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‘Idol’ Top 8 Results Night: Paul McDonald Dances His Last Dance

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

After last week's jaw-dropping elimination of America's sweetheart, Pia Toscano, I figured nothing could surprise me again on "American Idol." And this week, nothing did. This Thursday's results show hardly packed the shock-and-awe wallop of last week's, since the three contestants that pundits, including yours truly, widely predicted would be in the bottom three--Paul McDonald, Haley Reinhart, and Stefano Langone--indeed received the fewest votes. But just because I wasn't surprised didn't mean I wasn't deeply, deeply saddened to see Paul McDonald, this week's castoff, dance offstage at the end of the night, becoming the first male contestant to leave the show.

Sigh. I will miss Paul dearly. I will miss his Pepsodent smile, his sequined suits, his lurching "McDonald Two-Step" dance, even his constant queries as to whether the audience is doing all right tonight. (We're fine, Paul, thanks for asking.) Paul was one of the edgiest, most musical, and just downright coolest Idols to grace the show's stage in a long, long time, and "Idol" simply will not be as fun or as interesting without him.

So I have to take this opportunity to thank Paul for being so aweosme and teaching Jennifer Lopez, and much of the rest of America, who "Ryan Adams with an R" is. You done good, Paul. I just hope you're best remembered for your stellar moments, like "Blackbird," "Come Pick Me Up," "Folsom Prison Blues," or the song J.Lo requested you sing as your swan song, "Maggie May"--and not the ill-advised Seger cheesefest that got you booted off this week.

As for poor Haley, who'd been rising in the ranks in the past few weeks and really didn't deserve to be the only contestant to receive a negative critique on Wednesday, she didn't deserve to be in the bottom three, either. Making her placing even more bittersweet was the fact that she was torn asunder from her rumored sweetheart Casey, with whom she'd just sung a pleasingly chemistry-filled jazz duet, after Ryan announced the results and sent Casey back to the couch. But now those two lovebirds will still be around to make beautiful music together for at least one more week.

And as for Stefano...he's been on the chopping block before, but his showing this week probably had as much to do with a backlash stemming from last week's Toscano-gate scandal, when he was in the bottom two with Pia and took what many "Idol" fans thought was Pia's rightful spot. Stefano has handled himself with class and dignity throughout the whole ordeal, both onstage and on Twitter--but it's pretty obvious that his time is almost up.

And finally, regarding the remaining contestants, Scotty McCreery was first one sent to safety this evening, of course, since the boy is seemingly coated in Teflon--seriously, he can forget all the words in Hollywood Week, bully Jacee Badeaux, hold his microphone like it's a chicken leg, slouch like Quasimodo, and basically deliver the same smirking performance week after week...and he gets a free pass every time. I just don't get it.

Anyway, the rest of Thursday's hour-long results show was packed with the usual 57 minutes of filler--including a very misguided Simon & Garfunkel medley (the "sound of silence" would have been better, indeed), yet another zombie-themed Ford music video, lots of awkward Rihanna/Seacrest banter, and a weird motivational speaking engagement by Rob Reiner (um, why?). The one bright spot? A duet by rising country king Jason Aldean (Scotty, please take notes) and the Original Idol, Miss Kelly Clarkson. Kelly was amazing, as always, but her appearance made the night even more depressing, as it made me realize that this show will probably never, ever find someone like Kelly ever again.

Parker out.

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