Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Is Phil Stacey headed to Iraq?

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Maybe it's fitting that Phil Stacey was the first contestant to be eliminated from American Idol after President Bush shifted the spotlight from his Iraq withdrawal veto with an awkward Idol appearance (those Fox News connections pay off).

Iraq could be Phil's next stop.

The chrome dome crooner is an active duty petty officer 3rd class and vocalist with the Navy Band Southeast in Jacksonville, Florida. And the Navy has been very excited that one of its own has become a star (last night, Phil sang part of his farewell number with his arms around two Navy buddies). And the military wants to make the most of it.

The top 10 Idol finishers are set to go on tour this summer. Phil could be allowed to participate as part of a recruiting assignment, the Navy could force him to use personal leave, or they could release him from his military obligation. But the Navy has reason to want to hang onto the bald-headed belter.

The LA Times reports that the USO is finding few stars willing to go to Iraq. With Phil Stacey, the military has a singing star they can order to perform anywhere.

Phil is the lead singer of Pride, the Navy's rock band. They usually play at high schools or at recruiting events. But Phil could be reassigned or asked to volunteer for a musical tour in Iraq, Afghanistan or the two naval carrier groups stationed in the Persian Gulf.

Neither the Navy nor Pentagon are saying what's next for Phil. But one Navy officer told the Times: "I would rather have Sanjaya deploy."

Must make Chris Richardson feel lucky.

(Phil should have thought twice before choosing to sing "I'm going out in a blaze of glory"-- it was an invitation, reminiscent of Elliot Yamin singing Michael Buble's "I wanna go home... let me go home..." last season.)

Published by NewsGasm

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