Paul McDonald Talks Pearly Whites, ‘American Idol’ Appeal

Nashville crooner with gleaming choppers tells MTV News he studied to be a dentist 'before all this rock-and-roll stuff.'

Nashville’s Paul McDonald has quickly established himself as one of the more dynamic finalists in this year’s “American Idol” top 13.

From his sparkly Nudie-style suit to his Chris Martin-esque shuffling dance moves and thousand-watt smile, the raspy-voiced indie singer has carved out his own unique place amid the teen crooners and R&B stylists.

Judge Jennifer Lopez has already commented a few times about McDonald’s smile, telling him on Wednesday night’s first top-13 performance show that his grin was infectious and spread to the audience during Paul’s take on a Ryan Adams song.

“I brush ‘em once or twice a day, I try to keep them decent,” he smiled last Thursday at the afterparty for the top 13. Considering he’s still a starving artist, McDonald also gave a plug to the same toothpaste he’s been using since high school in the hope that a box of the stuff would end up on his doorstep. (It’s Crest Advanced Vivid White, by the way.)

“For some reason it keeps them lookin’ all right, you know?” he said, before dropping the bombshell biographical tidbit that explains it all. “And I was going to be a dentist beforehand, before all this rock-and-roll stuff started, so I figured I need to keep my teeth decent,” he revealed. “I’m being dead serious. I went to school for biomedical sciences and I was going to be a pediatric dentist before the rock-and-roll singer/songwriter path took off.”

McDonald will hopefully keep smiling after Thursday night’s (March 10) elimination episode, when he’ll find out if he has made it to next week’s top 12.

Will you be rooting for Paul on “Idol”? Share your picks in the comments!

Don’t miss “Idol Party Live” every Thursday on MTV.com, following the “American Idol” results show, for analysis, celebrity guests and even some karaoke — get in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #idolparty! In the meantime, get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page , where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.

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