Paul McDonald waving to the crowd after being voted off of "American Idol" last night. (Contributed by Michael Becker/ Fox)
There was good news/bad news Thursday night for the two "American Idol" contestants with Chattanooga ties.
Paul McDonald, the raspy-voiced singer with the megawatt smile, became the first guy to be voted out of the finalists by viewers. His mother, Susan McDonald, is an instructor at UTC.
Rossville's Lauren Alaina Suddeth, daughter of Kristy and J.J. Suddeth, advanced to sing another week. Suddeth fought back tears as McDonald sang his swan song at the show's conclusion.
"It's been fun - a good ride," McDonald told host Ryan Seacrest upon learning his fate. "Good times There's nothing to be sad about."
Seacrest said 53 million votes were cast by viewers following Wednesday night's episode of the Fox network's hit show.
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 ...