Kat’s print-media blitz

While Katharine McPhee tries to sells us a brand-spanking-new image of herself as an uber-confident and whipsmart businesswoman in complete creative control of her career, I have to wonder what’s really going on behind the scenes. MJ hit the nail on the head when she wondered exactly when Katharine transitioned from being nervous and overwhelmed on the Idol stage (and having it show in performances like “The Voice Within,” “Against All Odds” and “My Destiny”) to being the post-feminist ideal, as comfortable posing in panties for Blender Magazine as she is going toe-to-toe with the big boys in the RCA boardroom.

Having transitioned from her previous image as giggly, insecure Kat the Victim (of bronchitis, laryngitis, nerves, the judges being too hard on her, power-voters from the South, and oh yes, the pain and suffering she went through when Chris Daughtry was voted off, and poor her, she had to stay), to Kat the Fierce Boardroom Shark, Ms. McPhee now claims that she was personally behind the album pushback to January 2007.  Kat tells MTV that this way, the album won’t be “rushed” and will be “really [her].”  In fact, she also claims to have dictated to her label that tired old “Over the Rainbow” wouldn’t get within 500 feet of her new album, the definitely titled TBD, because it just wouldn’t fit in.  (Me, personally, I’m waiting for the Judy Garland Club Mix.  C’mon, you know you’ve thought about it.)

While it would be lovely for Katharine and her fans to think that this really is a case of “Clive loves me best,” and that Kat is using her apparently incomparable business acumen to convince the Sony president that those happy holiday sales really aren’t worth it…well, I doubt it.  I just don’t see this album pushback (and by the way, it’s her fifth) being a case of trying to get the best quality material…not when “Open Toes” is a given on the track listing.

In fact, I suspect that a major factor in this pushback is that Kat is using time that could be valuably spent in the recording studio to instead pimp her new “It Girl” status in various glittery publications such as In Touch, Life&Style, Us Weekly, and the like. Us did a story on Kat and her “A-Lister Sister”‘s style (…Kat has a sister?…), and CosmoGirl ran a photo shoot depicting Kat as a Debbie Harry-ish rocker and a hippie folk crooner.

Kat’s also got an upcoming Shape Magazine cover, although the final product has been unfortunately Photoshopped to the point where it looks like Kat’s gaping-mouthed head was removed from her svelte, sexy, healthy-looking figure and posted onto the body of a 105-lb. runway model. Much as I am not a fan of Kat’s, I say shame on Shape for basically telling a recovering bulimic that she’s still not good enough. Way to go on that one, folks.

Final verdict? Kat is undisputably a great beauty, but Clive’s been around the block a few more times than she has, and no way would he let a 22-year-old neophyte push him around and force him to forego holiday sales because she cooed in his ear that the album “just isn’t me.” Either Kat’s LP just isn’t ready (and who has time to record, really, when there are blonde wigs and leather vests to be donned?), or Clive vetoed the rough cut (which means that “Open Toes” was quite possibly the best song on the entire album, since it’s still on the track list)…or, Clive figures Kat for a flighty young girl who doesn’t really know what she wants to do with her life (singing? acting? being a happy knocked-up wife?) and really doesn’t care what she does.  Maybe he just doesn’t see the point on expending time and effort on a Fergie knockoff with no proven star power (and if making the pages of the glossies is ‘star power,’ then Paris Hilton’s LP by all rights should have shattered all kinds of records…and, um, it didn’t). We’ll just see what kind of promotion Kat gets when (if) her album comes out on January 30…head to head with Norah Jones, no less.


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November 2006
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What the kids are sayin’

"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."

"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."

"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "

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