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'American Idol' results: Paul McDonald is eliminated


"American Idol" voters eliminated another contestant on Thursday night, tapping Paul McDonald to take his bright white smile, his flowery suits, his distinctive voice and fascinatingly jerky dance moves and go home.  

Maybe he should have slid onstage in his tighty-whiteys – a la Tom Cruise – after all on Wednesday night, when he sang Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll."

Oh well. Paul, honestly, didn't seem too wrecked up about the news. The flash of teeth wavered for only a moment, and then was restored. In fact, Stefano Langone, who stood side by side with Paul in the bottom three (which, by the way, I miraculously guessed correctly), looked far more upset about the news that Paul would go home than Paul did.

Stefano, a fixture in the bottom three, seems to have the eliminated-contestant-support thing down to a science: the stunned look, the long hug, the whispered words of encouragement. I might have to start calling him Mr. End of the Road.

Or maybe Paul really deserves that title, seeing as he is (finally, finally) the first guy to be sent home since the top 13 took shape. Ryan Seacrest reminded us of this very fact before sending Haley Reinhart to safety.

(Also noted: Casey Abrams looked pretty darn happy to see Haley head back to the couches. Kelly Clarkson might want to give up that Casey crush.)

"We're bummed about this, man. You're the life of the party," Ryan said, perhaps trying to stir up a little of that Pia Toscano-departure-esque sadness. Or perhaps he was truly sorry to see Paul go. Who knows? But he continued, "You've had such an amazing impact on our show. You really have."

Has he?

Ultimately, the nonchalance Paul displayed at having been voted off, while impressive, may have been the very thing that did him in: He never really seemed to muster a lot of heat out there, though "Maggie May," which Jennifer Lopez asked to hear one last time, was definitely an "Idol" highlight for him.  It was nice to hear him sing it again and remind us why he lasted as long as he did.

"It's OK. It's OK," Paul reassured, adding that it had been "a good time." He sounded for all the world as if he were thanking his hosts at the end of a backyard barbecue.

So I guess, you know, thanks for coming, Paul. We had fun, too.

How about you? Are you sorry to see Paul go? And more important, do you think we'll ever get to see Casey play "Seth Rogan's younger, bass-playing brother," as Rob Reiner suggested? Why couldn't that happen?

Full Show Tracker coverage of "American Idol"

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: AMERICAN IDOL: The Final 8: Clockwise from Left: Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald, Srefano Langone, Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and James Durbin. Credit: Michael Becker / FOX.

Comments () | Archives (67)

If based on last night's judges comments, Haley should have went home. But I guess they are saving the last 2 girls in there.
I wouldn't mind durbin who is a lambert wannabe be eliminated. Enough of the screaming! Though I must say, they really have good talents this year.

Where is Simon? I love the judges but they need to give the contestants constructive criticism because they really don't sound that great if you're listening from home.

Finally! The guy was all style and no substance. He's the Dane Cook of singing!

America got it right again and Casey "Cool" did a great job on the duet. Pia's absence looks justified and she won't be performing her outdated pageant style ballads anymore. It's been a great season and as Randy noted, the Grammies present awards in many categories whether it's Country, Jazz, Pop, Gosple or Rock and this year is truly unique since we have Idol's in all categories. Even though I'm a huge fan of Casey, James and Scotty could win it all also. So sit back and enjoy the ride the ratings are going through the roof after three very boring seasons. How they managed to gather all this talent in one season is amazing.

all of the singers are great! but when they do mess up the judges still say how wonderful they did? casey messed up a lot last night he must have cleared his throat atleast five times. you dont hear the pro's do that, so why was he given the "right on?"

America made a huge mistake sending Pia home, she by far had the best voice and star quality. The person that needs to go home is Jacob, he is a gospel singer not an American Idol. He will never sell any records and will be forgotten about kind of like Rueben or the grey haired 28 year old that won 4 years ago or so. Nobody ever remembers his name or even that he was an Idol winner. Jacob will be in the same boat unfortunetly. He is a sweet guy but not Idol material and the judges need to stop raving about him and let him go home.

I was bummed, but I knew it was coming for Paul. I honestly think he'll fare better of the show because he can focus on his original stuff. The Grand Magnolias album is fantastic. I'll be waiting for more.

I was sad to see Paul, and I thought he put on a brave face. He's a classy guy who has been trying to work at a music career, so he understands it's a road. I thought he was one of the more interesting and unique performers that stood out. I thought he should have lasted well beyond Haley, Jacob, Stefano, and Casey. In this day and age you need the talent plus the uniqueness and Paul has it.

Fortunately for Paul, I think his long term career looks brighter than many of the remaining idols and I foresee him to have more of a Daughtry path.

For the remaining idols, here's hoping James continues to the end, or this season of great talent will tank quickly with the early exit of Pia and Paul.

I am glad Im not on the panel of judges this year because I think they are All winners. I am sure they will All be successful in their careers. And the judges have been wonderful this year and alot more positive and supportive rather than chopping them down as it has been in previous years. Great show this year!!!!

My prayers were answered tonight. I don't have to listen to any more of Paul's screeching. Maybe my tinnitus will go away now.

the best idol ever and I was sorry to see Paul go, also Pia but the talent is so good this year, I just don't think the girls have been as good as the guys, would have liked to have one of the girls go than Paul, hope we hear from him again

paul should of went home before pia but lets face it paul could'nt sing or act like rod sterwert the rest of the show as well as pia could only emitated celeone deone for so long. as far as jacbob goes gospel can only so far.

Paul was fantastic!! I was so very disappointed to see him eliminated.
He was one of the top performers in my opinion.
I will be watching for Paul because I'm sure he will be performing again!

I think paul is possibly my favorite, but I am not that surprised to see him go. His songs haven't been electric of late. Just because he already has a couple awesome recorded songs that I have downloaded doesn't mean he is going to have success on Idol. I think he is ok with the elimination because he knows that he is going to be able to go home and crush a new record.

Well... Paul is gone it look like I won't be tuning in to American Idol. Paul had such an unique style. It's nice to hear something different on Idol. With all do respect Adam Lambert was so last year.......we really don't want to live through that again. Love his music but lets move on. :)

Langone is next.

We were very disappointed to see such a lively, spirited and TALENTED contestant be voted off the show. Paul was truly the highlight of every show with his creativity, uniquess and outgoing personality, he will go far beyond American Idol! We continue to be very discouraged that Casey Abrams is being pushed down our throats by the judges and getting extra air time on camera as if he has already won. We find him repulsive with his overly dramatic antics and horrible singing style, if that is what you can even call it. Far more talented contestants have already been sent home, but why even bother voting when the decision has already been made for us.

I like smile of Paul...... He will be a great singer in future....... All The Best Paul & keep it up........)

Why is Haley still there. She should have gone few weeks ago. Most boring and fake person to look at in this top 12.
I hope she goes next.

Wow Best Haley performance hands down in that duet....She was so in the groove. Would definitely pay to see that.

Funny, even though there are only two women left, in the duets, side by side the girls' voices outclass their male counterparts.

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