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Catching up with ‘Georgia Peach’ Lauren Alaina at Wild Bill’s; Michael Johns at Tin Roof Cantina Fri. Oct. 12

Lauren Alaina, turns 18 on Nov. 8, stopped by Atlanta Oct. 4. CREDIT: AP

Lauren Alaina, turns 18 on Nov. 8, stopped by Atlanta Oct. 4. CREDIT: AP

Lauren Alaina is turning 18 on Nov. 8, a rite of passage for any teenager on the verge of adulthood.

She’s celebrating by taking on an 18-city tour to promote her third single “18 Inches.” (18 inches means the distance between the heart and the head.) And it was co-written by Carrie Underwood, something Alaina didn’t know when she first heard the song.

I caught up with her in her tour bus behind Wild Bill’s before sound check for her Oct. 4 concert opening for Rodney Atkins. (It was priced to sell at just $10, courtesy of 94.9/The Bull.)

She was with her tour manager, her manager and her mom. Though she ostensibly attends Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Fort Oglethorpe, GA as a senior, she’s really doing all her schoolwork on the road after attending a week in person in August.

“I forgot to how to be a student,” Alaina said. “I’m used to working on my computer on the road. It was nice to see everybody and I will be able to graduate with my friends in May and walk across the stage.” (Her school principal Terri Vandiver keeps track of her studies to make sure she keeps up. She says she’s a good student.)

Alaina’s not sure where she’ll live after she graduates, but odds are pretty good she’ll pick Nashville, since that’s where a vast number of active country artists reside – and it’s not too far from her home of Rossville, GA.

Her past year since the end of the “Idol” has been a whirlwind of appearances and concerts, including four (four!) visits to the Grand Ol’ Opry. “I don’t normally get nervous but the first time I got up there, I was shaking. It was ridiculous!” On stage the first time, she she sang, “Like My Mother Does” and the classic “Blue.”

“It was my dad’s dream to play up there with his banjo,” she said. She hasn’t been able to get him to join her yet though. “He’s really shy now.”

She’s also gotten to open for seemingly every big Georgia artist out there not named Zac Brown: Alan Jackson, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Sugarland. She’s also shared a bill with Chris Young, Hunter Hayes and Trace Adkins.

During the final date with Bryan, she said she ran on stage during “Country Girl, Shake It For Me” and shook her moneymaker. “I love to dance,” she says. “We have dance parties on the bus. I’ll stand on the couch.”

She’s done plenty of TV. Her favorite: “Country Fried Flicks” with Hazel Smith on CMT, a cooking show. “I make a mean turkey wrap,” she said. Inspired, she got up and made a turkey wrap.

She hasn’t seen much of winner Scotty McCreery, who she says is is going to North Carolina State University. She isn’t planning to go to college immediately after graduation.

Her current favorite song is not country. It’s Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.” Then she sang the chorus. She is also a fan of “Cruise” by Florida-Georgia Line.

She said she’s preparing a second album that will pursue more mature subjects. “Now I’ve had a boyfriend. I’ve just grown up  a lot,” she said. “I can be more believable singing about heartbreak at age 18 than when I was 16.”

Although Lauren appears relatively unaffected by the fame and fortune stemming from her new career, she said folks in her town that are not her close friends or family act in awe. “They take pictures of me while I’m eating dinner,’ she said. “It happens everywhere but I notice more when I’m at home.”

And though her mother Kristy Suddeth is no longer obligated to stay with her once Lauren hits 18 in three weeks, Lauren isn’t kicking her off the bus. “She’s going to be with me forever,” Lauren said. “We’re best friends.”

***

Season 7 “Idol” finalist Michael Johns makes his annual sojourn to Tin Roof Cantina in homage to his old Buckhead days of yore. I attended the beer-sodden soiree last year. It’s great, sweaty fun and Michael resurrects many of the Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and Sublime songs he sang back in the day.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter. Oh, and Google +, too!

54 comments Add your comment

Deirdre

October 10th, 2012
7:09 pm

Love Michael Johns.

Good news and happy days from Lauren. I wish her the best.

Dum-Bass

October 10th, 2012
8:32 pm

Sure glad RoHo explained that “18inches” thing, but I am still confused. It’s not always 18 inches from the heart to the head. It varies from person to person depending on several factors, such as weight and heighth. Also, the head starts at the chin so no way could it be 18 inches anyway. Maybe they mean from the heart to the brain? Anyway I just don’t get that idea for a song, and am usually very perceptive, have even written a few myself. Think that is rather immature and silly. Sorry , just my opinion, oughta be yours too! Love Lauren A by the way, and if she’s smart, she will keep her mom with her for a long, long time like Taylor Swift has. Also, she should stay well away from Jason Aldean. He may be a “GA boy” but he is trouble with a capital “T”. Ask one of those idol contestants.

