After AI 10 contestant, Paul McDonald,  took the stage last night with fellow hopeful, Kendra Chantelle Cambell to sing the Beatles “Blackbird” in Las Vegas, and then, dressed head to toe in retro Gram Parsons to sing-for-his-life with an original song “American Dreams”,  the twitterverse went completely apesh*t.

Our Idol spoiler reporter, Gangreen29, featured Paul several weeks ago HERE.  He’s got some pre-Idol music out there, most notably with his band, The Grand Magnolias.

You can follow Paul on twitter, MySpace and Facebook.  His band also has a twitter and Facebook and you can hear their full length album at their official website.

Check out a few of Paul’s pre-Idol performances, including the song he sang on Idol last night “American Dream”.

Videos after the JUMP…

American Dreams – Song he Sang on Idol

Heartbreak

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  • MayMirabella

    I think Paul has a great chance of winning this year. He is the WGWG that voters tend to like and vote for ..a lot.

    That is, unless another WGWG emerges later on and catches the attention of the voters.

    I would love to see a winner with powerhouse vocals win, another Jennifer Hudson, but not all feel that way.

  • MayMirabella

    I am now thinking wonder who will be in the Finale with him? LOL
    Robbie Rosen? Brett? or another guy? Maybe a girl with guitar. LOL

  • ri

    i love Paul but i think TPTB would never let another WGWG win so i’m not very hopeful.

  • hicksaholic

    I thought Paul was great. Since he’s from Alabama I had to wonder if he had had any discussion with Taylor or Ruben. It was interesting he sang an original. I am guessing to get all the exposure he could prior to a potential kick off.
    I too don’t think he has a chance of winning. He’s too much like Taylor for TPTB.

  • Marie Ruffin

    If he were to win again, it wouldn’t help AI’s reputation for finding “star” material. He would fade away like the other three White Guys with guitar. The show needs someone who’s “unique” and an entertainer. Not that McDonald isn’t good – he’s already in a band so he probably knows record execs; but it’s like AGT. Every year they have a top 10 filled with unique acts like jugglers and magicians, but the audience continues to choose “singers”….what’s the point in having a “variety” talent show if the winner is always going to be a singer? Why not just choose top 10 singers?

    Notice also that while the WGWG might win, the audience doesn’t necessarily follow him to the record store; meaning, the record sales of these guys is mediocre not stellar. So if the producers want a star that’s going to be a hit on the concert circuit and record sales, they’d best stay away from the WGWG….unless he’s going to be like Jimi Hendrix and set his guitar on fire during his shows.

  • wjmtv

    Wearing that suit took some balls, and he has a unique sound, so I’ll be keeping an eye on him regardless of how many bazillions he may or may not earn. I know the show is “searching for a superstar,” but I personally am searching for a performer I like. I don’t give a rat’s ass how “marketable” they are, and most of them don’t seem to care either, as long as they can make a living with their music.

    He reminds me a little of Michael Grimm, another caucasian dude with an interesting take on a song.

  • meyers77

    Here’s his bands’ (The Grand Magnolias) newest video. Heartbreak. Cool song. Looks like they are having fun too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IwHOg0_akY

  • pattieann

    I agree totally with wjmtv. I am also looking for music I like. I’m listening right now to the music on The Grand Magnolias Facebook page and it is FANTASTIC! He doesn’t need to win AI to get the exposure and make good, just make it to the top 12. Witness Daughtry and JHud.

    Marie Ruffin – David Cook is one WGWG that is anything but “fading away”. He has a platinum album and 2 platinum singles and is putting out his sophomore album this spring. He also has the most active of the Sony/19 websites.

    As for the other two WGWG – I like Lee, and love Kris. Their albums are in heavy rotation on my iPod.

  • gangreen29

    I like Paul’s music, but he isn’t right for this show.

  • koshka

    Wearing that suit took some balls, and he has a unique sound, so I’ll be keeping an eye on him regardless of how many bazillions he may or may not earn.

    Last night I was talking about loving the weird and unusual.. such as in Ashley surpassed my weird tolerance level, paul hits is square on. Love his audacity. He is unique to be sure, but he does sound like he is going to blow a vocal cord in that last video. Still love him, but wouldn’t vote for him if I was the voting type.

    I like Paul’s music, but he isn’t right for this show.

    This doesn’t make sense to me. Crystal didn’t fit either, but seems to be making a career now. Could you explain further?

  • gangreen29

    This doesn’t make sense to me. Crystal didn’t fit either, but seems to be making a career now. Could you explain further?

    I don’t mean his style. His voice is very weak. Even Kris had some power behind his voice. Paul seems like a good musician, but this is a singing competition and I am tired of sub par vocalists.

  • koshka

    I don’t mean his style. His voice is very weak. Even Kris had some power behind his voice. Paul seems like a good musician, but this is a singing competition and I am tired of sub par vocalists.

    I’m not necessarily impressed, hence the vocal cord comment. I reserve judgement until he has to sing songs he doesn’t necessarily get to hand pick.

    I still love the suit. :)

  • bmms

    I like Paul’s music, but he isn’t right for this show.

    Yes, I like Paul as well. Mucho. And finally they showed him! I agree about not being right for the show.

  • BootStar

    Paul’s the first “WGWG” with any actual style. I really like him but I don’t think he’s going to win, nor do I think he’d want to. He’s very cool, though, and I’m glad he’s in the competition. Real musicians only enhance the show in my opinion.

    His voice is very weak. Even Kris had some power behind his voice. Paul seems like a good musician, but this is a singing competition and I am tired of sub par vocalists.

    Not all great singers are powerhouses. As long as his type is the minority, I’m not sure what the issue is. I don’t need 12 Jacobs or Haleys, that’s for sure.

  • bmms

    I still love the suit.

    That was a pretty amazing suit!

  • chessguy99

    I’ve seen this before, I know the ending, I don’t care to watch it happen again. The season started out with positive expectations, and now I find myself looking forward to The Voice and X-Factor. I can’t take another guitar strumming guy singing soft rock/AC, winning the show.

  • gangreen29

    Not all great singers are powerhouses. As long as his type is the minority, I’m not sure what the issue is. I don’t need 12 Jacobs or Haleys, that’s for sure.

    All great singers have at least some power to their vocals.

  • lili_anne7

    I’m ok with Paul being in the competition because it adds diversity, however I don’t want him to win. But given the response, I fully expect him to make it to the end. I’m just sick of the same type of winners, AI is so predictable.

  • pattieann

    Listen to his band’s music on their Facebook page (link in article above). His voice is anything but weak.

  • Incipit

    I remember Gangreen’s thread – that was the guy with the grown up Alex Lambert style voice. I still don’t prefer it – I like a deeper register than he has, with more timbre and resonance on a sustained phrase; no matter how softly a person chooses to sing there can be support under the tone.

    Early front runners are targets, anyway – the ‘peaking in Hollywood’ thing has a track record on this show. I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode, just as I am for everybody else. We’re only at the very beginning here. JMO.

  • bmms

    Paul’s the first “WGWG” with any actual style. I really like him but I don’t think he’s going to win, nor do I think he’d want to. He’s very cool, though, and I’m glad he’s in the competition. Real musicians only enhance the show in my opinion.

    Agree. He will make the show interesting, bringing his own style and artistry. But, I don’t see him winning, especially this year with so many contestants having big vocal range. He would’ve done great last season though.

  • Eriko

    I like Paul’s music, but he isn’t right for this show.

    I agree, AI being a singing competition, IMO his voice is very “thin” or “small” and vocally not as good as many others. But to contradict myself, if he gets most of the votes, he must be “right” for the show :) He may also struggle with some of the themes

    But as a singer/songwriter and playing an instrument, he falls into the category that music wise, isn´t totally dependent on outside help to make music like those who only sing and are nothing without good people around them. Self-sufficient artists (music wise) are the ones who fill over 90% of my music collection. So, getting the exposure may be the only thing he needs to get his music out there, not winning.

