Ousted "Idol" Paul McDonald opens up about the show

Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:23pm EDT
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By Jason Lipshutz

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Although he was eliminated from "American Idol's" season 10 competition Thursday night, Paul McDonald is still smiling a day later. After performing Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'N' Roll" on Wednesday's episode, the Nashville-based rock singer received the fewest votes of the eight contestants and bid farewell with a cover of Rod Stewart's "Maggie May."

While he will watch the season's Top 7 from the sidelines, Paul has a promising year ahead of him: aside from the upcoming "Idol" season 10 tour, the singer's unique voice will be heard in the rock outfit the Grand Magnolias, and he just began a relationship with "Twilight" actress Nikki Reed.

In a conference call today, Paul maintained his carefree attitude while talking about his new romance, his infamous white suit, and Scotty McCreery's many female fans.

Q: You've said that you wish you had done some things differently on the show. What regrets do you have?

A: Some of the song choices that I did weren't probably the best ones for me. When I first tried out, this whole thing was just kinda for fun, and I didn't even expect to get this far in the competition. So when I got up here, I kind of listened to some people when I probably should have stuck with my gut. But other than that, it was fun. I just maybe wish I had done some more of these obscure artists and stuff, more of the vibe of music that I was into. Because it came across onstage -- I didn't feel comfortable a whole lot of the time, just because I felt like it wasn't me all of the time.

Q: You have such a unique voice and style. Coming in, what were your expectations? What did you think America was gonna think of you?

A: In all honesty, I tried not to think of that at all. I never watched the show while I was on it, I never went back and read reviews of what people thought. I was doing exactly what I wanted to do coming in there, although it was tough picking all these different songs and trying to do them. But I was being me. I came in there, and it was funny because the hair and makeup team would be like, "Man, we don't need to do anything to you today." I was like, "All right, cool." And the stylist was like, "I like your clothes better than what we got!" So I just kinda did my own thing, and it worked out good enough for eighth place. So I'm pretty happy about it.

Q: In addition to your singing, you also became known for your flashy outfits. Can you take any of those home?   Continued...