Lauren Alaina Suddeth, a 16-year-old from Rossville, Ga., is among the eight contestants still alive on “American Idol” Season 10.
Voted off show Thursday night was Pia Toscano, of Howard Beach, N.Y., one of the judges’ favorites.
Meanwhile, Paul McDonald, the pleasantly quirky Nashville singer whose voice had been compared to a cross between Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan, also survived the weekly cut.
McDonald, whose mother Susan teaches at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, was in the bottom three on the show last week.
Suddeth sang Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” on Wednesday, and McDonald charmed the audience with an up-tempo version of the Johnny Cash classic “Folsom Prison Blues.”
McDonald has become a fan favorite on the show for his wispy vocals and energetic dance moves. His megawatt smile is his trademark.
TV Guide has reported that McDonald, 26, had been a big-brother figure to Suddeth on the show.
Editor’s note: Fans of Suddeth can pass along messages at www.timesfreepress.com/americanidol.
Mark Kennedy is the editor of the Times Free Press opinion pages and writes the Sunday “Life Stories” column. He also writes a Saturday automotive column, “Test Drive,” for the Business section. For 13 years, Kennedy was features editor of the newspaper, and before that he was the newspaper’s first Sunday editor. The Times Free Press Life section won the state press award for Best Community Lifestyles four times during his tenure. Before Chattanooga’s newspapers ...