published Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Lauren Alaina Suddeth dedicates song to storm victims

Lauren Alaina performs "Trouble" on "American Idol."

Contributed Photo by Michael Becker/Fox
Lauren Alaina performs "Trouble" on "American Idol." Contributed Photo by Michael Becker/Fox

A lot is riding on the results of tonight’s “American Idol” for local teen Lauren Alaina Suddeth.

If she advances into the top three contestants, the Rossville teen will return to Chattanooga for a homecoming celebration Saturday that is taped for next week’s episode. It will be her first chance in four months to see friends and extended family.

  • photo
    Lauren Alaina performs "Anyway" on "American Idol." Contributed Photo by Michael Becker/Fox

The Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School student turned to country music’s queen of the power ballad, Martina McBride, to draw inspiration Wednesday night. She performed McBride’s “Anyway,” dedicating it to victims of the April 27 tornadoes. She said their determination to rebuild has inspired her.

Judge Steven Tyler told the teen, “Your voice is so pure and perfect. You deliver a song like a blue-plate special.”

Randy Jackson told Suddeth he was a bit worried about her chance of elimination after her performance last week, but that she was “back in it to win it.”

For her second performance, Suddeth said she was stepping out of her comfort zone. She put her bluesy twist on the Elvis hit, “Trouble,” from the songbook of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Stoller was in the “Idol” audience.

Judge Jennifer Lopez exclaimed, “I saw a performance quality in you I haven’t seen before. We saw maturity.”

Students at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School have faith the school’s famous alumna will be coming home. Wednesday they were painting signs to welcome her.

Senior Taylor Moulton, an LFO cheerleader with Suddeth, said students have held weekly viewing parties to watch their friend and vote.

“We always get together. The parties are for anybody. We just come together in one of our homes,” she said.

Tyler Suddeth, the singer’s brother and an LFO senior, said his kid sister used to dance around the house, singing into the TV remote control and putting on a show.

“Since ‘American Idol’s first year, she’s told us she was going to be on that show at some point. She’s living her dream,” he said.

LFO senior Carlye Ezell said Lauren’s talent is well known.

“Everybody who knows Lauren knows she would have gotten to where she is whether or not she made it to ‘American Idol,’” she said.

Principal Terri Vandiver said a parade with Suddeth is tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, along with a school fundraiser from 3-7 p.m.

“This is contingent on her making it through, which we feel very good about,” Vandiver said.

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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timesfreepress said...

Have you been following Lauren's progress on "American Idol"?

May 11, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.
dao1980 said...

I think we should tell kids that math, english, science, and history are unimportant.

And that if they just try real hard to be on tv when they grow up, then all aspects of their lives will be everything they could every hope for, and that popularity and prosperity will make them happy forever.... yea, Hollywood kid.

May 12, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
bobbyfontaine said...

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Everyday this story isn’t told begins new tragedies around the world, that’s how important it is for you to hear it. Just released “ Steven Tyler’s Secret Past” is an absolute must read. This true story will keep you on the edge of your seat taking you into the dark world of Steven Tyler, the Mafia bosses who managed his career, and the very strange tactics used to deploy Aerosmith to the top of the world’s rock and roll scene. It’s a story of struggle and hardship, and overcoming great odds against enemies who’d stop at nothing to get their way. A few simple mistakes at the beginning of his career and Steven was in over his head caught between the CIA and his own Sicilian roots.

May 12, 2011 at 8:50 a.m.
bjhuds said...

I don't understand all the negativity and snarky remarks. No one has said that reading, math or english is not important in a child's life. This is just a celebration for a young lady that is living her dream. I totally agree that education is very important, but why diminish the fact that this girl has accomplished a great feat?

May 12, 2011 at 9:22 a.m.
sage1 said...

bjhuds: I agree with you completely. So many DWEEBS in their sad little DWEEB worlds. From what I understand, every contestant of school age on this show must not only practice for their performances, but also study their regular school lessons every day and must keep their grades up. It's a very gruelling schedule and takes a lot of dedication and focus. I applaude them all.

May 12, 2011 at 9:47 a.m.
Johnnyhurst said...

Everyone is born with a gift, and these gifts vary widely from person to person. Turns out Lauren was born with the gift of a beautiful voice. Im not saying shes not gifted in math and science etc, because I have no idea what her grades are like. Just because this isnt something you find valuable doesnt mean its not a very important thing. She seems like a really great kid and possibly good role model for kids out there. We are in desperate need of good role models today, so quit hating on our homeown girl and stand behind your people stupid. Go LAUREN WOO HOO

May 12, 2011 at 9:50 a.m.
dao1980 said...

It's funny to me how sensitive patrons of the commercialized restaurant of music can be. Almost as though they are living vicarious and secret lives through puppets of corporate industry product, presented to them through radio and on TV. When in fact, in the case of any creative medium, the product that appeals to the largest demographic is almost always the least refined by its own nature, for the only purpose of being fodder for those with no or very little variety of taste.

