In this March 7, 2012 photo released by Fox, contestant Skylar Laine performs on the singing competition series "American Idol," in Los Angeles. On the Fox show's 400th episode, the men tackled songs from Stevie Wonder's catalogue and the women choose from Whitney Houston's hits, a tribute to the singer who died Feb. 11, on the eve of the Grammy Awards, at age 48. Laine performed Houston's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." (AP Photo/Fox, Michael Becker)
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.