published Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Paul McDonald, Laura Alaina Suddeth bring Motown to 'American Idol'

Rossville’s Lauren Alaina Suddeth hoped to vault into the Top 10 on “American Idol” this week with a sassy performance of the Motown classic “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

Dressed in a full-length, leopard-print dress, Suddeth belted out the Supremes’ 1966 No. 1 hit with supreme confidence Wednesday night.

“I am what I am,” she said in a taped interview before the live show in Los Angeles. “I want to be confident with my song choice.”

The “Idol” judges gave her high marks for the performance, in which she stepped out into the crowd and showed off a more mature wardrobe and hairstyle.

“You look amazing tonight,” remarked Jennifer Lopez.

“That was just beautiful,” said judge Steven Tyler.

“She’s got her swagger on high,” remarked Randy Jackson.

Suddeth said she was feeling better this week after battling a cold last week on the show.

Nashville’s Paul McDonald, whose mother Susan is a professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, also got positive feedback from the “Idol” judges Wednesday for his performance of the Smokey Robinson hit “Tracks of My Tears.”

“You had the crowd on their feet jamming,” said Jackson.

Lopez said McDonald has “a tear in his voice,” and Tyler compared his distinctive style to Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.

Thursday night the “Idol” field of finalists will be pared from 11 to 10.

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