Katharine McPhee Eyes Acting, Goes ‘Over The Rainbow’ With Debut

Coming in second is working out fine for the singer, who has a debut single due June 27.

After Katharine McPhee’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow” wowed the “American Idol” judges last month, the singer called the song her favorite from the season.

Now, the “Wizard of Oz” classic is following the runner-up beyond the show. On June 27, “Over the Rainbow” and the “Idol” original “My Destiny” will be released as what McPhee’s new labels, RCA Records and 19 Recordings Limited, are calling a double A-sided single (instead of the usual A-side and B-side).

“My Destiny,” co-written by Harry Sommerdahl (who has worked with Lindsay Lohan and Carrie Underwood), was, on the other end of the spectrum, hardly a judges’ favorite, but Katharine has said her recorded version is better than how she performed it the final week (see “Katharine Congratulates ’39-Year-Old’ Taylor, Calls Meat Loaf Duet ‘Interesting’ “ ).

And speaking of recording, the Sherman Oaks, California, native has already booked studio time with famed songwriter and producer Diane Warren, whose credits range from ‘NSYNC to Cher.

“I’m a big fan of her stuff, and we want to get together and start maybe writing some stuff together,” McPhee said. “That’s the only collaborator I know of so far.”

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On the show, Katharine sang a variety of styles, and at times the judges suggested she was better fit for jazz material, but she’s unlikely to go that route.

“It’ll be top 40 kind of stuff,” McPhee said of her album. “I think if I were to do bluesy-jazzy stuff with all the standards, I would do that more as a theme album. So probably something more poppy.”

Music, however, is only one of Katharine’s interests, which is one reason she figures coming in second this season might benefit her (see “Soul Patrol Rides On: Taylor Hicks Wins ‘American Idol’ “ ).

“It definitely leaves room for me to explore different things and have time for other mediums that I probably wouldn’t have time to do because it’s so much focus on promoting that ‘American Idol’ album,” McPhee said.

There have been rumors that Katharine has been contacted by big-name directors like Steven Spielberg, but the singer refused to address them. “I really don’t want to jinx anything,” she said.

If she were to hit the big screen, McPhee would prefer to do a musical or romantic comedy.

” ‘Moulin Rouge,’ that whole movie was just so amazing, and I love those love stories,” she said. “I would have loved to have played ‘Pretty Woman.’ I really love Julia Roberts. I’m a huge fan of hers, so pretty much anything she does. ‘Notting Hill’ is one of my favorite movies. ‘Father of the Bride,’ those kind of movies.”

Before she does any acting, though, Katharine will join the other nine top finalists on the American Idols Live Tour, which kicks off July 5 in Manchester, New Hampshire (see ” ‘American Idol’ Top 10 Add 20 More Shows To Summer Plans” ).

“There are so many different personalities, from Bucky to Kellie, it will be interesting to see,” McPhee said. “I’m definitely excited to be back onstage with them. That was one of my favorite numbers in the finale, actually, was being able to perform with them. I love doing ensemble-type things.”

Katharine’s also looking forward to spending more face time with her fanbase, which dubbed itself the McPhans.

“I ran into this little girl after the finale and she was crying when I lost, and I saw her backstage and I was like, ‘Oh, don’t cry,’ ” McPhee recalled. “It really kind of got me choked up a little … the loyalty that they have and everything. It gives me so much comfort knowing that they were rooting for me all along. I really just feel blessed and I would just love to be able to give back to them at some point.”

The June 27 release date of McPhee’s single comes two weeks after “Idol” winner Taylor Hicks releases his debut single (see “Taylor Hicks Includes Doobie Brothers Tune On First Single” ).

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