Community supports local teen in American Idol - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Community supports local teen in American Idol

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EAST RIDGE, TN. (WRCB) -- It's official. Rossville native Lauren Alaina Suddeth is a top 11 finalist on Fox's American Idol, which means she will be part of the show's multi-city tour this summer.

The 16-year-old began singing at Magoo's restaurant on Ringgold Rd. when she was 12-year-old.

Since Suddeth left for Hollywood, Magoo's has been raising money to help family members fly back and forth from tinsel town.

It's a quiet lunch hour at Magoo's on Ringgold Rd. Friday, but stop by Wednesday night's and the restaurant is anything but quiet.

"Lauren's fans come in and we watch American Idol," says Magoo's server Mary Bryant.  "We turn on all the televisions and everybody comes around and watches."

You don't have to look very far to figure out which American Idol contestant the restaurant supports, that's because long before 16-year-old Lauren Alaina Suddeth performed on a national stage, she had a regular gig at Magoo's.   

"She started coming in on Karaoke nights," says Bryant.  "She was so good we offered her a regular Wednesday night just for herself." 

Even then Suddeth had a voice many believed was destined for more.

"It's a dream she's had," says Karen Alayne, Suddeth's vocal coach.  "She wanted to be on American Idol." 

Alayne has working with Lauren since she was 11-year-old.

"I told her today, just keep doing what you're doing," she says.  "Walk out on that stage and own it every time." 

When the season began an anonymous printing company in Rossville offered to make t-shirts, buttons and water bottles saying 'Vote For Lauren'.  Magoo's says selling them hasn't been a problem.

Suddeth's mother has been in California with her from the beginning, other relatives like Suddeth's cancer surviving cousin, Holly, couldn't travel back and forth without extra help.

Regardless of what happens next in the competition, Lauren Alaina's fan at Magoo's know this is just the beginning for their homegrown celebrity.


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