February 23, 2006 08:00 AM

There’s nothing like being on American Idol to help excavate a person’s past. In the case of contestant Becky O’Donohue, two-year-old photos showing her with her twin sister, Jessie, have surfaced on the Maxim magazine Web site.

The shots depict the 25-year-olds in bikinis, revealing baseball jerseys, and sitting in a sauna – clad only in towels.

The pictures were taken in 2004 for the publication’s online fantasy baseball game – and found new life when O’Donohue became an Idol contestant, Jordan Burchette, executive editor of the site, tells the Associated Press. “There’s all kind of new buzz surrounding them.”

The twins reportedly were models for hire at the time they posed for the pictures. Said Burchette: “They were athletes in college, then models, and now they’re vocalists. We look forward to their political careers.”

A spokeswoman for FOX, which airs American Idol, had no comment.

Meanwhile, the show continues to generate blockbuster ratings, with this Tuesday’s episode again topping the 30-million mark. At its peak, Idol attracted 31.4 million viewers, averaging 29.9 million overall, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research.

By comparison, NBC’s Olympics coverage was in the 20 million-25 million-viewer range.

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