Tense moment for The Great Contender

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Arthur’s boots steal the show, but it was down to the wire for OS’s favorite ‘Idol’

By The Staff

Oliver Springs sweetheart Janelle Arthur survived another week of competition on “American Idol.”


Tensions were high for the popular country crooner, in the midst of her third time competing on the FOX talent-show-type series.

She and contestant Burnell Taylor received the fewest viewer votes, but relief swept over the 23-year-old blonde entertainer and her East Tennessee fan base when host Ryan Seacrest announced Arthur was safe for another week with Taylor’s elimination from competition.

Arthur was praised by the judges for Wednesday’s down-home rendition of Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” during Rock Week on “Idol.”

“I felt that was concert Janelle right there,” judge Randy Jackson said. “I’ve gotta borrow one word from Keith [Urban, another judge].

“I’m going to call her The Great Contender.”

The judges also made a big fuss over Arthur’s wardrobe.

“I love those boots, Janelle,” Urban enthused. “What is going on with those?”

Later, judge Nicki Minaj wore the sequined boots, and Jackson ended up with Arthur’s gold tasseled vest.

Fan support in Roane County and East Tennessee has been massive.

That includes her cousin, Jordan Alcorn.

“I talked to Janelle this morning,” he said Friday. “She’s in good spirits. She’s still in good thoughts. We have our fingers crossed.”

Alcorn is proud, and he gets intense about the show.

“I think I get more nervous than she does,” he admitted.

Fans had another view-and-vote party last week, this time at Lincoln’s Sports Grille in Oak Ridge.

Alcorn is working with the Roane State Scholarship Foundation to establish a scholarship in Arthur’s honor for a student studying music arts.

Donations are sought to be able to make the scholarship continuous.

Checks can be sent to 276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN 37748.

More information about donating can also be gained by calling 882-4507.