Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
The best thing a finalist on “American Idol” can do is … lose.
Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee, Adam Lambert, Kellie Pickler, Danny Gokey, Colton Dixon, Gabby Barrett – the list of successful singers finishing in the top 10 far surpasses the roster of champions. These artists have scored No. 1 hit singles, spearheaded cross-country tours, and found award-winning success on the small and silver screens.
Lauren Alaina is a member of that club. Since finishing as the runner-up to Scotty McCreery in season 10 a decade ago, she has become a major force in the world of country music. Alaina won the 2017 ACM New Female Vocalist of the Year award, and scored nominations at the CMA Awards, CMT Music Awards, Teen Choice Awards, Radio Disney Awards and Billboard Music Awards.
She took home CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year for her “Road Less Traveled,” and CMT Collaborative Video of the Year for “What Ifs,” the six-times-Platinum-selling smash she created with childhood friend Kane Brown. Th accompanying video has nearly 295 million YouTube views. Her singles “Road Less Traveled” and “One Beer” (with HARDY) also went to No. 1.
Alaina’s first headlining trek, the “That Girl Was Me Tour,” sold-out, and she was invited to perform across the late-night field, in holiday specials and on primetime television.
Last week, Alaina released “Sitting Pretty On Top of the World,” her third full-length album for Mercury Nashville. The Georgia singer partnered with award-winning songwriters Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Emily Weisband, David Garcia and Ben Johnson, while co-writing 14 of the 15 songs – including chart-climbing new single “Getting Over Him” (featuring Jon Pardi).
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Alaina will release a book she intends to use in inspiring others, “Getting Good At Being You.”
Prior to that, she will star alongside Tyler Hines in a new Hallmark Channel feature, “Roadhouse Romance.” The film premieres at 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11.
Hallmark parent Crown Media’s preview states, “Lt. Callie Jackson (Alaina) arrives home from her tour of duty and must come to terms with everything that’s changed while she was away, especially at her family’s iconic BBQ establishment, Tucker’s Roadhouse. She is determined to continue her late grandfather’s legacy at the Roadhouse, which has always been a destination for great food and discovering new country music talent. Callie steps up to help her mother and aunt prepare for the fall festival at Tucker’s Roadhouse, which also means searching for her late grandfather’s special barbecue sauce recipe, which was lost while she was away. After a chance run-in with TV director Luke (Hynes), who is passing through town, he helps Callie determine what is worth hanging on to and when it’s time to let go.”
Alaina, now a multihyphenate with acting and writing credits, shared more on her new album and Hallmark Channel role in a recent Q&A.
Lauren Alaina is “Sitting Pretty On Top Of The World.” (Image courtesy of Schmidt Relations)
Q: We’re fortunate to have you perform here on a regular basis. Knowing how busy you are, what attracted you to this project – and how did you fit it into your schedule!
Lauren Alaina: In a normal year it would be very difficult for me to do a project like this. However, due to COVID I was able to allot time for this movie.
Q: Tell us about your character, Callie.
Lauren Alaina: Callie is a lieutenant in the army who comes back to her hometown after being deployed. She deals with family struggles and trying to get acclimated back into her life. She’s a sassy, emotional, strong-willed character that I can identify with.
Q: Tyler is a popular Hallmark Channel veteran. What did you like about working with him – and what did you learn from Tyler?
Lauren Alaina: Tyler really cares about the development of his character and is very dedicated to the role he’s playing. That’s something that I really respect about him.
Lauren Alaina and Tyler Hynes. (Photo by Luba Popovic/copyright 2021 Crown Media United States LLC)
Q: In “Roadhouse Romance,” you perform your song “Run” and “What Do You Think Of,” from your new album. Tell us about these songs, and what we can look forward to with your release?
Lauren Alaina: “Run” and “What Do You Think Of?” are two songs from my new album, “Sitting Pretty on Top of the World.” I picked these two because they aligned with the script the most. I’m really thankful to Hallmark for being collaborative with me and allowing me to tweak the script to make these two songs even more perfect for the storyline. They represent loss, love and small towns, and so does “Roadhouse Romance.”
Q: “When You Say Nothing at All” is another song from “Roadhouse Romance. We understand this is the first song you performed at Tootsies in Nashville – at the age of 12. How did this song find its way into the movie – and what was it like to revisit the Keith Whitley classic?
Lauren Alaina: Hallmark wanted me to do a classic country cover and, because this song holds such emotional value for my family, I put it in the movie as a little nod to them.
Stay connected with Lauren Alaina at http://laurenalainaofficial.com/; @Lauren_Alaina on Twitter; and @laurenalaina on Instagram and on Facebook. For videos, visit her YouTube (@LaurenAlainaAIVEVO) channel.
Find a schedule of “Roadhouse Romance” airtimes and learn more about upcoming Hallmark holiday films at https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/.