The Reuters news agency reported Tuesday that Lauren Alaina Suddeth was getting nine times more web searches this week on Yahoo! than her finals opponent Scotty McCreery.
Here's a sampling of what entertainment journalists and other "American Idol" watchers are saying online about the Rossville, Ga., resident.
"Lauren Alaina is the best cook in the 'Idol' competition this season, but that isn't why she should win Season 10. Lauren Alaina should win because she's a damn fine female with a strong Southern voice. She was the best thing to come out of Nashville this year, and it is easy to see why. When Lauren sings onstage, there is more unwavering passion in her performance than Scotty [McCreery] and Haley [Reinhart] combined. On top of this, Lauren Alaina comes across as completely candid on the 'Idol' stage. Unlike some of 'Idol's' lesser candidates, the singing competition rounds are a chance to prove Lauren can be all serious business, not simply a font of blonde good intentions, although she has plenty of personality too. ...
"A combination of personality and sincerity are good traits to have in your back pocket, especially when singing against formidable competition and hoping to win audiences over and over again. Lauren Alaina may not always have the easiest time choosing her wardrobe, and she may have had a couple of minor missteps along the way, but she's never been in the bottom of people's hearts. If there's anything Lauren Alaina is, it's ready. Ready to prove herself as a mature competitor. Ready to take home the 'Idol' prize. Certainly ready to bring her own music to the cultural realm."
- Jessica Grabert, TV Blend
"If Lauren wins, God help her. I hope she can handle it."
- Hilary Rothing, AOL TV Squad
"You want to know why Scotty and Lauren made the finale? They're likable. It's an easy explanation. America voted for two kids that represent something new a nd bright. They're easygoing teenagers who say 'please' and 'thank you' and are friendly to those they meet. They aren't the devil's spawn."
- Joe's Place Blog
"The radio folks (at WFRE in Frederick, Md., and KUZZ in Bakersfield, Calif.) are more optimistic about Lauren, but she's going to be compared to the one country superstar "Idol" has generated: Carrie Underwood. She'll need the proper training and people around her to be nurtured into country."
- Rodney Ho, American Idol Buzz, Access Atlanta
"I don't think Lauren is ready for this, either way [win or lose]."
- M.J. Santilli, AOL TV Squad
"So why did America decide [Lauren Alaina] was good enough for the finals? Does she have one extremely supportive fan base who texted their votes til they developed arthritis? Are country music fans loyal to country music performers regardless of quality? Were people enamored with the spunky gal they first saw during her initial audition [who then strangely disappeared over the course of the season]? Or are we totally delusional, and Lauren has been killing it week after week? ...
"To be fair, Lauren can be a fantastic singer and does seem incredibly marketable. (A pop crossover country artist like Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift [or] Carrie Underwood is like a golden goose to a label.) But her performances have been nowhere near as consistent and emotionally resonant as other contestants' performances have been - including Scotty, who hasn't missed a note or given anything less than 100 percent since day one."
- Becky Bain, Idolator
"Finding something to awwwww at in Lauren's [home video] segment was a bit easier because she 'interviewed' a [boy] who had saved his diapered brother from the storms near her area. Rule of life: Little boy in a tie [equals] instant baby goosies."
- Annie Barrett, EW.com
"I still predict Lauren to win."
- Rickey Yaneza, AOL TV Squad