  • cheese

    I kind of like Paul’s tone (well after listening a second or third time), but it only works for me when he’s singing quietly. He sounds like Ray Lamontagne with a head and chest cold, which isn’t a bad thing, just kind of limiting. I think he kind of loses what makes his voice special when he tries to sing with more power because while his voice is nuanced and has character, it’s not at all rich. I’m also not really a fan of his southern-fried folk-rock, Americana-whatever genre of music, so I probably wouldn’t be interested in him after the show even if I did become a Paultard.

    He does have some quirky charisma and seems like a cool guy. For now, I’ll consider him an ear cleanser because we have a lot of showy, LOUD singers this season. I really would not want to see him win based on his looks (which are pretty good considering what passes for “hot” among male Idol contestants) or his WGWG-ness.

  • BootStar

    All great singers have at least some power to their vocals.

    Tell that to Alison Krauss and Teddy Thompson. Neither is exactly known for their “power,” but they’re both GREAT singers. IMHO, of course.

  • gangreen29

    Tell that to Alison Krauss and Teddy Thompson. Neither is exactly known for their “power,” but they’re both GREAT singers. IMHO, of course.

    Bootstar, power doesn’t just mean loud. It means being able to project without falling off pitch or having breath issues. It means supporting all your notes. Allison I would say has a lot of power in her voice, she has wonderful control and all her notes are fully supported. Paul does not.

  • koshka

    Well said Cheese.. MTE

  • lili_anne7

    EW just posted an article about Paul and his band ” The Grand Magnolias”:

    http://music-mix.ew.com/2011/02/24/american-idol-paul-mcdonald-grand-magnolias/

    Apparently they think this guy could have the star quality of Carrie Underwood and could become big in country radio.

  • Yvonne13

    I totally agree with Gangrene29 and Eriko – Paul needs to go. That suit was hideous, too. Sure hope he didn’t pay retail for it.

    We need a different type of person to win this year. There are outstanding ladies in the group. Pretty soon none will bother to audition anymore, and bye bye show.

  • flyaway

    Weak voice, huh? He sounds a whole bunch like this “unique” guy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn5j0mbhrhc
    and his career seems to have gone fairly well.

  • hicksaholic

    flyaway, I just told someone I work with that he reminded me of Rod Stewart. I think Paul has already succeeded in what he wanted to do… getting noticed big time.

  • MaryS-NJ

    meyers77, thanks for the link. From there I found this one: Paul McDonald with Hightide Blues on a cros-country tour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt9rQD34lPc&feature=related

    I really, REALLY like him and his band. Idol material? I suppose that depends on what Idol wants out of a winner, but I’m more interested in listening to music I like whether it sells enough units to make the PTB happy feel successful or not.

  • BootStar

    Bootstar, power doesn’t just mean loud. It means being able to project without falling off pitch or having breath issues. It means supporting all your notes. Allison I would say has a lot of power in her voice, she has wonderful control and all her notes are fully supported. Paul does not.

    I see what you’re saying. I tend to think of “power” in terms of projection and “control” to refer to pitch and breath support, but I agree Paul has a very breathy sound. I already said I don’t think it’s in his interest to win the show, but I don’t know why you’d eliminate somebody who’s clearly generated so much interest. Has anybody determined if all the tweets were from middle aged women? Because Mumford and Sons is selling really well right now, and I don’t think it’s just the hausfraus buying their album.

    I know I say this every season, but I think it bears repeating: As much as everybody always claims that American Idol is a “singing competition,” I can’t remember the last time anybody officially affiliated with the show has made that claim. Why doesn’t anybody ever ASK Nigel what exactly constitutes an “American Idol”? Does it have to be a great technical singer? Or is it a classic “pop star” (a la a Katy Perry)?

    The fact that they never say explicitly what they’re looking for suggests to me that they expect “America” to decide. In which case, they can’t quibble with whom “America” chooses.

