Singer Katharine McPhee, who was a runner-up on "American Idol," has credited the U.S. TV series with helping her overcome an eating disorder.

The 22-year-old, who lost out to Taylor Hicks during "Idol's" fifth season, recently confessed that her participation in the series helped her face her problems and seek treatment for her bulimia, "Entertainment Tonight" reported.

"After I made it through the first round of auditions, I knew I had to get better if I was going to go all the way," McPhee admitted. "In this way I can say the show literally saved my life."

The singer said that "Idol" ultimately pushed her to enter the Eating Disorder Center of California and deal with her potentially life-threatening problem.

"The therapists asked me if I was ready to let go of bulimia and I definitely was," she confessed. "Yes, I was scared, but I knew I had suffered enough."

The TV series said that McPhee admitted that since completing treatment, she has been able to avoid a relapse despite the stresses involved with being a successful "Idol" contestant.