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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)

Next ,Please let it be Stephano or Jacob the screach owl.....these two are way out of their league

Now,after this last show you know why PIA was sent home,she was and is boring! As for Paul,he never belonged in the top 12,James is out of sight,and will do well without winning the title.Stefano is too short and Jacob ,Oh! God! please get rid of him soon.As for Scotty,he has this strange neck twisting move that looks spastic,Casey can,t win ,he isn,t cute enough......My guess,it,s Lauren ,if she knocks off that twang.

I'm with Erica Stephens except I would say Jacob and then Stephano. I would love to see the top 2 as Haley and Casey. Yeah another one bites the dust.

-- Tdizzle

Finally Paul is gone!! I don't know how many more weeks I could take of him. My hubby thinks he's a Bee Gee wannabe, but personally I don't think the Bee Gees would have had anything to do with him. He is very forgettable.

Honestly I think Haley needs to go, I am tired of her singing, things about her just stink! I am tired of her period! Even before Pia was voted off I didn't care for her but especially from the show that night when Pia was let go, just roll the tape from that night and last night I think you can see for yourself!
I thought she would go last night, or Stephano,Jacob,Paul. In that order... Who's album would you buy? Who would you go see at a concert? None of the above!

@Shane.. I cannot see where you could make a statement about James Durban as an " Adam Lambert wanna be ", that is totally ridiculous. I don't see any funky eyeliner do you? I like Adam Lambert, he is his own person, an awesome entertainer in his own right.. I think you need to brush up on your James Durban homework!

Loved Paul ,lots of fun, but my favorite is Scotty! Pia bored me.


I'm pulling for Casey, James, or Scotty to win. I was sad to see Paul go but I knew his time was coming. I hate it when my favorite goes, but at the same time it's kind of better NOT to win, as we all know. You don't have that idol contract where you can be as creative as you want. This way, they can hopefully get a deal with a label WHILE Idol is still on. Which can help boost their popularity because people know who they are. Then, they can continue to promote themselves and their music while on tour with Idol.

When Paul releases a CD or a single...I will buy. He is very creative, talented and modern. This year has some great talent on there....it's Haley's time to go.

No mention of the wonderful Haley-Casey duet? She was stunning, and I hope it buys her another few weeks. when that girl is on, she's ON.

Haley did good on the duet with Casey, but it is her time. She can sing, but I don't understand where people think she has soul. She's just alright..she's no Alicia Keys Or Janis Joplin. And its crazy how people think her and Casey are together, you can tell that they aren't. When they were singing, his body language was open and he was making eye contact with her. Half the time she wouldn't even look at him. She just focused on the camera. She is soooo fake! The final four need to be casey, james, lauren and scotty. I would be cool if any of those winning =)

The only reason I'm bummed is that Paul never sang a Cat Stevens song. Kept waiting for his version of "Father and Son." In fact, if American Idol were really cool, they'd have a Cat Stevens night and call it "The Ysuf Islam Hootenany." It certainly would be the most interesting night American Idol has had in years.

Although his style is out of sync with the majority of IDOL viewers, for overall musicianship Casey is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. It's just that his recording contract will be on a jazz label -- which makes it extraordinary that he has lasted as long as he has.

I have very mixed feelings. On one hand, he is probably the contestant whose albums I would like most, and play repeatedly. If he doesn't make an album, then I will be upset. He is a more extreme version of Rod Stewart and I like Rod Stewart. On the other hand, in terms of pure genious, and in wanting to see what tricks they will pull next, there are 5 other contestants who I want to watch on TV more. Note, any other season, Paul could have easily won, but this season - its true, he was in the bottom 3 for me.

What a bummer. I loved Paul, great voice and showmanship. I will be first in line to buy his CD once he gets a recording contract and he should have one before end of summer tour. Way to go Paul. You should have a least made it to the final two. Luv you guy.

I like paul especiqlly that last song he sang

Stefano better get his ass of that stage next week. I don't see how he outlasted Thia, let alone Pia. And Haley shouldn't be in the bottom three. She is one of the most original and talented performers there.

I'm rooting for Haley all the way. Lauren is good, but we've seen too many pretty, blonde country girls on American Idol. It's getting old. Jacob's gotta go and Stefano has REALLY gotta go. Casey, although interesting, would find more success away from Idol. Haley is original, soulful, and easily the most talented one there.

casey and paul have been the very best since day one. my lgrandchildren and I were all shocked that Paul left. Yes, he was amazingly similar to Stewart and sang Magie May even better than the original artist. It is a shame that a mistake was made.

I was very disappointed to see Paul McDonald go home. He has a great personality and a 'good different' voice that I really enjoyed. Hopefully he will get a recording contract soon.

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