'American Idol: Is Lauren Alaina the next winner?

lauren-alaina-american-idol.jpgThe final audition of the day in Nashville on "American Idol" was 15-year-old Lauren Alaina, a sweet Georgia peach with a big voice. She started off on "Like We Never Loved At All," which was beautiful -- very pure tone and great natural talent.

Then after her family came in to meet the judges, she sang her parents' song "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" (with a little help from Steven Tyler, naturally). We thought that piece was even better because she had gotten over being nervous and really let the notes fly.

She reminded us more than a little of the slightly-chubby, curly-haired Carrie Underwood from Oklahoma six years ago. After the auditions, Steven Tyler remarked that he thinks they found "the one" in Lauren, which also reminds us of when Cowell predicted Carrie would go on to not only win, but be the most successful "Idol" winner ever.

So what did you think? Was she all that and more? Or are you not buying into the hype? We aren't crowning her just yet, but we would not be at all surprised if Seacrest does crown her 16 weeks from now.

We'll post her audition footage as soon as we have it but for now here's a YouTube video of her singing "Anyway."






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