I think it was an Indie music critic that illustrated this issue recently by saying: "Most major record labels (and there are only two or three) own the record stations and television programs that decide what to play and when to play it. They also own the performers, equipment, venues, brand names, and every other aspect of this "product" being presented in vary large quantities to anyone with a few bucks to spent on the latest thing. In a sense, being a patron of any music scene is like being the patron of a restaurant, and by indulging ONLY in commercial music product, you are honing your taste to a single chef at a single establishment that serves a very bland product with very standard ingredients. There is very little genuine creativity to be found in this "please all comers" menu.

Most of this happened in the late seventies and early eighties as moguls of corporate production began to buy and sell each other, reducing the number of outlets available for said product.

Of course many producers during this time hopped on board and eagerly awaited the next assignment.

I often joke about Mutt Lang ruining country in the nineties the same way he ruined rock and roll in the eighties, with over digitilized tones and mucho simplified songwriting to help every body understand the riffs and vocals.

I know allot of this is over folks heads, and that's ok. Allot of folks enjoy too much sugar and too much salt, and will live out their lives happy and fat, while eating whatever crap comes down the trough.

But! If you want to find genuine creativity, check out your local music scene, check out the south by southwest showcase, get satellite radio and explore into things you have never heard before, check out the indie music scene. There's lots of crap out there in these "restaurants of music" as well, but there's also allot of things that will blow your mind the moment you hear them.

Oh, and to all the folks that are emotionally attached to this nice girl and her nice voice... This is in no way intended to be demeaning to her, or her position in life. So settle down.

And sorry for the long post.

May 12, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.
Johnnyhurst said...

Wow Indian, you should quit your day job and become a talent scout, consultant, know it all. Im sure the fact that she is from the Chattanooga area has nothing to do with why she dedicated a song to the tornado victims. You see Indian, everyone doesnt have the same ulterior motives like, your mindset. If she didnt say anything about the tornado youd be saying stuff about that. Damned if you do damned if you dont, no good deed goes unpunished rule your making sure is enforced is what your doing. Dude, its clear that you have a man crush on Scotty. Hes ok too, but why you gotta bash on a sixteen year old girl? Shes awesome and you suck.

May 12, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.
Abrz25 said...

It is so very upsetting to hear people talk about someone they don't even know. Lauren is not only a very talented singer, but she is also sophomore with almost enough credits to graduate (so she is very smart also)

May 12, 2011 at 2:53 p.m.
Abrz25 said...

It is so very upsetting to hear people talk about someone they don't even know. Lauren is not only a very talented singer, but a girl with a huge heart. She is very upset with the devastation caused by the tornadoes and does want to do anything she can to help. The show is setup so that the top three get to go back to their home towns to celebrate. She had just decided that if she made it through that she would like to use that opportunity to help raise money for the victims of the storms. Oh and by the way Lauren is just a sophomore in school, but has almost enough credits to graduate. So she is also very smart. I am very proud to have such a wonderful young lady representing our area! GO LAUREN!

May 12, 2011 at 3:18 p.m.
quietreader said...

I don't think we have to worry about the ones that have been bumped off. Several of them will probably receive record deals just because of their exposure on Idol. I liked all of the final 12. Some just had better days than the others.

May 12, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

dao1980 said... "(These singers are) puppets of corporate industry product, presented to them through radio and on TV. When in fact, in the case of any creative medium, the product that appeals to the largest demographic is almost always the least refined by its own nature, for the only purpose of being fodder for those with no or very little variety of taste."

Although it's a bit of a run-on sentence, this is a very perceptive comment. The public's tastes don't dictate to the marketplace; that's a very outdated model of capitalism. Today the marketing department dictates the public's tastes: in clothing, television, sports "consumption," musical entertainment, electronics, lifestyles, etc. In America today we are little baby birds with our mouths wide open, waiting for the corporate mama birds to shove down our throats whatever they think is good for us. "Cheep, cheep."

May 12, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

By the way, this young lady is a fine, intelligent, talented person of good character, I'm sure. Hooray for her accomplishments. No disrespect to her, but she isn't a "hero" in any sense of the word.

May 12, 2011 at 5:27 p.m.
Johnnyhurst said...

So, what are you the comment cop now? Dude look back on your post history. Now whos the name caller. I personally think some of yall are jealous of OUR HOMETOWN HERO. Yep shes a hero to any kid who dreams big. Kids who wonder if there is more out there than Chatt, North Ga and a bunch of haters who are like crabs pulling each other back into the bucket. Knock em dead kid, and let these jerks comments fuel that fire deep down inside you.

May 12, 2011 at 8:26 p.m.
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