He wears big-cat pins, sings like Rod Stewart, dances like no one’s watching (even though all of America is), and has the whitest teeth we’ve ever seen. But what hidden secrets lie beneath Paul McDonald’s shiny, scruffy veneer? Read on for the top 10 things you need to know about the raspy rapscallion, including what he says Simon Cowell would think of him.
1. A man with a band: Before he became Idol’s resident smoky voice, Paul McDonald worked his magic as part of The Grand Magnolias, acting as guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist. The multi-instrumentalist can also play the banjo, mandolin, and harmonica. (Check out one of their vids below.)
2. He’s on the market: Want to schedule some quality time with Mr. McDonald? Now’s your chance. According to his Twitter, he’s sans children, wife, and girlfriend. Oh, and he thinks J.Lo is hot, so if you look like her, you’ve probably got a pretty good chance.
3. The great white smirk: Have you seen the chompers on this guy? Don’t look directly into the mouth of Paul, lest you be blinded by them in all their gleaming glory. Where did he get those wonderful teeth? Well, this Idol fave was studying to be pediatric dentist before his career skyrocketed, so he figured keeping his set of whites pearly was a priority, and he braved braces back in the day.
4. What he sings when he’s getting sudsy: Idols! They’re just like us! Paul likes to belt it out while he’s in the shower (yeah, we know some of you are picturing that right now), but what’s on his song list? The latest hit he’s written, natch.
5. His first spit swap was… sloppy? Not everyone can have a magical first kiss, and we guess PM’s falls into opposite category. A bit of a late bloomer, Paul’s first time (smooching, that is) was in his 1990 Volvo 740. Uh, sounds like the car was more memorable than the kiss?
6. His iPod folkin’ rocks: When asked what he’s jammin’ to as of late, the croaky crooner cited the bluesy Black Keys and the London folksters Mumford and Sons.
7. He’s into freestyle dancing: Although he’s become quite well known for his impromptu jigs on the Idol stage, Paul doesn’t think he’s quite Soul Train material. “Every time we do these group dances I'm reminded why I never pursued a dancing career. Haha Choreographed dance is my worst enemy,” he tweeted. Stumble/dance to the beat of your own drummer, Paul.
8. He knows how to rock bedhead: When Paul packs a suitcase, it looks more like an art project than a means of conveying belongings. So we learned from this tweeted pic that Paul’s not exactly organized, but that’s probably because he’s too busy rubbing creams and other products into his perfectly tousled hair. Fun game: How many beauty bottles can you spot in this snap?
9. He’s Team Coco: Are you reading this, Conan O’Brien? Paul McDonald wants to duet with you. He tweeted, “My two musical goals before idol were to play Bonnaroo (which we got to do!) and play on Conan while letting him sit in on guitar...” Personally, we’d love to hear you two reprise Conan’s lullaby.
10. He’s super glad he wasn’t a Season 9 contestant: While the judges’ panel is full of Paul McDonald fans this year, the rocker is pretty sure he wouldn’t have gotten as lucky were His Snarkiness Simon Cowell around. “He would hate me…” tweeted Paul when asked how the King of Mean would critique him. Well, we just got word Simon thinks Rebecca Black’s song is genius, so…