OFFSTAGE: Lauren Alaina on Learning to Drive a Stick Shift

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

She just turned 17, but Lauren Alaina doesn’t even have her driver’s license yet. I was all set to ask the American Idol runner-up what it is like to have a year of driving under her belt, and she explained the situation to me. “I got my learner’s [permit] late, and then I was on tour. And I’m a really good driver, I think. I haven’t really driven that much, though,” she admitted with a giggle. “Then a week ago, I had an appointment to go get my license, but I slept through that. Then I had another appointment, and I slept through that one, too. At some point, I’ll get the durn license,” Alaina told me last week in Nashville. She did say that in addition to honing her automatic transmission skills, she is also learning how to drive a stick shift because she is the proud owner of a Ford Mustang Shelby Cobra GT500. I pictured Alaina to be more of a rusty little pickup truck kind of girl, but a retro-styled high-performance muscle car would look good on anyone.