Terry Morrow: University of Tennessee senior makes ABC's 'Duets' cast

Kelly Clarkson is among the celebrity participants on "Duets," debuting in May.

Photo by Steve Fenn, © 2009 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kelly Clarkson is among the celebrity participants on "Duets," debuting in May.

A University of Tennessee senior is among the contestants lined up for the ABC singing competition "Duets," debuting in May.

Alexis Foster's participation in the series required her to be absent from school in April and May. Producers asked Foster's professors for permission to excuse Foster during that time.

Set to graduate in May, Foster wasn't sure if she'd be able to walk the line because she might be in California for the show.

ABC would not confirm Foster's participation in "Duets" by deadline.

"Duets" has four celebrity judges — Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke — singing with contestants.

According to ABC, the celebrity judges and their protégés will take the stage each week and perform in front of a live studio audience.

Each week, one contestant is eliminated.

The last remaining contestant will get a contract through Hollywood Records.

Foster is an advertising major.

Parade

Dolly Parton's homecoming parade in Pigeon Forge is slated for May 11.

The singing superstar will be grand marshal of the event.

The 27th annual event will cover a three-mile route on the Parkway.

"Dolly, of course, is the biggest attraction, and the theme of her float always is a secret," said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

Among the participants: The Smoky Mountain Submarine, a 65-foot-long replica that will carry veterans of submarine service; and a NASCAR racecar belonging to Knoxville native Trevor Bayne.

The northbound parade will start at Traffic Light 6 and end at Traffic Light 3.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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