American Idol: What You Didn't See
Find out whom Heather was rooting for, why David Hasselhoff cried and more
Celebrities populated the stage during Wednesday’s finale episode – but there was plenty of star power in the audience as well. Some highlights:
• More than an hour before the start of the show, Bucky Covington’s twin brother, Rocky, signs autographs and takes photos with fans – some of whom mistake him for Bucky – in front of the Kodak Theater.
• In the ladies’ room, Camryn Manheim explains to a friend what it was like to walk through the throng of fans in the lobby: “They screamed at me so I screamed back!”
• Heather Locklear is in the audience with daughter Ava, 8. “Ava’s a huge fan,” a friend of Locklear’s tells PEOPLE. “She was so excited all day.” Apparently, Ava’s a McPhee fan while her mom is rooting for Hicks.
• Primping in the ladies’ room before showtime, Katharine McPhee’s mom Peisha and sister Adriana gasp when Lisa Rinna walks in. The Dancing with the Stars runner-up tells them, “I’m a Katharine fan,” and reassures Peisha: “Take it from someone who knows, sometimes losing is better than winning. Tonight is about just having fun and celebrating.”
• Later, Rinna greets actress Lori Loughlin with hugs and kisses as young girls scramble for Rinna’s autograph, ignoring her husband, Harry Hamlin, who’s standing nearby with their kids.
• David Hasselhoff tells PEOPLE, “I’m voting for Katharine because she’s from Sherman Oaks and that’s where I live. Taylor’s good too.” He later tears up when Taylor Hicks is named the winner.
• BFFs Chris Daughtry and Ace Young share a long, warm hug during the commercial break after performing in the all-male medley.
• After Hicks performs a duet with Toni Braxton, the two walk offstage together hand in hand.
• Just before the results are announced, McPhee waves cheerfully to her fans while Hicks stands stiff. After Hicks is named the winner, McPhee’s parents blow kisses to her while Hicks sings his final song.
• Reporting by CARRIE BORZILLO-VRENNA, ALEXIS CHIU, KIMBERLY LANSING, MONICA RIZZO and CYNTHIA WANG
The drama during Tuesday night’s American Idol wasn’t all onstage. Some behind-the-scenes highlights:
• Before the show, Katharine McPhee’s family – who’d been driven to Los Angeles via limo from their home in Sherman Oaks – mill about outside the entrance to L.A.’s Kodak Theater, looking nervous and tense.
• Season One runner-up Justin Guarini has a hard time finding his seat before the cameras begin to roll.
• All 10 ousted finalists are in the audience, although Elliott Yamin and Chris Daughtry earn the most applause when they take their seats.
• Kellie Pickler and dad Clyde sit together, but don’t talk much as Clyde looks around in awe, taking in the scene. Pickler’s little brother goofs around with Bucky Covington, who is sitting behind him.
• Constantine Maroulis sits near Pickler, but even though they’re rumored to be dating, they don’t interact.
• At 4:56 p.m., Daughtry kisses his wife, Deanna. “It was very sweet and tender and loving,” reports a witness.
• Moments before going live at 5 p.m., the judges take their seats. Paula Abdul inadvertently rolls her chair over her dress and trips, but recovers quickly. She dances around a bit off-air when she is introduced.
• When McPhee mentions the flowers she’s gotten from fans, she isn’t kidding: “Kat has received so many red roses that her dressing room is overflowing,” a backstage source tells PEOPLE. “They’re all from her fans from different states. It’s out of control. I have never seen it like that in all five years that I’ve worked on the show.”
• Not to be outdone, Taylor Hicks has his own coterie of dedicated fans in the crowd, including a group of people holding signs made from pictures of his head on a stick.
• Abdul breaks out her dance moves during Hicks’s performance of “Living For the City,” despite being laughed at by Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. Later, Abdul has to get her makeup touched up after she is moved to tears by McPhee’s performance of “Over the Rainbow.”
• Backstage, representatives from Origins put together gift baskets for the judges and Ryan Seacrest. One manager tells a staffer to make sure to put the store’s Peace of Mind lotion in Seacrest’s basket, but adds, “I don’t know what Simon wants. His person never got back to me, so just do whatever for him.”
• During Daniel Powter’s show-ending live performance, McPhee’s mom, Peisha, admits she doesn’t know who he is, so daughter Adriana turns around in her seat to explain.
• At the intimate, casual afterparty at the restaurant Vert, Hicks’s father Brad and stepmother Linda share a bottle of Pellegrino water at the bar, at one point clinking their glasses together in a toast. They leave at 8 p.m., just as American Idol starts to play on the bar’s TV set.
• Reporting CARRIE BORZILLO-VRENNA, REBECCA GROSS and MONICA RIZZO