And the 'American Idol' Is…. Taylor Hicks!
May 24, 2006

Just seconds after "American Idol" went off the air Tuesday night, Paula, Randy and Simon came straight to "Extra's" Terri Seymour.

"This is the absolute, God's honest truth," Simon told us. "Six koala bears were thrown into a cage with some sheet music, and whatever they pointed to was the song."

Okay, so it seems Simon wasn't so fond of the original music Taylor and Katharine sang Tuesday night. What about Taylor's jacket? "Horrendous," Cowell responded. "He looked like a singing barman, cocktail shaker. Song with a drink "

Now on to some "Idol" rumor control… has Katharine McPhee really been approached to sing at Tom Cruise's wedding? "I don't know," McPhee admitted. "I really don't know if it's true, and if it was, I would totally be like, 'It's true, yeah.'"

What about Katharine's dramatic weight loss since the season started? Was it on purpose? "I've definitely not tried," she revealed. "Get a lot of stress on your plate, and you'll lose a lot of weight."

But the stress isn't over yet, as the two finalists count down to Wednesday night's showdown. "I feel great," McPhee told us.

Only "Extra" was at home with proud papa Dan and the rest of the McPhee clan right before their little girl took the stage Tuesday night. Dad's emotions were riding high with a special message for Katharine even before he heard his daughter sing.

"Hi squirt, I hope you can just have fun tonight," he said. "I love you."

"I'm really excited for her because I know that it was her dream to get to the Kodak," Katharine's mother added.

Meanwhile, our Terri Seymour hitched a ride with the original soul patrol, where Taylor Hick's dad revealed a family secret: "I feel a little guilty because he's going to be a little gray like me."

"I never knew he could clean up so well," Taylor's brother added.

"Just do it," Taylor's dad said to his son. "Show people why you want to win this competition. And where are we going to eat afterwards?"

The wait is almost over for the crowning of the fifth "American Idol." And fans can expect Katharine to really shine Wednesday night. She will wear nine different dresses and even more jewels than what she wore on Tuesday.

And "Extra" is breaking more "Idol" news, as we found out Taylor will perform a duet Wednesday night with Mary J. Blige. And Katharine will be shimmering! "$340,000 just in earrings," Katharine revealed. "Just earrings, $340,000. That's crazy! I'm going to be dripping in diamonds."


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