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High Point 'Idol' Fantasia Advances, Gets Hometown Welcome

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Fantasia In High Point
RALEIGH, N.C. — "American Idol"

is down to three finalists -- and another North Carolinian is among them.

Fantasia Barrino, 19, of High Point, narrowly advanced Wednesday night to remain in the running to be the next "American Idol."

The judges did not think Barrino's Tuesday night disco performance was her best, but voters thought it was good enough to keep her in the competition.

Instead, fans sent home La Toya London, 25, who many predicted would ultimately win.

The finalists -- Barrino, Jasmine Trias, 17, and Diana DiGarmo, 16, -- all headed to their hometowns Thursday for some fan recognition during a 24-hour visit.

Police estimated 3,000 fans showed up to show support.

City officials gave Barrino a key to the city, and proclamations of support were read from the High Point City Council and Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

The visit was capped by an afternoon performance at Providence Place's First Wesleyan Church, where Barrino sang "Something to Talk About," a cover of Bonnie Raitt's 1991 hit single, to cheers from the crowd.

The whirlwind trip will be shown on next week's program.

Raleigh native Clay Aiken, who finished second to Ruben Studdard in last year's competition, performed on Wednesday's show.

During his

hometown visit last year

, Aiken made stops at WRAL-FM MIX 101.5, the YMCA, WRAL-TV and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, where Aiken belted out the national anthem.

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