“America's Got Talent” Passed on Lauren Alaina

"American Idol" runner-up holds no hard feelings

"America's Got Talent" judge Piers Morgan was chastened Thursday night when "American Idol" runner-up Lauren Alaina told him his show had rejected her—twice.

Neither time did she make it past the first round of auditions, either, she said.

As guests on "The Tonight Show," the CNN host and erstwhile talent judge chatted with the 16-year-old about her second-place finish to friend and fellow country fan Scotty McCreery on "Idol."

"It's a real shame for you," said Morgan. "I thought you were the better singer, to be honest."

"You want to hear something funny? I tried out for your show, and I didn't make it," Alaina said.

"Really? No!" said Morgan, stunned.

"Twice," Alaina said. "I got second place, and you denied me," she joked.

Morgan confirmed Friday via Twitter that Alaina had been passed over by "America's Got Talent." He added that his producers said she was actually rejected not twice but three times.

However many times she was rejected, Alaina seemed on Jay Leno's show to have no hard feelings, especially not with her near-triumph on "Idol." But Morgan was thoroughly embarrassed when she told him.

"This is a scandal," he said. "This is awkward."

Alaina for her part had a tongue-in-cheek message of encouragement for other contestants dumped from a show: "For all of the people who try out for 'America's Got Talent' and don't make it, try out for 'American Idol!'"

Selected Reading: Los Angeles TimesAccess Hollywood

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