Now that he’s been eliminated from American Idol 6, Phil Stacey is scheduled to join the tour with the other top 10 finalists this summer. But he might not, because he is “an active duty petty officer 3rd class and a vocalist with the Navy Band Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla.,” and “is the lead singer of Pride, the Navy’s rock band,” The Los Angeles Times reports.
“Stacey could be allowed to participate in the tour as part of a recruiting assignment — the Navy could force him to use personal leave or they could release him from his military obligation,” the paper says. Or he “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.”
A Pentagon official told the paper, “I expect when the band deploys he will go with him.” The paper notes that “the Navy Band Southeast does not typically deploy overseas” but “mainly plays in high schools to help with military recruiting.”
That military officer suggested that if Phil goes overseas to perform, “Maybe he will bring the rest of the Idol finalists with him.” Another military official said, “I would rather have Sanjaya deploy.”
Whatever happens, Phil is okay with it. He tells Entertainment Tonight, “My primary responsibility is to the United States Navy. The possibility exists that they will need me for a mission. If that is the case, I am committed to following through with my commitment to the Navy. So far, they have been 100 percent flexible with me with ‘American Idol.’ They have been gems. They are a huge support base for me. I give the Navy all the props in the world for letting me do what I have done this far.”