ONTARIO, Ca. – Skylar Laine was in the middle of an obligatory interview session when she
looked out the window of the Citizens Business Bank Arena here and asked, “What
is that over there?”
She was told it was the Ontario Mills mall – 200 stores, a movie theatre with 30 screens,
the largest one-story mall in western North America.
You would have thought Ms. Laine had just won the American Idol title.
“Oh, oh, I want to go over there. I need to do some shopping. Can we get over there before
tonight’s show? How do I get there?” she rambled on and on prior to last Wednesday
Tonight (Tuesday, July 31st) Skylar will be performing in Jackson, Miss., on
the American Idol Summer Tour. And that’s about a couple of malls the size of
Ontario Mills from her hometown of Brandon, Miss.
The 18-year-old Laine finished fifth in this season’s competition and she was the
only country-singing Top 10 finalist.
“I thought it would be difficult to win this season with country singers finishing 1-2
last year,” Skylar admitted. “But fifth place was good enough for me.”
On the Summer Tour, which pretty much repeats itself at every stop, Skylar sings “Gunpowder and Lead” and “Stay With Me” as solos in the second half of the show and she
appears in several of the group numbers.
One of the stories that circulated during Season 11 was that Skylar’s folks back in
Mississippi had to cash in some insurance policies to raise enough money to fund trips to L.A. to watch her during the competition.
“That was absolutely not true,” she said. “Never happened. Both of my folks are
hard-working people and they didn’t have to do that. I think one or the other were here in L.A. for every show.”
When the Summer Tour ends on the fall, Skylar plans to move to Nashville, Tenn., continue
writing music, try to swing a deal with a recording label and attempt to make a career out of singing in the country genre.
She still punctuates every statement with a “Yes, sir” or a “No, sir” and figures to fit right into the country picture.
“Are country singers more open to newcomers?” she said. “I think so. At least they have all
been very nice to me. It’s just the way country people are anyway.”