Double Talk: Katharine & Taylor

05/24/2006 at 01:30 PM EDT

Double Talk: Katharine & Taylor
Kevork Djansezian/AP
Before the night is over, either Katharine McPhee or Taylor Hicks will be crowned the next American Idol. But the two finalists are already thinking about their next star-bound steps, and recently talked about their future albums, good luck charms and what made them want to be on American Idol in the first place.

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Did you think you'd make it this far?
Katharine: I thought, "I can make top 12. I can do this." I always imagined it – but you don't really know that it can happen. So no, I guess I didn't. When I talk to my family and friends, I'm like, "I made it to top two – can you believe it?"
Taylor: When I told my dad, "I'm trying out for American Idol," he said, "Well, why don't you just go buy a lottery ticket?" But my friends have been very supportive through the whole process. They're just as excited as I am.

Do you have a good luck charm?
Katharine: I don't have any gimmicks. I just go out there and look fabulous and try to sing my best. I try to be as modest as I can possibly be, because I know that people will think, "Oh, well she's too confident." But I'm really not; I'm just going out there and doing my thing.
Taylor: Sometimes when I'm moving around a lot onstage or I'm not playing my harmonica, I don't have it on me. But I keep the harmonica around.

Why did you audition for Idol?
Katharine: I was in this pop-rock musical over the summer. I was doing backup stuff and people were like, "Oh my gosh, you should totally audition for American Idol." I was like, wow, I really should audition. So I just drove up (to San Francisco).
Taylor: There were a few people that really, really pushed me to do this. About two months before I tried out, I was in New Orleans the night before Hurricane Katrina hit. I called Southwest (airlines) and told them that I was in the path of the storm. They gave me a free ticket … I ended up getting a ticket to Las Vegas, which land(ed) me here.

What are your competitor's strengths?
Katharine: Taylor is really free onstage. If I get nervous, a lot of times I can kind of clench up and not be as free and spontaneous, and that's something that he is really, really great about doing.
Taylor: She has amazing vocal runs. It's so cool to see somebody that talented and with that amazing vocal talent. I'm a fan.

What kind of album do you hope to make post-Idol?
Katharine: I want to put out a pop album, but I definitely want to have some bluesy sounds to it and some soulful stuff, along the lines of Joss Stone and Norah Jones.
Taylor: It's going to be a really good representation of who I am as an artist. There are things that I want to do creatively that I've never been able to get to do before American Idol, possibly (something) a little bit cutting-edge.

What else do you hope to do after Idol?
Katharine: I would love to do films. Before American Idol, that was what I was pursuing. Now it's cool because I have doors opened. Well actually, I don't know that, but I'm hoping.
Taylor: I'll probably live on my tour bus. My home has been the road since even before American Idol. A tour bus with some good, cold iceberg lettuce is probably where I'm going to stay.

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