published Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Chattanooga area residents prepare for 'American Idol' finale

Lauren Alaina performs "Maybe It Was Memphis," a song chosen for her by Carrie Underwood, on the finale of "American Idol." Photo by Michael Becker/Fox
Lauren Alaina performs "Maybe It Was Memphis," a song chosen for her by Carrie Underwood, on the finale of "American Idol." Photo by Michael Becker/Fox

The show must go on.

Despite straining one of her vocal chords in rehearsal only hours before “American Idol’s” finale, Lauren Alaina Suddeth was onstage singing for the win Tuesday night. She was treated by the show’s physician who cleared her to compete in a country showdown with Scotty McCreery, 17, of North Carolina.

And by the show’s conclusion, “Idol” judges gave Suddeth the nod as winner of all three rounds of competition.

“Totally awesome!” said Paula Steele, of Flintstone, Ga., a Suddeth family friend.

“I knew when the rumors started this afternoon about her voice that she would put everything she had into it, and she did. She does not quit,” said Steele.

“American Idol’s” two finalists, each hoping to jump-start a country music career with a win tonight, got an assist from two industry superstars in preparation for Tuesday night’s finale.

“Idol’s” Season 4 champ Carrie Underwood chose “Maybe It Was Memphis” for Suddeth to sing. Underwood posted on her fan club board Tuesday that it was a song she had wanted to sing during her “Idol” season but never had the chance.

George Strait, “the King of Country” who holds the record for 59 No. 1 hits, chose “Check Yes or No” for McCreery to perform.

In addition to the songs chosen by the stars, Suddeth and McCreery were asked to choose their favorite song from this season to perform.

The pair also sang their “coronation songs” — the singles that will be released by the winner Thursday morning. McCreery’s single was “Love You This Big” and Suddeth’s was “Like My Mother Does.”

Record producer Jimmy Iovine said he chose Suddeth’s number because it captured her “American Idol” journey with her mother beside her throughout the process.

“It’s a very tight race tonight, but with that song, you may have just won,” said judge Jennifer Lopez of Suddeth’s emotional tribute to her mother. “You sang with heart, emotion and a beautiful voice.”

During her performance of the number, Suddeth walked into the audience to sing to her tearful mother, Kristy Suddeth.

Jason Phibbs, co-owner of The Acoustic Cafe in Ringgold, Ga., where a viewing party was held, said, “It’s over. Lauren Suddeth is the winner.”

“I think her going up to her mom made the difference,” he said. “That was the deal-breaker.”

Viewers will find out who is the Season 10 “Idol” when the results show airs at 8 p.m. today.

Lauren Alaina - Like My Mother Does
about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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Abe said...

Jump-start is not the right word. They're new. They don't have careers yet.

May 25, 2011 at 12:05 a.m.
patriot1 said...

yaaaawn it over yet?

May 25, 2011 at 8:15 a.m.
grandmastaj said...

Go back under your bridges, trolls.

May 25, 2011 at 8:20 a.m.
rosebud said...

I think it's hilarious that the print version of the TFP only refers to the girl as Suddeth. They would sell more papers if they would call her what 100 million Americans know her as. But again, this is the TFP we're talking about.

May 25, 2011 at 8:28 a.m.
dave said...

You know I am happy for this young lady but I am SO tired of hearing about it. When they mention it on the news...I change the channel...when it shows up in print...I don't read that part. I hope she makes it but Dang...I hope you guys can give it a rest (and us also) then... Get back to the NEWS!

May 25, 2011 at 9:58 a.m.
sage1 said...

Most of the votes are from kids who have no idea about singing and vote mostly by popularity rather than talent.............Both are good singers and it is not fair to either of them to be voted out by a group of kids

Hey you read palms too? LOL. hahahaha. You don't have a clue.

May 25, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
patriot1 said...

headline on The Drudge Report says Scotty wins....we can get back to real news now

May 25, 2011 at 12:03 p.m.
cc333 said...

Reckon it's go Go GO Time: for Lauren Alaina 'our' hometown girl from Rossville~Gawja !!! (never watched Amer. Idol till my GF got me into it recently) Inser Crowd Noise 'here' !

May 25, 2011 at 6:51 p.m.
sage1 said...

Hey there little indian dude....It didn't take a crystal ball to know Scotty was gonna win so I guess your a phony as I suspected. I'm glad you got up in the middle of the night to get that off your chest though, so's you could sleep...LOL!! It's just a web forum dweeb so don't take it personal. LOL

May 26, 2011 at 6:45 a.m.
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