"American Idol" took viewers to the movies in Wednesday night's episode, and if Oscars had been awarded, finalist Paul McDonald would have been a lock for Best Costume.
McDonald, son of UTC instructor Susan McDonald, opened the show wearing a black sequined suit that was as loud as his rendition of "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" from "Risky Business." The suit, which judge Randy Jackson compared to Porter Wagoner's style, was embroidered in large red roses down the sleeves and pants legs.
Jackson told the singer America had just witnessed the "opening number of a Paul McDonald concert" Judge Steven Tyler asked to borrow the suit to go out on tour.
Rossville's Lauren Alaina Suddeth followed McDonald onstage, singing Miley Cyrus's hit, "The Climb." Producer Jimmy Iovine chided Suddeth for the selection in their taped mentoring session, telling the 16-year-old her voice was stronger than Cyrus's.
Suddeth, who was dressed in a metallic zebra-print bustier over black lace mini-skirt, said she chose the song because it describes her current quest on the TV show. "Everything about the song screams 'Idol'," said Suddeth.
Judge Jennifer Lopez told Suddeth she "loved the tear she has in her voice, that it transmits to the audience." Tyler told the teen, "I love what you bring to a song and how you own it."
The eight finalists become seven Thursday night at 8 p.m. on Fox.
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