboy boots and a pink flower in her hair, didn’t have to wait long to hear the news. Host Ryan Seacrest called her, Scotty McCreery and Pia Toscano to center stage where he informed them that they would be packing their bags for the tour.
Ms. Suddeth, Mr. McCreery and Ms. Toscano are among the frontrunners in the tenth season of competition that many have called the best ever with the talent being so evenly matched.
Ms. Suddeth will be joined by Nashville’s Paul McDonald who also has a strong local following since his mother Susan is a UTC professor.
However, it wasn’t Mr. Seacrest who told Mr. McDonald and James Durbin they were going on tour – it was their wrestling Idol Hulk Hogan. Mr. McDonald and Mr. Durbin, who staged their own wrestling showdown in a pre-taped Idol segment, were clearly stunned when Hogan made the surprise entrance as both fell to the floor in praise.
Since the tour traditionally has stops in or nearby the hometowns of the 10 finalists, there is feverish anticipation that Chattanooga will be on the itinerary since Ms. Suddeth hails from Rossville. The tour dates will be announced in the next few weeks.
In tune with this week’s Motown theme, Ms. Suddeth confidently performed “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, the 1966 hit immortalized by Diana Ross and the Supremes during Wednesday night’s telecast. As with the rest of the Idol contestants, Ms. Sudddeth’s performances are available on I-Tunes.
Mr. McDonald sang the Smokey Robinson classic “The Tracks of My Tears.”
The legendary Stevie Wonder made an unannounced appearance singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” with the Idol finalists backing him on the vocals. Mr. Wonder is celebrating his 50th anniversary with Motown this year.