‘American Idol’ notes: Jessica Sanchez, Lauren Alaina, Toby Keith

We really have two themes to this Friday edition of “American Idol” notes — the current summer tour as well as some rumors that are already staring to pop up again about the judging panel for next season.

Jessica Sanchez talks fan experience – When the top 10 from this past season perform at various venues around the country, they get the opportunity to do some rather cool things — including two chances to spend some time with the fans. Some wealthier patrons can buy a VIP ticket that includes an opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet with some of the contestants — meanwhile, there is also an opportunity to say hello to the singers outside the show for those who know jus where to position themselves.

For Jessica Sanchez, it really seems as though she appreciates both groups — and speaking in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she explains that all of the fans do end up behaving differently after getting the opportunity to meet their heroes:

“Some of them are really shy and don’t know what to say, and they’ll shake. Then there are some that are really happy and energetic and they’re shouting.”

Jessica has spent much of the past few days performing with her fellow contestants in California, but there is still plenty of traveling to be done until the tour officially winds down in September upon a visit to he Philippines.

Lauren Alaina talks Brad Paisley – Season 10 alum Lauren has had the opportunity to spend some time with Brad Paisley, and this does lead to her having some pretty interesting thoughts as to whether or not the singer would be a good judge for the show.

Speaking in a new interview on this very subject, Alaina made it rather clear that Brad has both the personality and the acumen to give honest criticism to some of the contestants next season:

“I think that that would be really cool. He has a great personality. Every time I’ve talked with him, he’s super nice.” 

What about Toby Keith? – In continuing the discussion about possible judges, could we really see Toby make an appearance on season 12?

In an interview of his own, the “Red Solo Cup” singer reveals that earlier this year, he was asked about his potential interest in being a part of the show. However, he declined by saying that the show is more of a time commitment than he would want to give up. This report does at least make it clear that in addition to Mariah Carey and some other rumored names (Adam Lambert, Miley Cyrus), producers are looking for someone with a country music background after having so many artists of this genre appear on the show at some point in the past.

To check out some more “American Idol” notes — including an update on Lauren’s friend and former season 10 finalist Scotty McCreery — be sure to hit up the story here.

Photo: Fox

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