Pitchy

October 10th, 2012
8:56 pm

Just got home, hoping to see a thread for XFactor. Oh well. I’m going to say that I’m glad to see Willie Jones made it to the judges’ homes. I knew he did. Also, the obvious girls were there as well, Diamond White, CeCe, Jannel, and a few others I don’t remember their names.

Hey Deirdre. Good to see a familiar moniker.

JTesla

October 10th, 2012
9:46 pm

Thanks Rodney, glad to hear that Lauren is still at it.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
7:48 am

Morning!

Sometimes mj just tickles me. In her recap of last night’s XF(no, I didn’t watch it, I was seeing “the twins” for the first time on Breaking Bad) she has this to say about Simon getting the group category:

Simon “learns” he’s mentoring the groups. He behaves like he had no idea, and he’s all, “Well, that might not be too bad.” OH B*TCH PLEASE. Simon is the boss. He’ll mentor who he damn well pleases, and since he’s likely hell bent on creating a USA grown 1D, he made SURE he got The Groups.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
7:52 am

The categories are weird this year. Groups is the only one to survive from last year. After that, it’s “over 25″ mentored by a drama -creating LA Reid who wanted younger people….sure LA, Demi is going to mentor people way older than herself! Then there’s Britney’s category which seems to hit late teens to 24 year olds and Demi has the little kids.

No boys against girls this year.

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
8:14 am

Morning!

I never could find y’all yesterday, even after you, D, told me what title you were under. Go figure.

Anyway, on XF I thought it was Britney who got the little kids and Demi the Young Adult category. I remember her saying she was in that age group herself. And, talk about trying to create drama–L.A. banging the phone down in feigned anger because he got the Over 25 group.

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
8:15 am

But, I have to tell you, I only watched the first half. I could not bear watching another hour of that crap, and it was sooooo long and drawn out.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
8:32 am

Harriett, look on the right side of the page. You’ll see “Bookmark our special show pages” Click the American Idol(X-Factor) link and look for “recent news” Click on the Georgia Peach thread and then bookmark that page and it will always take you directly to the newest thread……unless Rodney forgets to archive it. ;-)

Sam-A

October 11th, 2012
8:41 am

So Demi’s doing both kids and “coots”? What in the world are they calling that category? So glad I chose to skip that show this go-roundd!

DanJ

October 11th, 2012
9:00 am

Deirdre, I think you have it backwards. Britney has the young kids and Demi the young adults. Demi has CeCe Frey, Jennel Garcia, Paige Thomas etc. Britney has Carly Rose and Diamond White both 13.

DanJ

October 11th, 2012
9:03 am

Sam-A, I think X-Factor has some great talent and honesty a lot of that is in the Over 25. The only shock for me was that Jeffery Adam Gutt didn’t make it in the overs and Dinah Jane Hansen was put into a group. A group that might actually go far.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
9:07 am

Sam, you mis-read what I said…or maybe I didn’t say it well. LA is mentoring the older contestants and Demi, as Dan said, the young adults while Britney has the kids.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
9:12 am

I’m not sure about the talent level. From what I’ve seen, they all need some help with maintaining pitch, over-singing, choosing the wrong song and performance style…yes, Dan, even the pretty girls! Both Jannel and Paige have pitch issues, confidence issues and style issues.

I’ve seen a couple of guys who are pretty good and one group.

Sam-A

October 11th, 2012
9:18 am

Deirdre: here’s where I got confused: ‘Demi is going to mentor people way older than herself! Then there’s Britney’s category which seems to hit late teens to 24 year olds and Demi has the little kids”. “The Demi…way older…..Demi has the little kids” part – I’m way too old to interpret it, though I seem to type my stuff out in that circular manner often myself! If I reread before I post, I usually change about 1/3 of what I’ve written!

If Britney can shake all the seemingly fog outta her head, she might be good for kids – as she seems a bit childlike herself.

Woodpappy

October 11th, 2012
9:30 am

So Happy for Alaina. Hope she continues with great success !!

JTesla

October 11th, 2012
9:31 am

Sam-A, you cut off “sure LA,…” in the quote from Deirdre, that gives the rest of it context.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
9:36 am

‘Demi is going to mentor people way older than herself! I followed that with sure LA. I was trying to be sarcastic but it didn’t work. And Dan is right, I got Britney’s and Demi’s groups backwards. Demi has the young adults and Britney has the kids.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
9:37 am

I’ll just have to face it…the whole post was a mess!!!! ;-)

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
9:49 am

LOL@D!!

