Lauren Alaina frenzy builds at McKenzie Arena

Lauren Alaina frenzy builds at McKenzie Arena

May 25th, 2011 by Kate Harrison Belz in News

Hundreds of fans of Chattanooga-area contestant Lauren Alaina Suddeth gathered inside McKenzie Arena to watch tonight's final episode of "American Idol." The local fans filled four sections from the floor, up through the gold circle seating on the lower level.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

A tightly-strung anticipation was tangible as crowds poured into McKenzie Arena tonight to watch the American Idol finale.

After tonight's show, the grueling waiting game will be over: either Rossville native Lauren Alaina will be crowed the 10th American Idol - or local viewers will have a lot to be upset about.

"We're just here to support her win or lose," said Tara Webb, of Fort Ogethorpe.

She and her husband voted over 900 times Tuesday night.

Tara Webb held a sign the read "Lauren We Believe."

Some other signs around the arena read: "Lauren You're Our Idol" "Just a Small Town Girl"

The two-hour telecast begins at 8 p.m. and will include performances from Beyonce, Lady Gaga, U2's Bono and The Edge. In addition, Suddeth is slated to sing a duet with previous Idol Carrie Underwood, and Suddeth's competitor, Scotty McCreery, will sing with Tim McGraw.

The estimated crowd at the arena will be featured in cutaways during the live "American Idol" broadcast from Los Angeles' Nokia Theater, according to Fox61 production manager Bo Wheeler.

Mikalah Gordon, who finished 11th in "Idol's" fourth season - the season Carrie Underwood won - is hosting the dispatches sent from the arena.

DISCUSS TONIGHT'S FINALE WITH OTHER FANS:

Lauren Alaina reprises "Flat On the Floor" for the finale of "American Idol." Photo by Michael Becker/Fox