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Lauren Alaina -- The Show Must Go On!

5/24/2011 5:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lauren Alaina will battle it out with Scotty McCreery for the "American Idol" title after all, after a doctor came on stage at the beginning of the show to say Lauren "blew out her vocal cords" but with a bunch of medicine he gave her "she'll do great."

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TMZ broke the story Lauren could not finish her rehearsal and the doctor froze her throat to save her voice.  Haley Reinhart was summoned to the set and ready to perform if Lauren couldn't.

The doctor compared Lauren's throat to a runner with a sprained ankle.

But the show just started live on the East coast and the Midwest and Lauren is there.  We'll let you know how she's doing.

UPDATE: Lauren has finished two songs ... so far, so good. Her voice hasn't cracked once during the entire show. In fact, according to the judges, her second song topped Scotty's.

UPDATE #2: Lauren just wrapped her last song for the night. Fair to say she wasn't 100% ... but the judges loved her. According to Steven Tyler, Lauren will win tomorrow ... "hands down."

Lauren Alaina Silent in Makeup -- Haley Is Ready

5/24/2011 4:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lauren Alaina is sitting in the makeup chair silently because an "American Idol" doctor has frozen her throat in a last ditch effort to save her voice ... spies on the "Idol" set tell TMZ.

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TMZ broke the story ... Lauren lost her voice and could not finish rehearsing for tonight's finale. 

Producers have brought Haley Reinhart to the set and she is currently in wardrobe.  If Lauren can't compete, Haley will square off against Scotty McCreery for the title.

We're told Haley just finished rehearsing, and if she does compete tonight she'll sing 3 songs -- "House of the Rising Sun," "I Who Have Nothing" and "Bennie and the Jets."


Lauren Alaina May Drop Out of 'American Idol' Finale

5/24/2011 3:29 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lauren Alaina may not get her shot to be the next "American Idol" because she has lost her voice ...spies on the set tell TMZ ... and it could be the break of a lifetime for Haley Reinhart.

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We're told during the rehearsal this afternoon, Lauren -- who has been losing her voice -- was supposed to sing three songs.  She got through the first, struggled through the second and was unable to perform the third.

Our spies say a doctor on the set has ordered Lauren not to sing or speak, but there is a "real possibility" she will not be able to perform on tonight's show.

0524_lauren_vid_launchWe're told if Lauren is unable to perform, producers will reinstate the third place finisher -- Haley Reinhart who will then compete against Scotty McCreery for the title.

Producers are trying to find Haley right now.



'American Idol' Finale Song -- The Nic Cage Connection

5/24/2011 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Nicolas Cage has a surprising connection to a song on the "American Idol" finale tonight -- because TMZ has learned, the actor's brand new daughter-in-law wrote the tune three years ago.

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*SPOILER ALERT*


The name of the song is "Like My Mother Does" co-written by Nikki Williams -- who married Cage's son Weston last month in Tennessee.

The song first debuted in 2008 ... but "Idol" finalist Lauren Alaina will sing it tonight.

Interestingly, former "A.I." Season 7 finalist Kristy Lee Cook released a version of the song on her 2008 album, "Why Wait."




As for fellow finalist Scotty McCreery -- we're told he's gonna sing a song called "Love You This Big."

Both Lauren and Scotty's performances will hit the iTunes store right after the show.


'Idol' Finalists Tour Contract -- $1,000 per Show

5/21/2011 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"American Idol's" top 11 finalists are set to make bank over the summer -- because TMZ has learned they'll each get paid $1,000 for EVERY show they perform during the American Idol Live Tour.

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TMZ obtained a copy of the contract all Idol finalists had to sign before the show -- which spells out exactly how much dough they'll pull in if they're invited to participate on the international tour.

In addition to the $1,000-per-concert -- the documents show each finalist will share in merchandise profits from the tour ... and will also receive $50 in spending cash for non-concert days.

Finalists are also guaranteed to stay in "Marriott/Hyatt style" hotel accommodations while on the road -- and will fly coach between tour stops.

According to the contract, the tour will kick off immediately after the Season 10 winner is announced on May 25 -- and will go until the end of September.

Not bad for a summer job.


'Idol' Finalist Gets $61,000 Homecoming Bash

5/14/2011 2:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"American Idol" top three finalist Scotty McCreery is so beloved in his small hometown of Garner, NC -- the locals have dropped more than $61 THOUSAND to throw him a homecoming bash today!!!

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We're told the town has already raised $45 thousand in CASH for the event ... and local companies have donated roughly 8 grand in services.

The event will include a traditional pork barbeque, local entertainment, crafts, a parade and a concert by the country crooner himself!

As a thank you for all the local love, Scotty is expected to take his acoustic guitar and sing a whopping SIX songs -- compared to the usual two or three he belts out on Idol.

Fun Fact: Census records show the total population of Garner is less than 30 thousand people -- and we're guessing every last one will be at the big party to support their hometown superstar.

Ousted 'Idol' Stefano -- I Wanna Win Grammys!!!