I watched when they gave the judges their categories, so your last sentence is correct, D. Then, LA got the over 25s and Simon the groups. What a farce that was!! I cannot watch any more of this mess and probably won’t until the next two episodes are done. When they get down to the competition I will tune back in. Idol is head and shoulders production-wise over these other shows, IMO.

Sam-A

October 11th, 2012
9:52 am

There are those days when most posts are a mess. This may just be the start of one of them. I was up sick at 12:30 am, and the baby pup was being sick at both ends, of course on the bed – so I may not make any sense at all by noon. Exhaustion doesn’t even cover how I’m running this am.

Sam-A

October 11th, 2012
9:54 am

Agree Harriett: from the one season I watched of XF, and the sporatic viewing of Voice over the two seasons, no matter how bad Idol sinks, it’s still way more watchable and interesting than the two wannabees. And has double the audiences to prove it.

DanJ

October 11th, 2012
10:07 am

I think the overs have a lot of talent but I was shocked to see Justin Bieber as a mentor. Seriously? I also wonder what happened to Panda? I just hope LA Reid gives Tate Stevens a chance. I think Tate and Jason Brock should be locks but Tate sings country music so he may not be seriously considered. Hope I’m wrong! I think he is the best male country singer I’ve heard on these shows.

The groups are easy to pick. ALL of Simon’s put together groups LYLAS(girls), Lyric145, and Playback(boys) and will make it along with SisterC. Out will be Emblem3 and Dope Crisis.

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
10:52 am

Dan, I have heard way better country singers than Tate. And, I detect an insincerity about him. Just me, I know

G

October 11th, 2012
11:10 am

@D. I see you finally got to the twins in Breaking Bad. LOL! Season 3 is a GOOD one.

I only saw one group that I enjoyed, and that was the rap trio. Kind of like The Fuges without the harmonies/singing. I didn’t hear too much harmonizing (if any) from the singing groups. The young girls and boys that were thrown together, sounded as such. Groups MUST harmonize, meaning that everyone has the assignment of a different voice to support the lead. The rap group was thrown together too, but they were the most cohesive. They sounded as though they’ve been together for years.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
11:17 am

@G, we only saw the first episode and will only get one episode in tonight then watch the debate. The twins are already worrisome.

I admit that I have not seen all the singers who were chosen so I’m only judging by the ungodly amount of time given to shy Paige and brash Cece. I’m already bored with these two and not looking forward to seeing them again, especially since maintaining pitch seems to be a problem for both of them. As for Jannel…the girl needs to leave her hair alone! One more freakin’ flip and I’ll be done with her as well.

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
12:58 pm

I got through the young adults but couldn’t hang long enough for the groups. They bore me, anyway. One thing I did like was Demi gave straight talk to the contestants before they performed for her. She told Jannel about the hair flipping and Paige about controlling her emotions and CeCe about how she came across as unlikeable. Correct on all counts.

DanJ

October 11th, 2012
1:41 pm

@ Harriett, I think Tate put on an act before his audition to attract a base. As for singing he’s more old school country which I prefer as opposed to pop country. Only Carrie can pull that off.

As for Jennel and the hair flip. It’s more of a classic stripper move…not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
1:59 pm

Dan, I agree on old school country, but I don’t think Tate is anything special. I hated the way he acted when he was onstage with the other guy. He was totally cold. To me, he is just average.

Deirdre

October 11th, 2012
3:00 pm

Harriett, it is good to know that at least one of the judges thinks like me! ;-) Demi was smart to point out the issues that will annoy an audience. Well, maybe those issues just annoyed Demi and me but still…….. ;-)

G

October 11th, 2012
3:43 pm

D, let me know when you finish Season 3 of Breaking Bad. One word for the twins……….disturbing.

Mercedes .

October 11th, 2012
4:10 pm

Harriett, that “insincerity” you felt about Tate… glad I’m not the only one who felt Tate tricked the younger guy to agree to sing a song the younger guy was not familiar with.

DanJ

October 11th, 2012
4:10 pm

Harriett, I now understand your point. Yes he was cold towards Willie. I would imagine that trying to break-in a cut-throat business makes everyone out for themselves. Not excusing their behavior but I can understand and somewhat relate. Try getting a book published! If I had a dollar for every rejection letter I’ve received I’d have $37.00 They’re all the same: “In this economy publishers aren’t taking chances on unkown authors…yada, yada, yada!” My point is simply these folks see this as their only avenue in. Of course I will self publish and probably offer it freefor downloads.

