‘Idol’ Runner Up Katharine McPhee Spices Up Album

?American Idol? Season 5 runner up Katharine McPhee is expected to release her debut CD next month, but the timing has her worried.

?Well it?s scheduled to come out — they?ve moved it about 30 times, to December 19th,? she told Access Hollywood backstage at the AMAs. ?I?m not really happy about that date in particular. It?s very close to Christmas, which is a very hard time to sell a record.?

The content of her album, however, which includes collaborations with Kenneth ?Babyface? Edmonds, may be her saving grace. For starters, Katharine?s record will include a few powerful ballads, which became her ?Idol? trademark, alongside a whole new genre for the singing star.

?There?s always singing in my songs, but some of it?s like — it?s pop ? R&B.?

McPhee is spicing things up further with help from Nate Hills, whose pedigree includes working with producer Timbaland on Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake?s most recent offerings.

Such influences may result in a Katharine who is a bit dancier than you remember, but ?Idol? fans don?t fret ? the brown-eyed beauty confirmed she won?t be following in anyone?s footsteps.

?They tried to get me to do this Fergie-licious type rap [Monday] night on one of the songs and I was like, ?that?s not gonna work so much for the ?Idol? fans,?? she smiled. ?I think they?re expecting the Celine Dion record so I was like, ?let?s scratch that and think of something else to do.?

So how close to a Celine Dion album will Katharine?s turn out to be?

?Oh not even close at all,? she replied. ?There?s definitely gonna be songs that the ?Idol? audiences will enjoy and remember — that was the Katharine McPhee that we voted for, but this is a career, you have to go with what?s really in and what I?ve always wanted to do. I?ve always wanted to do this kind of music. It?s who I am. So people will be surprised.?

An ‘Idol’ Look Back

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