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Lance Corporal Idol

The big, blustery, confident guy with spiky short hair singing Sinatra was probably the single most appealing performer when American Idol returned last week. It turns out he’s a Marine:

    Among the rank and the file is military man Joshua Gracin. The lance corporal is competing to be selected as one of the 32 semifinalists on the Fox talent show. (Wonder which is worse, Simon or a boot camp drill sergeant?)

    The Marine, who appeared in baggy jeans and a sweater last week, wowed the judges with a performance of “All or Nothing at All”–the military salute he gave ’em probably didn’t hurt either.

    Now, reports are surfacing that Gracin’s singing chops are saving him and his unit from front-line duty. The unit, stationed at Southern California’s Camp Pendleton, allegedly avoided deployment to the Middle East (where troops are amassing in preparation for a potential war between the U.S. and Iraq) while the Marine competes on the TV show.

    Not true, says the Marine Corps. Gracin’s unit was scheduled to remain at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, to provide support where it was needed, according to a statement released on Monday.

    Undoubtedly the Marines are pleased that one of the few and the proud is a potential Idol, but they deny special treatment. “The Marine Corps sees the recruiting value of Gracin’s appearance before a national audience, appreciates the level of talent the Marine possesses, and recognizes the benefits of allowing him to continue competing on the program,” the service says in its press release. [E! online]

Under the current circumstances especially, it would be a real coup for the show if Gracin does well. The series resumes tonight.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014.Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted.Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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