Good thing I don’t write for a living! Besides anyone who reads my posts probably thinks I’m an ignoramus anyway! My point is simply these contestants are working for their dream so I give them a little slack if they seem rude or arrogant. You do have to develop thick skin to make it.

Am I the only one loving the NO HOST on X-Factor with more behind the scene camera work?

Mercedes .

October 11th, 2012
4:12 pm

And who was the guy I called Mrs. Anna Paquin? He looks like Bill in “True Blood”. Something Gutt? He didn’t make it.

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
4:21 pm

Right, Mercedes. He did. And, then last night Willie learned the song and sang it bravely for Demi and Nick.

Dan, I know what you are saying, but if you look back on the other pairing,s there were lots of cases where the opponent tried to help the other when they messed up. And, there were always hugs. Tate just walked away. And, I think it was LA who asked Willie if he had had any say in selecting the song that Tate obviously had performed before. Just a lousy guy, in my opinion.

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
4:23 pm

And, Deirdre, I share your distaste for the hair flipping as well. Demi is just a natural here.

Harriett

October 11th, 2012
4:59 pm

Time to run!

Mercedes .

October 11th, 2012
5:29 pm

y’all, don’t forget the debate tonight!

JTesla

October 11th, 2012
8:02 pm

Just because I remember it doesn’t mean that l’ll watch. Can’t wait until I get my ballot and can be done with it.

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
8:19 pm

Hello everyone! Let me see what you’ve been talking about?

I was pleased to see Willie Jones know the lyrics and sing it with emotion. I love his voice.

Mercedes S., I definitely agree with you that Tate tricked Willie. That’s why his singing it again was special. I thought it risky for him to pick that song, but he had something to prove and prove it he did.

Harriett, I saw no need for L.A. to come out and tell them he wasn’t happy he had them to mentoring. What was the point of telling them that? To motivate them to show him they’re worthy to be in his lair of expertise?? I thought it rude and very unnecessary. To start off knowing an influential judge didn’t want you is not good for the soul.

Don’t really care for the young lady who looks a little like Rihanna.
Glad CeCe removed the spots.
Jannel worked on hair flipping, but it’s a crux of her. Let’s see if we see it at a minimum. Love her voice.
Diamond White is force to be reckoning with.
Don’t remember the 13 yr old with the powerful voice. She’s always consistent, like Diamond.

Didn’t like Tate’s performance too much.

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
8:27 pm

The girl with all the bravdo, hyped herself up for no reasona. Didn’t like her rendition. Her ending of the song was so dump on all levels.

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
8:35 pm

Diamond White is up. She has great control of her voice. Love her.

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
8:36 pm

Hadn’t thought about that, but Will.I.Am made a great valid point.

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
8:37 pm

Guess I’m talking to myself. Guess I should stop.

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
8:38 pm

Enter your comments here

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
8:39 pm

The little youngster than sang “what you do to me,” would be a great duo with Diamond. What am I saying, Diamond would blow him into that pool at the house.

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
8:59 pm

I was wrong, this young 13 yr old young lady will definitely give Diamond White a run for her money. Don’t know her name.

DanJ

October 11th, 2012
9:28 pm

Hi Pitchy, she is Carly Rose Sonaclar. She is amazing. Sinus is acting up and I’m on meds…somewhat goofy from them. I think XF will have some great talent this. I really liked the two tattoo’d guys tonight.

Pitchy

October 11th, 2012
9:38 pm

Thank you, DanJ. Yes, Carly Rose. Love her too.

I’m not into rap, but I like the female rapper that was paired with the other two male rappers. They mesh well, and she’s going to propel to more weeks.

Deirdre

October 12th, 2012
8:30 am

Morning!

This is rich. S. Tyler is suing his former negotiating lawyer claiming he could have received $6 to $8 million more for his second season on Idol.

The Aerosmith lead singer’s former manager says lawyer Dina LaPolt poisoned Steven Tyler’s contract renegotiations with American Idol, costing him a multimillion-dollar raise. Kovac Media Group/Tenth Street Entertainment today filed an $8 million lawsuit (read it here) against the entertainment lawyer and her West Hollywood firm. American Idol and its former judge are not named in the breach of fiduciary duty complaint. In fact Tyler is not named at all. Instead he is referred to as “The Artist” throughout the filing, though it is pretty clear from the players, his touring band and his role as judge for two seasons on the Fox show exactly who he is. The suit claims that in 2011 LaPolt lost “hot commodity” Tyler a $6 million to $8 million raise in his Idol contract for a second season on the show.