Compared to his fellow season 10 “Idol” contestants, Paul McDonald is very much the journeyman, similar to older contestants from previous seasons such as Taylor Hicks, Bucky Covington and Bo Bice.
Nobody else on this tour has the experience or perspective he possesses. He has been touring for years. As an Alabama native and Nashville resident, he has spent plenty of time working the small clubs in Atlanta such as Smith’s Olde Bar and Vinyl. He did 99X’s Unplugged In the Park at Park Tavern and the Virginia Highland Summerfest. He spent his day off in Atlanta last Monday with his “Twilight” actress fiance Nikki Reed in Little Five Points and lunched at the Vortex. When he’s not on stage (and he spends less time on stage than anybody else on the “Idol” tour), he goes back to the tour bus and works on his original music.
He did “Idol” as a lark, had no thought he’d ever make it to the top 10. He’s just enjoying the ride.
I have to give him credit for getting a good portion of the Atlanta audience on their feet (without prompting) when he began singing “Maggie May,” his only solo number. But he got points off for me by asking the rest of the crowd to stand up. I always give performers major points off when they have to GOAD people to stand up. You may as well as them to sing along and clap, too. Ugh.
Here’s my video interview with him from last Tuesday during the “Idols Live” tour stop at Gwinnett Arena: