Rossville's Lauren Alaina returns to "American Idol" tonight

Rossville's Lauren Alaina returns to "American Idol" tonight

March 8th, 2012 by Susan Pierce in Life Entertainment

Lauren Alaina poses for a portrait in New York in this file photo.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

TUNE IN

* "American Idol" airs tonight at 8 on Fox Network (Comcast Channel 11.)

* Catch Lauren Alaina on NBC's "Today" show on March 26. She'll sing "Georgia Peaches" and chat with the on-air personalities.

Lauren Alaina returns to the stage where she launched her singing career when the Rossville teen performs tonight on "American Idol."

She'll sing her current single, "Georgia Peaches," on "Idol's" results show at 8 p.m. on Fox.

"I'm excited to go back and show everybody what I've been doing, show them what they made possible for me," Lauren, who was Season 10's runner-up, said in an interview this week.

What voters made possible was a whirlwind year that launched her career as a country singer. Since last summer, the 17-year-old has released a debut album, "Wildflower," and made appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, Graceland and the White House.

She has spent the last two months opening for country stars Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan on Aldean's "My Kinda Party" tour. The three Georgia singers have played to sold-out arenas across the country.

Lauren was asked by Aldean to duet with him on the tour, singing Kelly Clarkson's half of Aldean's No. 1 hit, "Don't You Wanna Stay." Fans can see their duet on YouTube.

The teen said she's watched both men work the stage to learn from this tour experience.

"They both entertain so differently, but it works," she said. "I've been figuring out what works for me. It's a learning process every day. I just go out and do the best I can and try to win over the fans."

Lauren's record label, Mercury Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope, announced last week that she is one of two opening acts for Sugarland's "In The Hands of the Fans" tour. That tour kicks off April 6 in Toledo, Ohio.

Lauren said she will be on the road with Sugarland during April, then rejoin Aldean's tour.

And, of course, mom Kristy Suddeth will be traveling with her daughter to all these stops.

"Mama goes everywhere with me," the singer said.

Lauren's current lifestyle is a far cry from the pizzeria summer job she held while a student at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. But she recently returned to CiCi's in Fort Oglethorpe to tape an episode of GAC's "Day Jobs."

Mike Wild, CiCi's general manager, said her visit wasn't a surprise since word had leaked on a social media site that she'd be there.

"The crowd reacted even though it wasn't a surprise. When she walked in, everybody went crazy. It was great to have her back," said the manager.

Wild said Lauren ran a register, cut pizzas and even cleaned up a spill in the dining area.

"She was a really good sport about it," he said.

The episode will be included in the next season of "Day Jobs," which begins in April.