What a contradictory statement it is to say that someone’s a superstar who’s yet to become a superstar. Yet, that’s how I usually describe this amazing talent who became the runner-up to Taylor Hicks in the fifth season of “American Idol” in 2006. Ever since dealing with the usual problems of the media snowballing untruths about her life and character, Katharine has nestled into to dealing with the paparazzi and the press with an aplomb that no other young singer or actress in Hollywood has been able to manage. What other celebrity have you seen who can calmly go into the streets of Beverly Hills to shop and look calm and collected–in addition to actually smiling and subtly assimilating the nosey press into their life?
Well, that’s only the beginning of Katharine McPhee’s perfect fit into the Hollywood industry. After she won runner-up status on “American Idol” in May of 2006–she recorded her first single “Over the Rainbow”–and word was that producer of the single, David Foster, played the master takes to a party of friends one night in June of 2006 that included Barbara Streisand and numerous other musical luminaries. While Katharine was recovering from vocal strain at home at that point and wasn’t at this party–the word was that everybody was blown away by her voice and potential as a recording artist. The point is here is that she’s had the backing of Hollywood and the show business community for close to two years now. When you have all those corner pockets available in a networking sense–your future in show business still looks bright…even after bumpy roads.
And so the bumps in show business go on for Katharine who learned in December of 2007 that RCA was going to let her go after little help in truly marketing her debut self-named CD to the masses last year that catered exclusively to Top 40 and garnered one minor hit in “Over It” along with debuting at #2 on Billboard’s Top 100. Also, her fan club is closing down after a bad management deal–plus some of her movie projects have stalled. Add to the hard knocks the rags making it look as if she’s been recently asking prominent magazines to buy her upcoming Greek-themed wedding pictures (to her boyfriend, Nick Cokas).
Sure, those of you tempted to knock her career and all Idol alumnae trying to form a career…go ahead and empty your brain now. The reality is, nothing is what it seems in Katharine’s career right now. What many don’t know is that clandestine talks are happening with Katharine and David Foster in possibly signing with him at Warner to do a sophomore album that will presumably play up her artistic strengths. He actually admitted to it on stage at one of his charity concerts Katharine attended last fall. You can be sure that she’s probably had offers from other labels, too, though she’s already had a good relationship and camaraderie with Foster the last couple of years performing for him at those above-mentioned various charity events held in American and Canada.
He knows as well as any that if she’s marketed in the right way–he’ll have another one of his successful “Foster Children” he searches out the world for yearly. What would the music charts be without Foster-produced and self-discoverer of Josh Groban and Michael Buble?
It also all comes down to bad management, too, when things go wrong in a fan club or when a movie deal falters. With the announcement this week that Katharine’s fan club is shutting down due to negligent management not living up to their promise in sending members what they paid for–it was announced it would be revived later once she gets a better management team that didn’t want to commit career suicide.
And with Katharine’s movie career–the recent turmoil in Hollywood with strikes and impending ones only adds to the uncertainty of several movies she was planning to make. Even so, she still has that “I Know What Boys Like” movie comedy coming out in the summer of ’08…
Katharine could have already been starring in several interesting projects had things aligned right…
Yes, some of Katharine’s fans were a little bit iffy on realizing her film debut will be in a film based on the name of an early 1980’s New Wave hit by a group called The Waitresses. Others might think the title sounds a little saucy, too, which isn’t fair considering the writing team behind it wrote “Legally Blonde.” “I Know What Boys Like” will have to be Katharine’s first film, however–while her intended debut and starring role in a potentially more interesting indie movie called “The Last Caller” was put on indefinite hold…maybe due to the writers’ strike when writers are badly needed on the set for last-minute rewrites. In this movie, she was going to play a troubled girl looking for romance and would have been the better take-off route for an ambitious actress.
Rumors were also swirling around Katharine getting a part in a movie adaptation of Martin Amis’s “Success.” This project perplexed a lot of her fanbase when the book focuses mostly on two brothers and their depraved lives. It’s also a British story–though Katharine’s proven herself to be a gifted mimic in interviews. Whatever the mystery is behind that movie project–it apparently was shelved for the time being.
And then we still have those mysterious meetings Katharine had with Steven Spielberg in the summer of 2006 over her possibly playing Elphaba in a film version of “Wicked” Spielberg reportedly bought the rights to. Katharine said in interviews later, though, that it was nothing more than a “Hi, nice to meet you” type of meeting.
As the vagaries of trying to get a movie green-lighted go on–it’s quite clear anyway that this Katharine McPhee girl has a million eyes trained on her in Hollywood. When you have the backing of prestigious names in both music and movie production–you’re all set once the right thing happens. In her case, it’s nothing but re-adjustments and getting your timing right as the game of Hollywood usually follows.
In the meantime…there’s always Big Sexy Hair…
In case you aren’t familiar with that hair product company–it’s actually one both men and women can use. Plus, Katharine has been the spokeswoman/model for the product for almost two years now. The ad campaigns featuring her supermodel side are extremely classy and sexy…when you can’t say those two words in the same sentence together often. When the company hired her to be their true “face” of the product–they knew what they were doing. Katharine defines beauty in many of those print ads (or any of her photoshoots) seen in major magazines now. Some of the photos have her in retro fashions at times, too, which fits her persona. The focus, of course, is the hair. And everybody who’s tried the product says it works on creating successful volume. So says Katharine herself who actually uses the products she endorses.
During 2007, and while Katharine’s album was struggling for mainstream radio to play its singles, some figured she was probably having more success working for Big Sexy Hair when it came to getting checks in the mail. No word was given on the exact amount she gets from the company–but it’s in the lower millions. And that proves the tug of how Katharine McPhee can sell just about anything. When she’s photographed pitching products at swag parties during prestigious events–she could be capable of selling a pile of cow manure if she wanted to. Fortunately, no company like that has ended up on the NYSE yet.
RCA dropping Katharine as an artist has generated way too much histrionic publicity since the beginning of 2008. It is, as we know, the result of “American Idol” and the notion alumnae from there can’t sustain careers. Just because Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard were dropped from their labels on the same day as Katharine, too, it doesn’t make the situation uniform.
Katharine has a classic voice that just needs the right nurturing to find her way as an artist. Her temporary rocky road right now, however, is just telling those of you who want to make it in showbiz that no matter how much overwhelming talent you have–timing and who manages you makes all the difference on success sooner rather than later.