Inside the Final 'American Idol' Showdown
May 23, 2006

Has the country caught McPheever or is America on Soul Patrol? Judge Paula Abdul came to "Extra" to make her "Idol" prediction.

"I think with America's vote, it's probably going to go to Taylor Hicks," she said.

As the final two prepare for the huge showdown, Paula admitted she still wishes Elliott was around. "Even Simon leaned into me and said, 'I wish he made it to the finals because he is what epitomizes the American dream,'" Paula revealed.

While Paula's dream of seeing Elliott in the finale isn't going to happen, "Extra" dug into more finale secrets.

We discovered that Katharine will sing Simon's favorite "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and Taylor will bring back Elton John's "Levon," which he first performed in February.

"American Idol" producer Ken Warwick said the finalists are rearing up and ready to go. "They're both excited, which is great for them," he said.

So who are the ousted "Idols" rooting for? Before they kick off the "American Idol Live Tour" on July 6, Terri went one on one with Mandisa, Paris and Bucky on the "Extra" set.

While Paris played it safe, saying, "I don't know," a tight-lipped Mandisa revealed, "I know who's going to win, but I'm not going to say because it's not fair to the other person."

But Mandisa and Paula weren't holding out on breaking couples news, as Ms. Abdul revealed she is no longer dating model Dante Spencer. "I'm not settling," Paula said. "So, I'm holding out for the right one."

Meanwhile, Mandisa is hoping to make an "American Idol" catch. "Hopefully Ruben will be there somewhere," she confessed. "America has been looking for an 'American Idol' hookup somewhere, so I figured me and Ruben might as well make it happen."

Before an "Idol" wedding can take place, a new "American Idol" will be crowned. Don't miss all the action, Wednesday night on FOX.


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