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miley cyrus

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An American Idol finalist comes face-to-face tonight with one of her, well, idols.

Lauren Alaina, who belted out Miley Cyrus'  "The Climb" a few weeks back, gets some guidance during Wednesday's performance show from none other than the teen sensation herself.

Idol sources tell E! News exclusively that Cyrus will make a surprise appearance as a mentor for Alaina alongside Interscope's Jimmy Iovine, who has been assisting the 16-year-old contestant and the other young hopefuls throughout the competition.

Recently, Iovine caused quite a stir among Cyrus fans when he told Alaina while rehearsing "The Climb" that she was "a much stronger singer than Miley Cyrus." An Idol source says Iovine promptly invited Cyrus, of whom he has been a longtime fan, to be a mentor because he regretted making the remark.

"Jimmy apologized and personally asked Miley to come one," says the show source.

The song Alaina is scheduled to sing this week will be, according to a source, "a mid-tempo ballad."

Cyrus, who has appeared on Idol in the past, taped the mentoring session some time late last week.