Rossville's Lauren Alaina Suddeth advanced to "American Idol's" final four Thursday night ... but just barely.
For the first time this season, Suddeth was in danger of elimination.
After 60 million votes were cast by viewers, according to host Ryan Seacrest, Suddeth and R&B singer Jacob Lusk,23, of California, were the bottom two of the five remaining contestants.
As each contestant learned their results, taped interviews with record producer Jimmy Iovine were shown in which he critiqued that contestant's performance on Wednesday's episode.
The producer praised Suddeth's first song, Carrie Underwood's "Flat on the Floor," but not her second.
Of her performance of "Unchained Melody," Iovine said "Lauren pulled back on the biggest moment of the song. Her fear is her Achilles' heel and could be what keeps her out of the finals."
A tearful Suddeth waited, biting her lip and trying to remain composed, while Seacrest prolonged the suspense before announcing that Lusk was leaving and the local teen would return to sing another day.
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 ...