CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- No one was more surprised than Lauren Alaina when her name was called as Best New Artist at the recent American Country Awards.
"I thought it would be Jana Kramer," says the Rossville teen.
"At rehearsal, when they ran through the show, they played Jana's song after my category. I shouldn't have thought anything of that, they don't play the winner, but I got it stuck in my head that Jana was going to win. So when they called my name, I freaked out!"
The fan-voted ACA award is just another example of the power of "American Idol" in launching new artists. Season 12 of the Fox network's juggernaut kicks off Wednesday night at 8 p.m.