Wade on Birmingham

Alabamian Paul McDonald competes as ‘American Idol’ finalist


Paul McDonald, American Idol

Huntsville’s Paul McDonald will compete
in the Top 13 on “American Idol.”

During the first five seasons of “American Idol,” you could hardly see an episode without someone from Birmingham belting out a tune. Champions Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks and runner-up Bo Bice made it through three seasons of competition.

But the recent five seasons have been Alabama free. Until now.

Auburn native Paul McDonald will be part of the Top 13 on the 10th season of “American Idol.” The Fox reality competition features singers as young as 15 performing for viewers’ votes, with the winner receiving a recording contract.

In case you’ve tuned out, the show has brought in new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler (so long, Simon Cowell) to team with Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest. The competition show will air at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, and the results will air at 7 p.m. Thursday on Fox 6.

Video: Paul McDonald sings “Maggie May” in his
Top 24 performance on “American Idol.”

McDonald, 26, graduated from Huntsville High School and performs with his band the Grand Magnolias, formerly Hightide Blues, based in Nashville. McDonald’s parents live in Huntsville.

He advanced from the group of 24 contestants with Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” and also performed “Blackbird” by the Beatles and “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard in earlier rounds. The singer has also released three albums, including this year’s self-titled” The Grand Magnolias.”

McDonald has also been active in social media, originally on Twitter as @thePaulMcDonald with nearly 10,000 followers, and now tweeting from his mandated “Idol” account at @PMcDonaldAI10, the first of this season’s contestants to reach 5,000 followers.

The Grand Magnolias has its own Facebook page.

McDonald breaks a four-season drought for Alabama on the top-rated show. He spent the day sleeping in and preparing to see the premiere of “Red Riding Hood.”

His first round of finals competition begins Wednesday.

In December, Huntsville a cappella group Committed won “The Sing-Off,” NBC’s reality singing competition. Fairhope native and former Auburn head cheerleader Krista Klumpp has been competing in this season of “Survivor: Redemption Island.”

Video: Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle perform
“Blackbird” by the Beatles during the Las Vegas
round of “American Idol.”

“American Idol” fans: If you would like to write recaps and features
for Wade on Birmingham, please contact me for details.


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More “American Idol” at idol.wadeonbirmingham.com.

1 Yip for “Alabamian Paul McDonald competes as ‘American Idol’ finalist”

  1. Wade on Birmingham » Paul McDonald on ‘American Idol’: Top 13
    Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 9:40 pm

    […] if (hours>12){ hours=hours-12 } if (hours==0) hours=12 if (minutes Sphere: Related Content Also see:Alabamian Paul McDonald competes as ‘American Idol’ finalistHeads up: The new realityTaylor Hicks: Idol interviewHeads up: Slicks nix Hicks’ licksHeads […]

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