5/12/2011 11:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"American Idol" reject Stefano Langone refuses to get sucked into the county fair circuit -- dude's got MUCH bigger plans for his future ... and they involve a six-letter word that rhymes with glammy.051211_stefano_langone_v2_still



We ran into this season's seventh place winner last night in L.A. -- where he channeled Randy Jackson by saying, "Just because I'm not in the competition, don't mean I'm not in it to win it"

Stefano added, "Definitely still waiting for those Grammys."

Sure beats going toe-to-toe with the human cannonball.

Lady Gaga's Heels

Get the Shaft from 'American Idol'

5/12/2011 8:20 AM PDT BY Johnny Lopez

Last night fans got to watch Lady Gaga mentor the "American Idol" contestants, but one thing they didn't see ... her clear plastic penis heels.

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When Gaga appeared on the show, producers smacked an "Idol" logo over her sexually explicit stilettos because they each had a Lucite penis for a heel.

The porno pumps by London fashion brand Void of Course may be racy but they ain't cheap ... they retail for over $4500.

It takes a lot of money to ride these X-rated disco sticks.


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Jacob Lusk -- Jimmy Iovine Got Me Booted!!!

5/6/2011 2:27 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"American Idol" reject Jacob Lusk is telling friends he's not to blame for the TERRIBLE song choices that led to his elimination this week ... insisting he got BAD advice from Jimmy Iovine.

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TMZ spoke with a source extremely close to Lusk ... who tells us Jacob never wanted to perform the Jordin Sparks /Chris Brown duet, "No Air" on Wednesday's show ... but Iovine pressured him into it.

We're told Lusk really wanted to perform the Gnarls Barkley hit, "Crazy" -- but Iovine was so insistent on "No Air" that he basically "beat it into his brain" until Lusk finally gave in and agreed to perform the song.

During the show, Randy Jackson told Lusk, "I don’t think that’s the direction for you ... I don't think anybody on this stage should be doing duet songs."

0506_jacob_lusk_smallSources connected to the production tell us ... Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe has told every contestant the decision on final song choice is made by the singer ... and NOT  the mentor.


Casey Abrams -- EVERYONE VOTE FOR HALEY

5/3/2011 4:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"American Idol" reject Casey Abrams has been out of the running for less than a week ... and he's already throwing his support behind one very "special" finalist ... his rumored GF Haley Reinhart.

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Sources close to Casey tell TMZ ... Abrams has been telling his friends, family and hometown supporters in Idyllwild, CA to stay united ... and use their votes to send Haley through to the next round.

Casey has denied being in a romantic relationship with Haley -- but last week, he referred to her as his "special musical friend." So ... yeah, they're totally dating.

And we're told Casey ain't too bummed about America's rejection either -- sources tell us, he can't wait to kick it with his jazz band next week at his old stomping grounds, Café Aroma ... the same place that named one of their rooms in Casey's honor.


Pia Toscano -- $100,000 to SING at Private Event

4/30/2011 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"American Idol" reject Pia Toscano just signed a deal to make $100,000 in ONE NIGHT -- and all she has to do is sing a couple of songs at a private event ... TMZ has learned.

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Sources connected to the deal tell us ... Pia has agreed to perform at a private birthday party on May 8th ... which happens to be Mother's Day.  We're told the deal will only require Pia to perform a small handful of songs.

According to sources, Pia was initially offered $50,000 for the gig and she TURNED IT DOWN ... but the people throwing the party wanted Pia so badly, they immediately doubled their offer ... and Pia signed without batting an eye.

We're told Pia will be picked up in L.A. in a limo and chauffeured directly to the party ... though it's unclear exactly where the party will go down.

Not too shabby.


Tornadoes Jeopardize Lauren Alaina's 'Idol' Votes

4/28/2011 4:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lauren Alaina fans are in an uproar -- worried she might get cut from "American Idol" tonight ... because of the deadly tornadoes that ripped through the South last night.

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Lauren's hometown of Rossville, Georgia -- population 3,500 -- was devastated by the twisters ... leaving most homes without power, land lines, or mobile phone service.

Now Lauren's friends and family tell TMZ they're concerned because Lauren's main supporters couldn't see the show and weren't able to vote.

One friend said, "It would be a travesty if she was taken off the show because of an Act of God" -- and another added, "I do believe the weather should be taken into consideration when it comes to the voting."

One friend who was outside the damage zone tells us she voted more than usual for Lauren ... and made online appeals for others to do the same.

Will it be enough to get Lauren into the top 5?


Ex-'Idol' Finalist ESCAPES Terrifying Car Fire

4/28/2011 3:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

One of the Top 12 finalists from last season's "American Idol" had to escape through the window of a burning car Tuesday night ... when her GMC Envoy suddenly BURST INTO FLAMES.

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25-year-old Paige Miles -- who claimed 11th place on the show -- was on her way home from rehearsal in Florida ... when something went terribly wrong and her SUV caught on fire.

Miles, who documented the terrifying incident on her Facebook page, explained, "The electric shut down, the car doors wouldn't open, i jumped out my window and watched my mother's Envoy blaze."

Moments after she emerged from the fiery wreck, Miles said she was crying and shaking ... and her blood pressure was through the roof ... but she didn't seem to have suffered any major injuries.

Afterward, Miles took photos of the charred remains of her mom's ride -- pretty damn scary.

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