"Idol" chatter: Contestant's dress jacket rankles Marines


“American Idol” contestant Paul McDonald drew the ire of some viewers for wearing a Marine Corps dress blue blouse during a March 9 performance. The jacket bore no patches, chevrons or other military insignias.

McDonald sported the tunic during a live performance of “Come Pick Me Up” by the musician Ryan Adams. His hometown newspaper, The Huntsville (Ala.) Times, ran this story about his wardrobe selection the following day that drew varied comments from web readers.

“Just because he’s free to do so, doesn’t mean we have to like it,” wrote commenter Rockadile12. “The uniform was actually worn by brave individuals who fought and died.”

“Much ado about nothing,” replied commenter AngryBiker. “I’ve seen these for sale in military surplus and thrift stores. Where’s y’all’s collective indignation for that?”

McDonald, 26, on his personal Twitter account (@PMcDonaldAI10) apologized for the perceived sartorial slip-up.

“Just to let everyone know I have nothing but respect for our men and women in the armed forces. Tons of respect for you guys,” he tweeted, followed by another saying, “I’ve been told my jacket on the show upset some folks…I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. Sorry! I’ve got nothing but love for you guys!”

McDonald is among the 12 “Idol” finalists, and will perform again tomorrow evening on the show, which airs on FOX.

It’s not the first time a military-inspired outfit choice caught viewers’ eyes. Season 8 “Idol” contestant Scott MacIntyre — who is visually impaired — took some flak on the Military Times messages boards in 2009 for wearing this Army-like jacket with service decorations.


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  1. Matt McClellan on

    As a current serving member in Army Reserves. I can understand. If you where in the military. And you earned those awards. Or maybe wear a old field jacket w/your unit patch on it. Far, as going on TV with any previously owned military clothing. That’s a no go. I might wear a small American pin. On my lapel. Sorry, am not a fan of the Idol Show.

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