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'American Idol' recap: Is Lauren Alaina 'The One'?

January 28, 2011 |  9:07 am

Judging_TN_MB-1257  "I think we found The One today," Steven Tyler said, moments from the end of “American Idol” Thursday night, as he left day two of Season 10’s Nashville auditions. “We found her. Oh, yeah, we did."

He didn’t mention a name, but we can probably safely assume that Tyler was talking about Lauren Alaina, the night’s final contestant, with the moving backstory that comes with that slot. And though, of course, with more auditions in more cities, Hollywood and lots more singing to go, one can never know for sure, the judges (and the producers’) current anointed choice does seem worthy.

To quote Tyler again, “She is beyondo cute.”

She is …

Adorable: Tumbling blondish-brownish curls; a glowing, cheekbone-enhanced smile; lilting Georgia accent; expertly done makeup; flip-flops.

Totally charming: When Jennifer Lopez said she was moved to tears by her singing, Alaina said, “Don’t cry, you’re too pretty. You’ll mess up your makeup.” And having run outside to bring in her parents (“I’m last,” she notes, considerately), she revealed that their favorite song was one of Tyler’s (Aerosmith’s "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"), and not only confidently performed it, but also generously looped him into a duet. 


Talented: “You’ve definitely got a gift. … You’ve got real, natural, God-given talent,” said Randy.

Ready to use her voice for good: In fact, she already has. After her beloved cousin Holly was diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago, Alaina, then presumably 12, held a fundraiser to support her. “I sang, and all the money I got I saved up for Holly,” she says.

15 … at the time of auditions: “I would say I’m a typical 15-year-old girl,” she tells us in voiceover, as we see her turning a cartwheel in a backyard, making the producers look shrewd for reducing the minimum age for contestants this year. “She’s a baby; she’s 15 years old,” Jennifer marvels. “It doesn’t matter what age, where, what, what, what. If you got it, you got it, and you definitely got it,” Randy says.

So, right, exactly what the producers are looking for. It only remains to be seen if she’s what America is looking for. As Alaina would say: What ya’all think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.


Other Hollywood-bound hopefuls to keep an eye on:

Adrienne Beasley: A young African American woman raised on a farm by the white couple who adopted her at age 2. “She fit into the family like a hand in a glove,” one of those kind-looking parents says. And her dad cracks me up when, after she calls to tell him she’s going to Hollywood, he asks, “Who’s going to pay your way?” Dads.


Chelsee Oaks and Rob Bolin: These dueting exes have voices that mesh perfectly, and yet, they say (or at least, she says) they are not a perfect love match. How sad was it to watch her be greeted by a group of supporters (including her current boyfriend) after their joint audition and to watch him shrug resignedly and hug Ryan? Bolin seemed OK with it, though. "That worked out pretty cool," he said. After all, he is going to Hollywood.


Matt Dillard: His family has taken in 700 foster children over more than two decades, many of them with special needs, and he says he wants to use “Idol” success as a platform to help people, so I’ll definitely forgive him the unflattering farm-boy outfit and trust him when he says he can “pretty up.” He squeaked by with two yeses and one no (Lopez) from the judges. And I was glad to see him get through.


Stormi Henley: A former Miss Teen USA, who barely gets a pass to Hollywood. (The two male judges put her through, while Lopez says she has the “smallest” voice they’ve heard so far.) “I really want to see how far I can make it on my talent,” Stormi says. I’m curious, too.

Photo: Lauren Alaina performs Thursday. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox