Lauren Alaina was an unassuming high schooler before a cousin with brain cancer convinced her she could sing — like, really sing.

During Alaina's American Idol audition, judge Randy Jackson complimented that cousin, Holly Witherow, saying she had quite an ear for talent. This story is well-known among the 2011 reality show runner-up's biggest fans, but the 10 facts that follow in this list of things you didn't know about Alaina may not be as commonplace.

Everyone knows she was a cheerleader and worked at Cici's Pizza, but do you know her pet peeve, her pets' names and what secret she kept from fans before the Idol finale? There were a few, actually, but nothing that presents the singer as anything but focused and hard-working.

10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Lauren Alaina: