'American Idol' Tour Scrapbook

Couldn't make it to the show? Go behind the scenes with Katharine, Taylor, Ace and the rest of the crew on – and off – the stage. By Cara Lynn Shultz with Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna and Monica Rizzo

01 of 08

DYNAMIC DUO

DYNAMIC DUO
Courtesy American Idol

Katharine McPhee grabs some face time with Taylor Hicks on July 28, the first day she joined the tour after being sidelined by bronchitis and laryngitis. "Once I saw everybody it was fine," says McPhee about her return. It was a quite a day: McPhee and the rest of the Top 10 Idols visited President Bush at the White House.

02 of 08

PRESIDENTIAL SWEET

PRESIDENTIAL SWEET
Courtesy American Idol

Before their presidential address, the Idols (from left, Lisa Tucker, Paris Bennett, Taylor Hicks, Mandisa and Kellie Pickler) got a tour from the First Lady's press secretary, Susan Whitson. Whitson and Hicks have a long history: She was the AI champ's ninth-grade English teacher.

03 of 08

GIDDY-UP

GIDDY-UP
Courtesy American Idol

Southern girl Pickler gets back in the saddle in Albany, N.Y. "I kindly asked the (police) officer if I could ride his horses," says Pickler, who's an equestrian in her own right and once owned two horses.

04 of 08

GIVING HIS ALL

GIVING HIS ALL
Stefano Paltera/GAMMA

Chris Daughtry belts one out during the tour's Los Angeles stop. The Lansker, N.C., native's four-song set included covers of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" and a duet with Elliott Yamin of Nickelback's "Savin' Me."

05 of 08

SNOOZE TIME

SNOOZE TIME
Courtesy American Idol

A girl needs her sleep! Lisa Tucker and Paris Bennett – who sing TLC's "Waterfalls" together in every concert – catch some zzz's. How have they remained healthy during the 39-city trek, which ends Sept. 24 in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.? "We're Airborne heads," Bennett says of the vitamin supplements.

06 of 08

SOUL-O STAR

SOUL-O STAR
L. Caryle/WENN/Landov

After their arena gig in Charlotte, N.C., Taylor has a more intimate performance at local bar Coyote Joe's. He joined his old band, now called the Little Memphis Blues Orchestra, onstage while the other Idols rocked out in the venue's makeshift VIP section.

07 of 08

TWO CUTE

TWO CUTE
L. Caryle/WENN

Bucky Covington gets some TLC from wife Crystal at the Coyote Joe's gig in Charlotte. When he's home, the couple live in nearby Rockingham, N.C.

08 of 08

GANG'S ALL HERE

GANG'S ALL HERE
aaron d. settipane/wenn/Landov

The Idols (from left, Elliott Yamin, Taylor Hicks, Ace Young, Lisa Tucker and Paris Bennett) close a concert at L.A.'s Staples Center with James Brown's "Livin' in America." The other song the Idols do together? Queen's classic "We Are the Champions." Champions, indeed.

For more Idol photos, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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