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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 5

Katharine McPhee and Tyra Banks have a girl talk, get touchy


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/28/2007 

Oh, by the way.  They're real, and they're spectacular.

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Reality worlds collided when Katharine McPhee appeared as a guest on Tuesday's broadcast of The Tyra Banks Show -- and when the America's Next Top Model star asked the American Idol 5 runner-up what is the weirdest rumor she hears about herself, things got a little touchy-feely.

"Tyra, you have to help me out with this one," said McPhee.  "I think the most recent [rumor] that's really bothering me is that they're saying that my boobs are fake.  And I know that you've gone through this before and it really bothers me because it's something that's yours and people are saying it's not yours." 

Banks acknowledged rumors about fake breasts can be "very frustrating," and added she noticed McPhee's "real boobs" as soon as she walked out because "they jiggle."

"Can I touch them?" asked Banks.  She proceeded to gently touch McPhee's chest before the Idol finalist grabbed the supermodel's hands and gave her a nice firm grip.  "I squeezed her boobs everybody," Banks proclaimed.  "They are real... they're jiggly and soft."

McPhee was on Banks' syndicated talk show to discuss her self-titled debut album.  "Looking at you right now, I feel like I'm on my couch at home... like [you're] the girl next door," Banks said to McPhee.  "But then I look at your CD cover and I'm like, 'Woo child!  She's sexy.'  It's like two different people.  Which one is the real you?"

"I think I'm a little bit of both," answered McPhee.  "I think I'm probably a little bit of a quirky dork... but there's a side of me that likes to dress up.  I think you know from being a model that when you go to photo shoots, you're really just being a character.  You wouldn't see me walking out the door with my sheer thighs [like on my album cover]."

Banks described body image as "something that's really important to me" -- and aware that McPhee "struggled" with bulimia -- she asked what prompted her to publicly talk about it.

"You go to those red carpet events and they always ask you, 'So what did you do to look fabulous tonight?'" McPhee told Banks.  "It's like, 'Um, I just ate some burgers and fries.  That's what I did to look fabulous tonight.'  After I got off Idol I was really sick of people always asking me, 'Wow.  You lost three sizes since you've been on Idol, and how did you do it and what diet are you on?'  I was so focused on just losing weight that [it] was so important."

McPhee said "a few months" before filming Idol's fifth season Hollywood Round in the December of 2005, she decided to address her eating disorder.  "I took responsibility and wanted to get into a program because [bulimia] was something I was struggling with for a long time." So she entered the Eating Disorder Center of California.

"I had to discharge for a week to go to Hollywood Week.  Nobody knew that I was in this program," said McPhee.  "And then I readmitted myself as soon as Hollywood Week was over, and I stayed until the very last minute in February when I had to leave for the Top 24.  So I was really dedicated that that was what I needed to do."

McPhee said currently, she is doing "great" because she has control over her relationship with food.  "It's not [day-to-day anymore].  I can't say that my experience is going to be everybody's experience for recovering from an eating disorder.  I think I was just really, really ready.  I had American Idol that was kind of driving me to get better and get over it." 

Gone are the days when McPhee said she would order an entire pizza and eat the whole thing by herself in one sitting, fearful that one of her parents would come home and catch her.  She credited her dieticians with helping her focus. 

"I had these amazing dieticians who weren't just focused on dieting... they actually didn't want me to lose weight in the program.  It was about just feeling really easy with food.  I can't even explain how my relationship with food is so normal today.  Something clicked," explained McPhee.  "And I think for me particularly...  I really just started... [to] confront the foods I was so fearful of."

McPhee and Banks both attended Immaculate Heart Middle School in California, and the two seemed naturally comfortable while talking together.  Banks even asked if the 22-year-old singer ever feels like her 41-year-old boyfriend Nick is "daddy-ish."

"People make such a big deal out of [our age difference]," said McPhee.  "I feel like age is just a number."

McPhee said she began recording her first album -- which debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 sales chart in early February  -- immediately following when she left Idol's summer tour in late September 2006.  "I'm very proud of it.  We made the record in less than two months... that was really fast.  We basically developed the record from the ground up."  McPhee concluded by saying her favorite track of the album is "Neglected," which she co-wrote.

"I think it has single potential," said McPhee.  "It's a song I wrote about somebody in-particular in my life and it actually seems more like a love song, but for me personally it's not.  It's just a song that hits home for me and gives me chills.  If you're own music can give you chills, I think that's a good thing."


(Photo credit Fox)


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