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 The Idols say that on tour there's no jealousy and, best of all, no Barry Manilow ...

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 Jasmine flirts with John, Jon geeks out, and the ladies write a song ... about eyeliner

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 Busta Rhymes disses Jennifer's pink dress, and Diana puts Cheez Wiz in her hair ...

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The Idols say they're too much like siblings to date within, but the ladies have plenty of fun flirting with John, Jon and George Huff.

"I always tease John," Jasmine says. "I flirt with him, like, 'John, you're my baby daddy.' "

"I flirt with John and I'm married." La Toya jokes.

John is playful, laid-back and surprisingly cooler than he came off on TV. In Portland, he goes CD shopping and comes back with albums from Prince and James Brown, along with the "Anchorman" soundtrack. "The best thing about it is I can write it off as a tax deduction," he boasts.

As far as the gals know, the guys are all single.

"JPL doesn't talk about girls too much," La Toya says. "I saw him with a girl one night, but he was like, 'Oh, she's just a friend.' "

The next afternoon, after buying a pair of Air Force Ones that Fantasia picked out, Jon says he's not into relationships because he hates to end them. Around the other Idols, he plays up the role of nerdy older brother, reading "Dungeons & Dragons" books and showing off his ability to wiggle his ears.

In reality, he's one of the hippest people on the tour. When he's not reading, he's writing songs for his debut album, which he's demoing on his computer. When it comes to the tour, he has a refreshingly real and sometimes cynical attitude about the whole production. "Bleach on an expensive shirt, it's so clever!" he jokes about one of his costumes.

At one point while shopping with Fantasia and Camile, Jon grabs the latter's cell phone and announces, "And now, a dramatic interpretation of a text message from a fan to Camile Velasco." He proceeds to read the corny note in a lisp inspired by "Zoolander." "I thaw you at Ryan Theacrest ..."

As for George, "He's so quiet, in his own little world," La Toya says.

Others describe George the same way, and on their day off in Portland, he lives up to his reputation, ordering a salmon dinner from room service and staying in his hotel room most of the day. His only trip is to the drugstore, where he picks up a few magazines with his picture in them.

On the show days in Salt Lake City and Portland, however, George is anything but quiet. He spends a lot of time with Jennifer, and the two of them together are the loudest of the bunch. In Salt Lake City's hair and makeup room, he boasts of Jennifer's voice to Jasmine, who is still lingering.

"She don't ever get hoarse," he says. "She has [vocal] cords of iron."

"When I was born, my vocal cords were not fully developed," Jennifer explains. " 'Cause God ... [she slaps the table and switches to preacher mode] wasn't through with me yet."

George explodes with laughter.

"And in the begin-ding, God said ... he said," she continues, getting into the preacher character even more and then beginning to sing, "higher, higher, higher!"

"Keep going," George insists, and for the next 48 hours, the preacher character lives on whenever the two are together, culminating in a 15-minute gospel jam of "Do Lord" with Fantasia, which the three church-raised singers belted out as they walked the halls of Portland's Rose Garden.

Singing is, not surprisingly, something that happens a lot backstage. If a song title comes up in conversation, someone sings the tune. Fantasia and her partner in laughs, Camile Velasco, even break into "Back That Azz Up" while shopping in Portland.

Some of the singing is for motivation, like when Jennifer sings along to her iPod before taking the stage, but most of it is just goofing around. Fantasia and Camile spend hours of their off day singing different versions — country, opera, etc. — of a song they made up about eyeliner.

In Salt Lake City, after a fan with long hair walks away with an autograph, the close-cropped Fantasia turns to Diana and sings, "She's got a lot of hair on her head/ I need to borrow some of that." A few minutes later, the group makes up a song about booties — as in, the footwear a local fan knitted for the girls.

"We create songs a lot," Fantasia says without apology.

Busta Rhymes disses Jennifer's pink dress, and Diana puts Cheez Wiz in her hair ...
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Photo: MTV News

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