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Katharine McPhee

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Devout fans of "American Idol" saw her coming before the rest of us -- right around the time she kissed Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul on the lips, after learning she'd been passed on to the second round ofthe show's fifth season -- but the curvaceous California native with the big voice eventually created enough buzz for herself that, by the spring of '06, the unfortunate slogan "McPheever" had entered the popular lexicon.

She didn't take top honors on "Idol" -- they went to the spastic, raspy-voiced Taylor Hicks -- but don't cry for her: McPhee still landed a deal with 19 Recordings, and her self-titled debut was released in January 2007.

Katharine McPhee represents something of a departure for the singer; while on "American Idol," she tended to downplay her considerable physical assets in favor of a demure image, one admittedly better-suited to schmaltzy fare like "Over the Rainbow." Viewers who grew accustomed to her fresh-faced appearance and safe song choices on the show may be taken aback by her new, more sophisticated image, not to mention some of her collaborative choices on her debut, some of which include Chad Hugo, Nate Hills, Kara DioGuardi, and The Underdogs.

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Katharine McPhee on the Web
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Katharine McPhee at the IMDB
Listing of Katharine McPhee's acting credits