published Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Lauren Alaina Suddeth, Paul McDonald advance on “American Idol”

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    Lauren Alaina Suddeth performs on "American Idol" on March 30. (Contributed by Michael Becker/ Fox)

Rossville teenager Lauren Alaina Suddeth survived a double-cut night on “American Idol” Thursday.

Suddeth was one of nine finalists to earn at least another week on the show after this week’s performances of songs popularized by Sir Elton John.

Paul McDonald, another “Idol” contestant with local ties, was in the bottom three in fan voting, but squeaked through. McDonald’s mother Susan is an instructor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He sang a breathy version of John’s hit “Rocket Man” Wednesday.

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    Paul McDonald performs on "American Idol" on March 30. (Contributed by Michael Becker/ Fox)

Suddeth, 16, turned in a defining performance Wednesday with her soulful rendition of “Candle In the Wind,” which was written in 1973 as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. The pop star later adapted the song as a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, after her death in 1997.

Thursday, Suddeth performed a duo with Scotty McCreery, another “Idol” fan favorite. The two sang the Randy Travis hit “I Told You So.”

Voted off the show Thursday were contestants Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia.

Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery sing "I told you so" by Randy Travis

Get all the Lauren Alaina news right here.

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