Lauren Alaina’s conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon:

How difficult was it for her to performances considering her vocal problems?

“The show must go on always. The doctor camdeliver her e in and he took really good care of me. I had to go out there and do the best that I can.”

Why does she love country so much?

“I was raised on country music. My parents love country music. It’s in my heart.”

Why did she choose not to use her last name, Suddeth, on Idol?

“I chose not to use Suddeth because people never pronounce it right and I knew Ryan Seacrest would have a terrible time trying to say my last name. I just went with Alaina because is would be easier and it kind of rolls off the tongue easier. But I will always be Lauren Suddeth. Always.”

Are Lauren and Scotty boyfriend and girlfriend?

“No, we’re not. We’re just friends.”

On her weight loss during the show. Did she lose 20 lbs?

“Actually, it was 16 lbs in all, maybe. I haven’t been able to work out, because I’ve been super busy getting ready for the finale and everything. But during tour I’m going to work out and I’m going to get to the point where I want to be and not where everyone else wants me to be.”

Did the thought ever cross her mind that she should have waited a couple of years to try out?

“No. I feel like people misjudge young people because they think that they’re not ready. I feel like if something’s your dream and you know what you want you should go for it.”

Will she be going to the CMA Festival in June? Have you ever gone as a fan?

“I have not been able to make it out to any of the CMA festivals. But I do believe I’ll be there this year. It’s going to be amazing.”

On the contest as a growth process, Did she gain more confidence?

“I had a lot of confidence before the show. Once seeing myself on TV and being my worst critic, it threw me back a couple of notches. I thought that was a good thing. I need to realize that there’s always something that you can work on about yourself. The things I didn’t like about myself I worked on the whole time I was on the show and really tried to improve myself. I feel like since there were so many people watching and I could see the outcome. I felt like it was really helpful for me to grow as a person and as an artist.”

Was there a key? Something that really turned the corner for her?

“Each week I learned something new. I just put it all togehter and tried to make the best of it.”

What does she want people to know most about her from the things that we could not learn about her on American Idol?

“I’m not really a blond (chuckle) People call me a dumb blond. I’m actually really smart and I love to go to school. My favorite subject is math. I like going to school more than anything, probably.”

Has she ever had vocal problems before?

“I have actually. Everyone has trouble with their vocals. I think I’m getting a little bit of a cold. Now my nose is a little bit stuffed up and my throat’s hurting pretty bad today. It’s going to be alright.”

What was Scotty whispering to her on Tuesday night at the end of the show?

“He told me I was going to win and I said ‘No Scotty, you’re going to win.’”

What was going through her head during the results?

“I had a feeling that it was going to be Scotty. I feel like things happen for a reason. God has a different plan for me.”

Did being close to winning make it difficult when she heard the results?

“Not really. There’s hundreds of thousands of people out there who would love to be 2nd place. I’m very fortunate to have made it.”

Did she get to meet any of the celebrities at the finale last night?

“I met them all. Just being able to sing with Carrie Underwood kind of set off the whole night. She’s amazing.”

Did Lauren pick the song?

“No, I think Carrie picked it.”

Was she really happy that Scotty won? What is her friendship with Scotty like?

“I will be happy for Scotty forever because we’re great friends. I’ve been saying all along that no matter what happens if it came down to me and Scotty, that I would be happy either way. because we are such great friends. I really mean that, because he is so talented. He’s got the look, he sings the same kind of music that I sing. He loves Jesus. I couldn’t have picked a better person to get second place to but him.”

What does she think about being a role model? Who are some of her role models?

“I am a huge country music fan, and there’s so many girls that I look up to, especailly Carrie Underwood. Everyone knows–I’ve shouted that one out loud for awhile now. I met her, and talking with her, I could tell that she genuinely cares that I was there. After we went to the party last night for all the contestants she invited me back to her area to sit down and talk with her. It was amazing to see that someone I looked up to for so long was actually the person that I thought they were. I want little girls and girls my age to feel that way about me when they meet me–to know that I’m actually the way that I’m portrayed on TV. I’m not fake and I don’t want to mislead people as to who I am. I crack jokes a lot but I can be serious too. I cry a lot and everyone knows that. It’s just who I am. I plan on not changing who I am for anything. I want to stay true to who I am and have my little country roots– let it be available for little girls to look up to me. I’ve always looked up to Carrie. It would be the greatest feeling in the world to have some little girl look up to me the way I look up to her.