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Step it up Huntsville: Vote for Paul

Published 7:52am Friday, April 8, 2011

Paul McDonald needs your help.

His million watt smile has brightened up the American Idol stage this season, and the singer has done his best to make the Rocket City proud.

We need to return the favor.

The extremely talented Huntsville native was in the “Bottom Three” last Thursday on American Idol, which if you’ve watched even one episode you know is a crime.

The unique spin he has put on every song has been season 10’s saving grace, in my opinion.

His raspy voice and star quality have connected with the judges, but they no longer have the power of a save.

They wasted that on Casey Abrams.

Nothing against Casey Abrams, but he is no Paul McDonald.

McDonald is joining the ranks of other Alabamians that have rocked the American Idol stage.

Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard and Bo Bice have all gone far, but we can’t rely on McDonald’s Alabama lineage to pull him through.

We need to vote.

I admit, I’m a little biased. 

My love of McDonald began several years ago at Auburn.

As the lead singer of Hightide Blue, he turned Sig Ep tailgates into concerts, and had me swaying on Saturdays while I sipped a beverage.

I now cover American Idol each week for the Record, and although I now enjoy McDonald’s music in a more professional setting, it has not lost its magic.

I still think McDonald has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard, and I love the way he makes every single song his own.

His willingness to break outside the Billboard “Top 40” is refreshing and a much needed twist to the show that many of my fellow 20-somethings believe is too “family-friendly.”

In fact, age might be my favorite thing about McDonald.

He is an adult.

He has attended college, and actually given the music industry a chance. He has toured across the country and recorded an album with his band, which began as Hightide Blues and is now known as The Grand Magnolias.

He is not a 15-year-old child who, despite their love of music, has never professionally recorded a day in his or her life or even legally driven a car.

Don’t get me wrong, a huge voice on a kid is impressive, but a huge voice does not always come with the maturity or experience that should go with becoming an Idol.

McDonald has a sense of maturity and an experience level that the other contestants can’t match, and I truly believe he should be the next American Idol.

This column will be printed before the votes can be counted Thursday night, and I hope it’s not too late.

If McDonald makes it another week, let’s step it up Huntsville.

Let’s show him his hometown is proud.

And win or lose, Paul McDonald will always be our idol.

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