Parenthood Exclusive: American Idol's Paul McDonald Cast as [Spoiler]'s New Crush Interest

Paul McDonald Parenthood Another notable American Idol grad is making the leap into acting.

Paul McDonald — whose gravelly voice and mega-watt smile carried him to an eighth place finish on Fox’s reality juggernaut — has booked a potentially recurring role on Parenthood, TVLine has learned exclusively.

The singer-songrwiter will play a musician who uses Crosby and Adam’s recording space, The Luncheonette, and promptly catches the eye of the studio’s new assistant, Amber (Mae Whitman).

RELATED | Parenthood Scoop — Will Ray Romano Come Between Sarah and Mark?

This will mark McDonald’s acting debut.

Parenthood‘s fourth season premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 11 on NBC.

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  1. Theo says:

    Isn’t he married to Twilight’s Nikki Reed or am I getting mixed up?

  2. tht19 says:

    I loved paul and I think he found a perfect fit with parenthood. I’m strangely excited. Never would’ve predicted this though.

    • GDV says:

      I can definitely see him as an actor. He’s very charismatic.

      • Gretchen Stone says:

        Remembered him immediately which is not always true of the Idols. I love Parenthood and he will make a great addition to the cast. I can see all of the females fighting over him. He’s gorgeous and talented.

    • ben says:

      Indeed. He wasn’t my favourite singer by any means but this seems like a good fit, provided he can act decently.

  3. Dizzle says:

    I always liked him on Idol, thought he had a really defined and unique style amongst the other competitors. Glad to see him back on my TV!

  4. Linderella says:

    Sorry – this is yuck casting. I couldn’t wait for him to get the boot on AI. Parenthood’s casting decisions this season (i.e., Ray Romano) are disappointing.

  5. Kate says:

    So is the idea just to have Amber compromise all her family members careers? I get that she’s young, but they seem determined to make her dumb as can be. Maybe she should focus on working instead of using every employment opportunity her family hands her as a way to meet guys!

    • AT says:

      I agree! If I remember correctly, she did well in high school. She just only applied to one college and, when she didn’t get in, had nowhere to go. I would have thought she would have been a little more organized post-high school.

      • Dizzle says:

        I think it’s quite realistic that she hasn’t been able to fully get her **** together… She’s always acted older than she was and when you pretend for so long you skip the process of *actually* maturing and growing up, so in a lot of ways she hasn’t enabled herself to handle life post-high school… Good grades don’t always equal a good life!

  6. MK says:

    I wish him luck. I worked with Mae on a movie called “Bye Bye Love” when she was just a pre schooler. It’s always wonderful to see the kids I worked with all grown up. I never watched the show, did not know Mae was on it, but to see both Paul and Mae…I will definitely tune in. Happy for both.

  7. Davey says:

    Hope Paul gets to play his music!

  8. JAO says:

    Love Paul … hope he gets to sing on the show! I don’t watch Parenthood, but I will check in when he’s on.

  9. Loni says:

    Paul! Very cool.

  10. mia says:

    Meh. I would prefer to see Amber continue to see that politician guy, I really liked him. And now that she isn’t working there anymore, I don’t see what the problem is.
    And I agree with some of the other commenters, Amber needs to get her crap together. The writers constantly giving her one failed romance plot after another is getting boring and its always ruining her family’s careers.

  11. Kasey says:

    I am so excited for this new blood! Really curious how Ray Romano is going to fit into the show!! I have seen him in that more serious roll he played for a bit on TBS and loved him!!! “that boy got skill”!!
    Paul!!! Yummy! Very excited to see where him and Amber go!
    Sounds like we’re gonna get to see some jealous spats with the men Sarah and Amber WERE with!!!
    Thanks PH!

  12. Andrea says:

    Whoa! Dude needs to lighten up on the teeth. They glow! Can’t wait forthe new season to start!

  13. Cjk says:


  14. Branson T says:

    Woah! Hope Amber sticks with Bob Little. Love that relationship!

  15. robinepowell says:

    I guess Amber’s relationship with Bob Little is over.

  16. JRP says:

    Hope not. Love triangle? Sheesh. Musician vs Politician?!

  17. No!! Bring back politician guy, and tell this joker to turn his teeth down, he’s killing my eyes.

  18. Joan says:

    She’s such a slut. Does she ever stop? I think she should stay home and read Shades of Grey.

  19. Allison says:

    Love love love this show! The writing is superb and do realistic . It is my favorite! Live the new cast members ! I can’t wait for the new season.

  20. hanson says:

    do the writers hate mae whitman? can’t she stick with one boyfriend!

  21. soundscene says:

    Oh… season 10 of American Idol. Explains why I don’t know who the frack this guy is. lol. Had to google what season he was on to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. Anything after season 7 isn’t part of my pop culture experience.

    So… no opinion other than I hope Amber has a better storyline this coming season than she had last season.

  22. Kim R says:

    Why does the Friends episode come to mind where Ross over whitened his teeth? ;)

  23. blaster freak says:

    I was really hoping he’d be a love interest for Drew. JS.