Lauren Alaina performs Sara Evans' "Born To Fly" on "American Idol" on April 20. Michael Becker/Fox
"American Idol" revisited hits of the last decade during Wednesday's "Songs of the 21st Century" theme night.
Rossville's Lauren Alaina Suddeth stayed true to her country roots, taking on Sara Evans' 2001 hit, "Born to Fly." Suddeth turned in a solid performance,which the judges praised. But all three judges shared the opinion that the 16-year-old was still holding back, not unleashing her vocal power because she didn't yet have the confidence in herself to do so.
It was a message to believe in herself that Suddeth had heard earlier from record producer Jimmy Iovine in her mentoring session,
"Not everybody has so much color in their voice," said Jennifer Lopez, who encouraged Suddeth to "reach for the big notes. You can do that!"
Steven Tyler suggested she try singing songs of country stars Faith Hill, Alison Krauss or Shania Twain.
Randy Jackson told Suddeth, "You can sing anything, but you must believe that. Challenge yourself, Lauren."
The seven remaining finalists learn who advances Thursday night at 8 p.m. on Fox.
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 ...