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Paul McDonald is known for his unique voice, pearly whites and signature dance moves, but last night his performance was a bit shaky. The Nashville crooner battled a cold, and his vocals weren’t up to par. However, Paul managed to get the crowd on their feet and swayed across the stage through his performance of Elton John‘s 1984 hit “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues.”

While the Twitterverse dubbed Paul’s rendition of the Elton classic “his worst performance” the judges were more forgiving.

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“Baby, baby, baby…I know. I feel you. I know you felt like you were struggling up there,” Jennifer Lopez began.

“I was, man,” Paul replied shaking his head.

“I know, baby, but it sounded good,” J.Lo continued. “You have so much soul and so much star quality that it overcame that. And every singer has their on the road cold they have this sinus thing going on and it happens and you did, baby, you really did. That is why they were on their feet.”

Randy Jackson‘s critic went in a different direction.

“I kind of differ with Jennifer a little bit. I’m not going to give a pass because you have a cold because every performer has to deal with that. Some of the notes were very pitchy,” Randy began.

He then started to praise Paul for continuing to bring his own style to his performances and likened him to artist Ray LaMontagne.

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“That’s what I like about you. You try to find a way to make it your own… ‘I’m not Elton, I’m gonna put the Paul Spin on it’ and for that I love more than anything.”

“But get the notes right, get the notes right,” he warned.

“You define a cool dude in a loose mood,” Steven Tyler said in his signature speak. “Your swagger up there is way cool. And the way you sing your notes, it’s like when we listen to records and its a very distinctive voice… that’s what you’re doing.”

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Before his performance, Paul’s parents gushes about their son on a pre-recorded video, saying “He was always the center of attention, and always the entertainer.”

Paul used to run around singing in a cowboy suit, not much different from his action’s on the Idol stage!

“Good morning! Thanks for all the support last night guys! I’m getting some rest and pounding vitamin C!” he Tweeted today.

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We want your thoughts on Paul’s rendition of the 1984 hit. Do you think he will be sent home? Or did his cold and swagger work?

Catch his performance below!

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