Family happily sacrifices as Skylar soars

By The Associated Press

BRANDON, Miss. (AP) — It happens every week on Fox’s American Idol: A contestant performs, the celebrity judges offer their critiques, then a camera shows family members in the Hollywood audience.

The 17 million people watching the broadcasts probably don’t think about everything that goes into getting those family members to those seats every Wednesday and Thursday night.

Brandon’s Ed and Mary Harden know all about it. Their 18-year-old daughter, Skylar Laine, is in Idol’s Top 8. The show doesn’t pay travel expenses for contestants’ families.

Mary Harden told The Clarion-Ledger they’ve had to make sacrifices to be in Hollywood with Skylar. But she adds quickly that the privilege, honor and blessing of Skylar’s chances outweigh any sacrifices they’ve made.

Idol’s Top 8 take on Songs of the ’80s Wednesday night.