Wednesday, March 9, 2011

American Idol: An Ode to Paul McDonald


Tonight, American Idol's Top 13 head into the finals, so it seemed like the perfect time to give the lovely hiker in heels writer Arestia Rosenberg an opportunity to gush about our favorite contestant, Paul McDonald. No disclaimers necessary—the views and opinions expressed here are 100% endorsed by Please Welcome Your Judges. Take it away, Arestia!

After a seven-year hiatus, I'm watching American Idol again.

You've heard about the shiny new and surprisingly awesome judge changes, the format facelift courtesy of So You Think You Can Dance producer Nigel Lythgoe and the promising new talent taking the main stage (sorry, Ryan Seacrest will still make you feel uncomfortable), all of which are contributing to the show's successful resurrection from the dead and my new found fandom I lost somewhere between Clay Aiken and the Taylor Hicks monster.

But I'm here to talk about my semi-creepy love of Paul McDonald. Now, hold your horses, PWYJ fans. I am not the kind of girl that sits out in trees all night after a date à la those Virgin Mobile commercials. I mean, I will Google the man, but who doesn't? I am not a crazed, raging hormone teen fan and, aside from an unexplainable new love of Justin Bieber (ew, not in that way!), I don't really have a history of going Black Swan crazy over heartthrob celebs.

Let's make a list and try to make sense of this then, shall we?
  1. He's southern. Ladies, am I right?
  2. He's passionate about music. You can tell from his work with his own band, The Grand Magnolias, and every time he takes the stage on Idol because he's not trying to prove anything. He's doing him and doing what he loves—unique and genuine.
  3. That million dollar smile *swoon* Fun Fact: Paul McDonald's teeth has its own Twitter account (@PaulMcDsTeeth). Can't make that up and look it up at your own risk—the background is terrifying.
  4. It's about time Idol had some Americana music! It's no secret that a lot of my favorite bands include a banjo and a ton of string instruments and have soft, but explosive sounds (see: The Avett Brothers, Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers, Ryan Montbleau Band, Caravan of Thieves, Yonder Mountain String Band... ok, I'll stop). It's a great choice to have a performer with this sound on Idol, and I must say, a welcomed first.
  5. Ok, fine. He's quite handsome. I can't help it, but I'm in my 20s and looks still matter, ok?
  6. We're soulmates
So, why aren't you on the party bus for the Paul McD Fan Club? Go ahead and let yourself fall in love with his music, his performance and him. But if we're ever together at a bar somewhere and he happens to walk in—back off. I saw him first.

Arestia Rosenberg is a freelance film/tv producer (and my BFF).  She writes the inspiration blog hiker in heels.
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