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By Mike Terry, Deseret News

It was Megan Joy's hometown, but the biggest screams came for Adam Lambert.

Lambert, the "American Idol" runner-up, brought the house down by opening his segment on the American Idols Live show at the E Center with his big-band rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love."

Even Season 8 winner Kris Allen wasn't greeted with the decibels of screams and cheers Lambert received.

But it didn't seemed to faze him. He cranked out his set, which included Kanye West's "Heartless" and the Killers' "All These Things That I've Done."

All eyes were on Megan Joy, however, when she came on stage early in the evening.

Her version of Corrine Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" and Amy Winehouse's "Tears Dry on Their Own" displayed her diverse styles.

But getting to the second act was a fun journey for the fans. There was Michael Sarver taking on Gavin DeGraw's "I'm in Love With a Girl" and Ne-Yo's "Closer."

Scott MacIntyre emerged playing the piano and played Keane's "Bend & Break" and Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles."

Lil Rounds' soulful takes on Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You," Alicia Keys' "No One" and Beyonce's "Single Ladies" prepped the way for Anoop Desai's set that included "Always on My Mind," "Mad" and "My Prerogative."

Closing off the first half of the show was Matt Giraud getting Southern with "Hard To Handle, "Georgia on My Mind" and the Fray's "You Found Me."

The audience's emotions were lit afire with Alison Iraheta who rocked it out with "So What," "Cry Baby" and "Barracuda."

Danny Gokey spread the positive message of keeping dreams alive with his heartfelt cover of Rascal Flatts' "My Wish."

The night closed with the everyone taking the stage again for a rounding version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."

Earlier in the day, Megan Joy was looking forward to the "American Idols Live" concert at the E Center Tuesday night.

The singer from Sandy, who placed No. 9 in Season 8 of "American Idol," was joyful about performing for her family and friends.

"I'm so excited," Megan Joy said during an interview with the Deseret News a few hours before the performance. "I mean, even when we landed, I could not stop smiling. I got a little loud. I love it here. And I think this is probably going to be my best show of all, because I have so much support tonight."

At the same time, she gets the butterflies.

"I don't want to see my people out there and get distracted in the middle of my song," she said with a laugh. "So, I'm going to try to not look at them."

Through it all, though, single mother Megan Joy will be thinking about her 2-year-old son, Ryder.

In fact, when deciding whether to be a part of the tour, which wraps up in the middle of September, Megan Joy debated with herself.

"It was a struggle," she said of her decision. "I told myself, 'It's the right thing.' I'm going to sacrifice three months to better our futures forever.' I had to tell myself that this is the right thing to do. It's going to teach him a lot and me a lot. And give us a boost in the right direction."

Meanwhile, Ryder will be staying with his father, she said.

"And then my mom, and my stepdad and sister, depending on the trip, come out with (Ryder) to be with me and spend time on the road," Megan Joy said. "I am very, very fortunate to have the situation that I have, and Ryder is loved in every situation."

Megan Joy said she actually didn't want to audition for "American Idol."

"My friends and family forced me," she said, laughing. "My goals at that time was to move out of my mom's, save up enough money to go back to school, and figure out what I was going to do with myself.

"Now, my goals are (to) make albums. I want to make several different kinds," she said. "I want to model. I want to act. (I want to) move out of my mom's still. And be a good mom."

While Megan Joy is worried about going on the tour, MacIntyre, who placed eighth, faces different challenges.

The classically trained-pianist-turned-singer is visually impaired from Leber's congenital amaurosis, which reduced his vision to a small window of sight.

For the choreography of "American Idols Live," as well as in the TV competition, MacIntyre's solution is simple:

He memorizes all the choreography.

"It's a lot different on the 'American Idol' show than it is now on the tour," he said Tuesday. "Because on the show, not only was I doing all the choreography, but I had to memorize another layer of choreography essence — the camera choreography."

The show's directors would tell MacIntyre, from Scottsdale, Ariz., to look over his shoulder on a specific line or verse because the camera crane would swoop down on another section of the song.

"I just couldn't look around and see," he said. "And all the choreography kept changing, especially for the finale.

"We rehearsed choreography for two weeks and literally threw it out the window. A lot of it was done the day before.

"So for me, it was like another competition."

As for the live show, MacIntyre said it's not about connecting with people through tiny TV lenses.

"It's about having 10,000 people, on average, in the same room with you," he said. "I can't tell you what a difference that makes for all of us in our performances.

"When you have all that energy in the audience, you really feel connected with the (audience). It's not such subtle, small movements. It's about connecting with the farthest person in back of the arena."

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