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Katharine McPhee
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Katharine Hope McPhee (born March 25, 1984) is an American singer who was the runner-up to Taylor Hicks on the fifth season of American Idol.

Early years

Born in Sherman Oaks (a Los Angeles neighborhood), McPhee has been singing since the age of two. Her mother, Peisha Burch McPhee[1], a vocal coach and accomplished cabaret singer, recognized a talent for music in her daughter and decided to train her. Her father, Daniel McPhee, is a television producer and her older sister, Adriana McPhee (born June 30, 1982) is an aspiring producer as well. McPhee also has a dog named Lilly.

Throughout high school, McPhee led an active social life: she was student body vice president, a varsity swimmer, a dancer, and also a thespian, performing in many school plays along with her elder sister Adriana. McPhee graduated in 2002 from Notre Dame High School and afterward attended The Boston Conservatory for three semesters, majoring in musical theater. She left due to her manager's suggestion that she try out for television pilots in Los Angeles. McPhee returned to Los Angeles, working on a television pilot and an independent film which is slated to be released in late 2006.

While still in her late teens and early twenties, McPhee focused on an acting career. In a People interview she said that she was rejected in only "195 out of 200 auditions". In spite of the setbacks, the aspiring actress was able to snag a role as "Paramount Girl" in the musical film about the life of Hank Garland, Crazy, set to be released in 2006. Other acting endeavors included lead actress in professional productions of Annie Get Your Gun and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. She was nominated in 2005 for the Theatre LA Ovation Award for her lead role in Annie Get Your Gun. McPhee was also part of a failed mall-based MTV soap opera entitled You Are Here, playing the older sister of a more popular younger sister.

American Idol

Katharine McPhee's American Idol photograph.McPhee was persuaded by a significant other to try out for American Idol. She auditioned in San Francisco, and sang "God Bless the Child," originally performed by Billie Holiday. Paula Abdul said that McPhee looked beautiful, Randy Jackson hailed her audition as the best so far that season, and Simon Cowell complimented her for being "current" in terms of her appearance. Cowell also noted that McPhee was not the wannabe that he'd presumed she was after learning that her mother was a singer.

In the final cut-down show for the Top 24, McPhee was the first to be put through and, in excitement, kissed all three judges on the lips.

McPhee listed Whitney Houston and Brian McKnight as her favorite artists in the American Idol interview of the top 24 semi-finalists.

In the first round of the semi-finals, she sang Barbra Streisand's version of Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell for You," again earning high praises. Cowell said that out of the four "very, very good vocalists" of the night, she was the best.

During the week leading to the third round of the semi-finals, when McPhee sang Aretha Franklin's "Think," she was rumored to be quitting due to pregnancy. However, during the performance show on March 7, 2006, she denied this accusation, attributing it to a poor choice of clothing. Host Ryan Seacrest, with tongue-in-cheek, later asked about her and fellow Idol contestant Kevin Covais; McPhee playfully denied any relationship.

During the week preceding the top three show, McPhee visited her former high school for her hometown celebration. For the top three performance night, McPhee sang a song chosen by Simon Cowell, "Over the Rainbow." McPhee chose to perform Jane Monheit's modern version of the Judy Garland classic. Cowell pegged it as "the single best performance of the competition to date." Elliott Yamin was eliminated the following night, and McPhee advanced to the May 24, 2006 finale along with Taylor Hicks, in which Hicks won the competition.

McPhee's run on American Idol led to the popular use of the term "McPheever," coined by Ralph Garman of Los Angeles radio station KROQ's morning show Kevin and Bean.

McPhee was congratulated by Congressman Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks, the 27th district of California, who raised a flag in her honor at the United States Capitol on the day of the finale show.

During the competition, McPhee roomed with fellow contestant Kellie Pickler, and then Pickler was eliminated, along with Paris Bennett.

After coming second to Taylor Hicks, McPhee was quoted in news publications as having said, "I don't need sad faces or anyone to feel bad for me. I have got a record deal, pretty much. It wasn't about winning the title, I just wanted to give the best performance I could," regarding her runner-up status.

McPhee's debut single, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/My Destiny" was released on June 27, 2006 by RCA Records. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

On June 6, 2006, it was announced that McPhee had signed to American Idol series creator Simon Fuller's 19 Recordings Limited and BMG's RCA Records, which is also the label of former American Idol runner ups Clay Aiken and Bo Bice.

McPhee toured with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, performing in three of his concerts during his tour in the United States from June 9 through June 11, 2006, less than a month after the finale. The duo performed "The Prayer" (in which they also sang during Idol's Classic Love Songs theme week) and "Somos Novios"/"It's Impossible". The duo later appeared on JC Penney's Concert for Kids.

You start doing something you love doing and the weight just started falling off me. I was still eating... It was a really amazing thing that happened with me and my body has just been kind of falling to its natural state and I don't know if it's finished going where it wants, but it's doing its thing.

-- Katharine McPhee, People

In June 2006, McPhee revealed to "People" magazine that she previously suffered from bulimia. After a period of about five years, she began treatment after qualifying for American Idol. During her run on American Idol, she lost 30 lbs.

In July 2006, McPhee sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" at the debut of the cruise ship, Crown Princess, in New York.

McPhee missed the start of the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2006, due to severe bronchitis and laryngitis. She was due to return on July 27, 2006 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ending her three-week hiatus. McPhee commented on her illness in a public interview, and was quoted as, "I just have to sing easily so I can get through the tour... I bruised [my vocal cords] because I was doing so much coughing". McPhee was scheduled to join the tour on July 27 in Pittsburgh, but her flight from New York City was delayed and then cancelled due to inclement weather, so she ended up joining the tour the following day, July 28, in Washington, D.C.

McPhee is co-producing Michael Albanese's play Red Herring with her significant other; along with Robert Hawk, Angelina Bruno, and Jeff Kasal. McPhee was quoted in the promo as describing a desire to become involved in theatre, stating that although "audiences know me best from American Idol... my passion has always been theatre." The play will be a part of the 10th Annual New York International Fringe Festival.

On August 1, 2006, McPhee suffered a hair-line fracture in her left foot after tripping backstage at an American Idol tour stop in Charlotte, North Carolina. McPhee will continue to perform on the Idol tour, despite the injury.

McPhee performed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" before a live audience for the JAM JCPenney "The Concert for America's Kids", which was hosted by Dr. Phil McGraw and was presented on CBS on August 23, 2006. McPhee later performed with Andrea Bocelli that night.

McPhee and her sister appeared on the Keith Ablow Show on September 18, 2006 to discuss her struggles with dyslexia, bulimia, and her childhood fear of her father.

McPhee was rumored to be a Scientologist. In the past, McPhee had attended and completed two individual courses in Scientology. However, according to an May 12, 2006 interview on Los Angeles radio station KROQ 106.7, McPhee stated she "dabbled in Scientology" because of a former love interest but is not a Scientologist; according to her, she was "quickly out the door." During a May 26, 2006 interview with Ryan Seacrest on Larry King Live, she once again explained that she is not a Scientologist, and only looked into it because of a former love interest.

Trivia

McPhee is left-handed.

McPhee's height is 5'8" (173 cm).

Source:Wikipedia

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