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Chris Daughtry, whose elimination from American Idol was the controversial pinnacle of the fifth season, told the Charlotte Observer that he has turned down an offer to become the lead singer of the multi-platinum rock band Fuel.

“I’m going to be doing my own thing,” said Daughtry, who has made a string of appearances in his native North Carolina over the past week, including a show with his band, Absent Element, before an audience of about 6,500.

Fuel offered Daughtry the gig immediately after he was voted off of Idol last month. He would have replaced former Brett Scallions, who left the group in February. Remaining band members said they became interested in Daughtry after he performed their song “Hemorrhage” on Idol.

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Daughtry’s departure from Idol was so unexpected that many viewers alleged conspiracy theories. Even surly judge Simon Cowell decried it as a huge mistake on the part of voters. The 26-year old rocker has not said what his “own thing” specifically entails, but told the Observer that he met with executives in New York last week and will announce his career plans within the next few months.

He will be an active participant in the American Idol tour, which features winner Taylor Hicks, runner-up Katharine McPhee and other Top 10 finalists. The show kicks off July 5 in Manchester, N.H., and concludes Sept. 24 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. For now, Daughtry will be living at home in North Carolina with his wife and two stepchildren.