Remember back in 2006, when Taylor Hicks won Season five of American Idol, despite the fact that everyone predicted that runner up Katharine McPhee would take the crown? Well, so do Hicks and McPhee. And the they're using their experience to help encourage their fans to register to vote in the midterm elections. Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks exchanged teasing messages on Twitter this week, referencing their shocking American Idol finale all in the hopes of getting fans to the ballot box.
McPhee — who is currently starring in the Broadway production of Waitress — kicked things off with a tweet that jokingly threw shade at her fellow Idol contestant and his win. Alongside a photo of a triumphant Hicks being congratulated by McPhee, the singer and actress wrote simply, "voting matters 🙃," with a link to register to vote for the upcoming midterms.
Hicks responded with a joking tweet of his own, writing "You're right, voting DOES matter! But you're a little late to the party, Kat 🙃." The country star also included a link to a Facebook video, where he encouraged citizens of his home state of Alabama to register to vote. Hicks' PSA was posted all the way back in March, hence his quip about McPhee being late to the voting advocacy game.
McPhee's tweet — which many on Twitter, including comedian Kathy Griffin, felt was shady — was a reference to Hicks' surprising Idol win way back in Season 5 of the show. After Chris Daughtry was shockingly eliminated in the fourth-place slot, many felt that McPhee's powerhouse performances would result in her winning the show; however, Hicks had a strong swell of support from the fans at home and easily took the victory.
McPhee even told Entertainment Weekly back in 2006 that she wasn't surprised to see Hicks win the show, after seeing how fans would call in to vote for him week after week. "I guess I had a feeling that he could probably take it home," McPhee said at the time.
She added: "Especially because Taylor has been high up in the voting thing for the last couple of weeks. He’d never been in the bottom three. I think he’s the only one who’s never been in the bottom three. He did it." (Clearly, all of the votes mattered back then, too.)
Though it's the first time that McPhee has referenced her Idol past in order to do so, this is far from the first time that the outspoken singer has used her platform in order to advocate for the importance of registering to vote and to get out the word about the 2018 midterm elections. Back in July, after news of her engagement to producer David Foster broke, McPhee tweeted out a message to everyone who felt the need to comment on the romance — and the 34-year age gap between the couple.
“Y’all should be worrying more about registering to vote and midterm elections than who’s marrying me,” McPhee tweeted, before adding a joke thanking fans for "coming to my TED talk."
McPhee and Foster actually met during Season 5 of American Idol, when the classical producer stopped by the show as a "guest mentor." The producer helped McPhee prepare for her performance of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," and the pair became close friends. "I'm really, really fond of him, and I think he's an incredible person. I've known him since I was 21-years-old, you know? He produced my first single. So he's been really good to me," McPhee told Health in November 2017.
It seems as if American Idol is good for more than just launching music careers. It's a match maker, an entertainer, and a way to encourage people everywhere to get out the vote — both for their chosen Idol and for their elected officials.