  • sf3456

    I am now thinking wonder who will be in the Finale with him? LOL
    Robbie Rosen? Brett? or another guy? Maybe a girl with guitar. LOL

    Maybe Tim Halperin. Maybe Casey. Either way, it won’t be a girl. The girls will be picked off first.

  • Incipit

    Flyaway – he obviously knows what to pick that suits his own voice – he did “Maggie May” in the auditions. Whether from nerves or acoustics, it still seems to need better breath support, IMO. Though I wouldn’t mind hearing him do a little more Rod Stewart with more confidence…still – I was only a mild fan of the original sound when Rod Stewart was in his heyday, it was unique then, but there’s not a lot of scope there – and I’m not all that interested in revisiting it. It may suit others just fine – if Idol even gives him the choice to stay in that groove.

  • Dlynne

    Here’s a video where Paul talks about where he got the suit. It was designed for him by Manny of Manuel Couture in Nashville. Manny has made suits for Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Elvis and a lot of other famous artists.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kLB_PuIOSk

    It does look a lot like the suit that Gram Parsons wore designed by Nudie, though. Perhaps that’s where the inspiration came from. I think I like Paul’s better.

    I really like Paul’s style. He’s different and stands out from the cookie cutter mold. He likes vintage clothing so I’m sure we’ll see some other interesting stuff while he’s on the show.

  • Dlynne

    Flyaway – he obviously knows what to pick that suits his own voice – he did “Maggie May” in the auditions. Whether from nerves or acoustics, it still seems to need better breath support, IMO. Though I wouldn’t mind hearing him do a little more Rod Stewart with more confidence…still – I was only a mild fan of the original sound when Rod Stewart was in his heyday, it was unique then, but there’s not a lot of scope there – and I’m not all that interested in revisiting it. It may suit others just fine – if Idol even gives him the choice to stay in that groove.

    He’s been sick so maybe he’s not 100% yet. He was really sick just before he left for Hollywood two or three weeks ago. If you listen to some of his music with The Grand Magnolias you’ll be able to see him in great form. He can belt it out when he’s not sick.

  • Esqt

    Ewww… dated. A male Bowersox. That said, he can go far.

  • karenc

    I think he has a distinctive, interesting voice, and I kind of like his original music. I think that he is much more country rock than the other WGWG have been, other than Casey James. If he does do well on the show, and even ended up winning, that might be the distinction. He seems to have a lot of experience and knows who he is as an artist and that’s the type of contestant that I like best on the show.

    And I think that if another WGWG won this year, he would have to be really spectacular and distinct from the others that have already won in order to prevent a backlash.

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    Love him

  • samgamgee

    I like Paul’s voice. A raspy, expressive voice who has a feel for good music.

  • Incipit

    He can belt it out when he’s not sick.

    Dlynne, I tried to watch some of this tonight – and there are plenty of belters of both sexes, Randy must be thrilled – I just think it ironic. New Idol w/Early Idol-style singers.

    But it’s not the belting I’m listening for – it’s a voice w/a tone that pleases, that sounds supported all through it’s range – not just the top or the bottom end, it’s no distractions because of poor technique, or vocal tricks – or pyrotechnics – only wail when it serves the song – it’s nuance in delivery and the feeling of a story told, a story that I believe…and not because someone belted it at me, or fancy danced all over the notes – but because the singer believes in it, and delivered. So it’s all rather subjective…

    I have no verdicts – they just started. The show has a long way to run – and everyone has a chance to grow and improve, IMO.

  • Dlynne

    Incipit, I understand. I was just responding to the weak voice and lack of breath, both of which can be compromised when one is sick. That’s all. I really love his voice but I totally understand that he will not please everyone – not that anyone can, of course. I just wanted to bring his illness to everyone’s attention because as beautiful as his performance was last night, he was not able to sing as well as he can. I thought he was protecting his vocal chords during the Blackbird performance. It’s all good, though! :smile: