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What's in store for the 2006 class of 'American Idol'?
Raleigh News & Observer


July 27, 2006
Thursday AM

After the "American Idol" tour ends in September, what becomes of the wannabes? The last big moment for an "Idol"-er may be that killer version of "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Here's a rundown on what's ahead for the 10 touring finalists and a best guess as to their chances of stardom.


THE LATEST The winner's blustery "Do I Make You Proud," released June 13, immediately hit the top of the Billboard singles chart . . . but didn't stay there (it falls to No. 39 this week). If his untainted soul-belting past is more your style, Hicks' self-released albums from 1997 and 2005 are fetching as much as $100 a piece on the Internet. His debut major-label debut on 19 Recordings/RCA is due Nov. 14.




IDOL OR IDLE? Hicks will have a surefire hit with album one. But unless he can prevent the music biz from turning him into Michael Bolton, the next time you'll think of him could be when his gray head shows up on VH1's "I Love the 2000s" in 2011.


THE LATEST Bronchitis and laryngitis kept the runner-up from participating in the first handful of tour dates, but she was expected to join the fun Friday in Rochester, N.Y. She also has a deal with 19 Recordings/RCA; look for her album Nov. 14. Her single "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/ My Destiny," released June 27, has slid from No. 3 to No. 50.

IDOL OR IDLE? Idol - for a while. Her personal bulimia story has kept her in the press, and she's a teen-magazine fixture. Two or three years from now, look for this showbiz kid to show up on Broadway.


THE LATEST The show's Mr. Congeniality has become a fundraising force for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

IDOL OR IDLE? Probably idle, but everybody loves the guy anyway. He could at least score a hit single in "light sounds" radio if given the chance.


THE LATEST The bald eagle of karaoke metal has signed with 19 Recordings/RCA Records and is collaborating with some big shots.

IDOL OR IDLE? Sigh ... idol.


THE LATEST The lovable 20-year-old ditz just inked a deal with RCA subsidiary 19 Recordings/BNA Records. Expect her first single in September and the album on Nov. 14 - same date as Hicks' and McPhee's. On Monday, she was guest host of ABC's "The View," and she came off very, uh, ditzy.

IDOL OR IDLE? Looks as if she's not goin' away any time soon, y'all.


THE LATEST There's no word about a record deal, but the pint-size teen dynamo from Georgia has announced that she's recording not one but two albums, one of which is Christmas-themed.

IDOL OR IDLE? Let's hope it's the first. She's good.


THE LATEST Ace is a nice guy who has been entertaining kids at Children's Hospital of Denver since 1999. He performs regularly at Denver's Pepsi Center and has appeared as an actor on UPN's comedy "Half & Half." He was named one of People magazine's Hottest Bachelors this spring. No news of a record deal yet.

IDOL OR IDLE? Dude's handsome. Maybe idol if he sticks to acting.


THE LATEST Big-time country band Sawyer Brown has supposedly been talking to the affable bar-band rocker, but no deals have been announced. Still, Covington might head to Nashville after the tour to seek his fortune.

IDOL OR IDLE? Bucky just needs to get lucky. He has down-home appeal that could take him far with the country audience.


THE LATEST Who knows? No solid record-deal news has emerged since the big-voiced singer was cut from the show in early April. She continues to work with the ministry of Christian author and speaker Beth Moore.

IDOL OR IDLE? Mandisa has what it takes to be a leading light in the gospel community.


THE LATEST The pretty teen made a guest appearance on Fox's "The OC." The 2006 high school graduate says she wants to take a year off to work on music, then go to college.

IDOL OR IDLE? She could have a few years in the biz doing minor TV roles, maybe. Or in musical theater.


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