In this Wednesday, March 30, 2011 photo released by Fox, Lauren Alaina performs in front of the judges on the singing competition series, "American Idol," in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Fox, Michael Becker)
“American Idol’s” tribute to rock and roll legends Wednesday turned up the volume on the nine remaining contestants.
Lauren Alaina Suddeth, a 16-year-old contestant from Rossville, Ga., sang a soulful version of Aretha Franklin’s hit “Natural Woman.”
Rock legend Steven Tyler, one of the judges and a member of the Hall of Fame, said the performance marked Suddeth’s evolution from a shy teenager to a mature performer.
Meanwhile, Suddeth appeared to ratchet up her energy on the show, noting in a pre-recorded interview: “I’m getting my confidence back. When I get it back, my personality will come out.”
Meanwhile, Paul McDonald, a contestant from Nashville whose mother, Susan, teaches at UTC, sang a high energy version of the Johnny Cash hit “Folsom Prison Blues.”
Judge Randy Jackson said, “I loved it.”
Last week McDonald was in the show’s bottom three, but escaped elimination. One contestant will be voted off the show Thursday night.