Both "American Idol" finalists with Chattanooga ties advanced to sing again during Thursday night's episode of Fox network's No. 1 show.
Lauren Alaina Suddeth of Rossville,Ga., and Paul McDonald of Nashville were among the 12 finalists proclaimed safe by host Ryan Seacrest. Ashton Jones, one of the three contestants given a wild-care bid by judges into the finals, was voted off.
McDonald is the son of Susan McDonald, an instructor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Suddeth is the daughter of J.J. and Kristy Suddeth. The 16-year-old burst into tears of relief upon hearing from Seacrest that she would be back next week.
Seacrest said 30 million votes were cast by viewers following Wednesday's episode.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...