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N.C.'s Daughtry, Pickler Remain In Running To Be Next 'American Idol'

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HOLLYWOOD, CA — North Carolina native Chris Daughtry came very close to being the next contestant eliminated Wednesday on "American Idol," but he survived for another week.

Considered a favorite in the competition, Daughtry, 26, made a surprise first appearance in the bottom three despite lavish praise from judges for his restrained rendition of "What a Wonderful World." Now, he joins Albemarle's Kellie Pickler in the final six.

Ace Young became the latest "American Idol" casualty in Wednesday's viewer voting after enduring weeks of speculation that he would soon get the boot.

Judge Simon Cowell said on Tuesday's program that the 25-year-old Denver native's rendition of the retro standard, "That's All," was "charming" -- though his voice was "a little nasally."

Host Ryan Seacrest offered encouragement nonetheless to Young. "You've got a bright future," he told the crooner, known for his long locks, flashy smile and falsetto.

Wednesday's elimination show featured a performance by guest coach Rod Stewart, who sang the classic "The Way You Look Tonight" from the first disc in his popular "Great American Songbook" series.

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