That unique vocal tone, that bright white smile, that yummy rendition of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” – Paul McDonald is arguably “American Idol” season 10’s resident heartthrob.
Sure, Jennifer Lopez called fellow competitor Casey Abrams “sexy,” but fans out there in cyberspace seem to be gravitating more toward this 26-year-old from Huntsville, Alabama.
McDonald chatted up reporters at the “American Idol” top 13 party in Los Angeles this week to tell us a wee bit more about his experience on the show so far. Here we go…
Your style is really unique, and you’re very different than the rest. Do you think that can be a disadvantage to you on this show?
Yes [laughs]. It can be a huge disadvantage. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would’ve come this far in this competition. I’ve been touring with my band for so long, I went to try out on a whim. [I thought] I’m gonna try out so I can check this off my list of crazy things to tell my grandma. I finally tried out for “American Idol” and here I am. Everyone’s thinking I’m cool because I’m on TV.
So is that white jacket your lucky jacket or something? Because don’t you know you’re not supposed to wear the same thing twice?
I had another jacket on and my stylist was like, ‘I don’t know if I dig that one, why don’t you put on the rhinestone one again?’ And I was like, ‘alright, I’ll bust it out again.’ I can’t wear it too much or I’ll be the idiot in the rhinestone jacket. I might bust it out later on down the road if it gets to that special moment. I also have a friend who made that coat for me, back home, with some new ideas. We’ll see if they make the show. My wallet is pretty thin right now. I’m still poor. I might be cool for being on TV, but I’m still broke.
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Is there another genre you’re looking forward to showing us?
I don’t know, man, I’m so used to doing my own thing and writing my own material for so long, so anything that they throw at me is kind of a challenge, not too much, but I’d like them to throw stuff at me, like why don’t you sing an R&B tune. I’ll be like alright, to expand my horizons as an artist. This whole thing’s been fun, it’s been cool. I’m up for anything. I’d even rap if they want me to. I’m probably not that good.
Speaking of rap, Diddy’s coming on to perform and mentor in the ways of swagger.
What? Dude, that is unbelievable. Yeah, teach me some dance moves because mine, I’ve been getting a whole lot of funny comments about my dance moves, maybe P. Diddy can help me out with that. That’s unbelievable. I didn’t know that, man, that’s super cool. I was in a 15-passenger van touring with a bunch of sweaty dudes throughout the U.S. eating dollar menus from McDonald’s and here I am hanging out with Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez and P. Diddy. It’s funny, you know?
What’s been the biggest surprise?
This whole thing has been a surprise because literally I never really watched the show. I’ve been so busy touring I never really watched TV, so everything… It’s like, what’s next? Tomorrow they’re taking us to a mansion or something. I don’t know. It’s all a surprise to me. I’m just letting it roll going with the flow. Hopefully, I’ll get to cut a cool record.