Katharine McPhee Says Her ‘American Idol’ Stint ‘Did Exactly What It’s Supposed to Do’

katharine mcphee TCA Winter 2013 Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes

American Idol fans got a chuckle out of last year’s promos for the first season of NBC’s Smash, which featured the line, “Introducing Katharine McPhee.”

Of course, she wasn’t new to them. McPhee was the runner-up on the fifth season of Idol and went on to make three modestly selling albums. But, a recording career wasn’t really her aim.

“I just kind of wanted to be an actress,” McPhee admitted this week at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.

“And I thought like, ‘Oh, OK, I need a better agent. So, I’m going to go on American Idol and see if I can get some good exposure,” she continued. “I had no idea I would do as well as I did. But with that came huge record contracts and all that stuff. I didn’t realize that I was going to suddenly have to have an identity as a musician, and I wasn’t ready for that.”

So, what’s McPhee’s advice for new Idol contenders? “You really should know who you are as a musician, because what was sort of a big challenge for me coming off of the show,” she advised.

Singing, of course, is still central to her role on NBC’s musical drama. She plays Karen Cartwright, a small town singer and actress who moves to New York City trying to become a Broadway musical star. So, while McPhee may not have wanted to be a musician, she told reporters that she would never tell an Idol contender not to take the competition seriously. “It’s something that could really change your life,” she said.

“[I’m] grateful that it’s done what it was supposed to do, which was get you that platform and get you to that next thing,” the 28-year-old said. “So, I’m very grateful for it, but it’s not something that I feel like I have a life identity where I wake up every morning and say, ‘I was on ‘American Idol.’”

That doesn’t mean McPhee isn’t keeping up on the show. She is up on the news of the new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. But, not only does the actress believe she “was a different person” back then, but so was the FOX talent competition.

“For me, it’s such a different show now than when I was on the show,” she said. “I mean, they get so many more things than we ever just in terms of earpieces and things like that, the rehearsal time that they get that we didn’t have when we on the show. It’s just a very different show.”

Smash returns to NBC on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 9PM. And American Idol is back on FOX on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8PM.

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Katharine McPhee Says Her ‘American Idol’ Stint ‘Did Exactly What It’s Supposed to Do’

katharine mcphee TCA Winter 2013 Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes

American Idol fans got a chuckle out of last year’s promos for the first season of NBC’s Smash, which featured the line, “Introducing Katharine McPhee.”

Of course, she wasn’t new to them. McPhee was the runner-up on the fifth season of Idol and went on to make three modestly selling albums. But, a recording career wasn’t really her aim.

“I just kind of wanted to be an actress,” McPhee admitted this week at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.

“And I thought like, ‘Oh, OK, I need a better agent. So, I’m going to go on American Idol and see if I can get some good exposure,” she continued. “I had no idea I would do as well as I did. But with that came huge record contracts and all that stuff. I didn’t realize that I was going to suddenly have to have an identity as a musician, and I wasn’t ready for that.”

So, what’s McPhee’s advice for new Idol contenders? “You really should know who you are as a musician, because what was sort of a big challenge for me coming off of the show,” she advised.

Singing, of course, is still central to her role on NBC’s musical drama. She plays Karen Cartwright, a small town singer and actress who moves to New York City trying to become a Broadway musical star. So, while McPhee may not have wanted to be a musician, she told reporters that she would never tell an Idol contender not to take the competition seriously. “It’s something that could really change your life,” she said.

“[I’m] grateful that it’s done what it was supposed to do, which was get you that platform and get you to that next thing,” the 28-year-old said. “So, I’m very grateful for it, but it’s not something that I feel like I have a life identity where I wake up every morning and say, ‘I was on ‘American Idol.’”

That doesn’t mean McPhee isn’t keeping up on the show. She is up on the news of the new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. But, not only does the actress believe she “was a different person” back then, but so was the FOX talent competition.

“For me, it’s such a different show now than when I was on the show,” she said. “I mean, they get so many more things than we ever just in terms of earpieces and things like that, the rehearsal time that they get that we didn’t have when we on the show. It’s just a very different show.”

Smash returns to NBC on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 9PM. And American Idol is back on FOX on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8PM.

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‘Celebrity Apprentice’ All-Star Omarosa Reveals Which Contender Would ‘Stab You in the Front’

Celebrity Apprentice All Star Omarosa

NBC has rounded up its most popular losers from previous seasons of Celebrity Apprentice for an All-Star edition. And, it should come as no surprise for the show’s fans that Omarosa Manigault is entering the boardroom for a third time.

And apparently, things haven’t changed much for reality TV’s original bad girl. “I fought with everybody,” Omarosa told reporters at Sunday’s Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.

“You’ll see in certain situations when things get tense, everyone sort of lets loose,” the 38-year-old added. “I try to table it, but some people hold onto it.”

Omarosa then exempted country singer Trace Adkins from her list of combatants, but did say that “Stephen Baldwin will stab you in the front as opposed to in the back.”

“Stephen Baldwin played a mind game,” she explained. “He came in on Day 1, you knew his mind was kind of turning, he was strategizing who to get at.”

But, Omarosa didn’t just have to watch out for fellow contenders. This season invites previous winners to advise Donald Trump during the boardroom. And one of those returning winners has an axe to grind with Omarosa: Piers Morgan.

“He said he came back this season solely to torture me,” the former political consultant said. “And that’s what he did, episode after episode.

All-Star Celebrity Apprentice premieres Sunday, March 3 at 9PM on NBC.

Watch the trailer that debuted at TCA above.

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‘The Voice’s’ Adam Levine Hosting ‘SNL’; Al-Jazeera Buys Current TV

With a tour on the horizon and NBC’s The Voice returning in March, Adam Levine is taking on a new gig. He’ll be hosting late night sketch show Saturday Night Live for the very first time on Jan. 26. Before that, Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence will host the show on Jan. 19 with musical guests The Lumineers. [NBC]

Hawaii Five-0 is handing an episode over to its fans. In a move the network is calling the “first of its kind,” the show will let viewers decide who the killer is on the episode airing Jan. 14. [EW]

It’s confirmed. Arabic news and current affairs organization, Al Jazeera has bought the struggling Current TV. Former Vice President and Current founder Al Gore said in a statement that Al-Jazeera shared Current TV’s mission “to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.” [AP]

Web blogger “Reality Steve” Carbone is finding himself back in court over his Bachelor spoilers. After previously suing him six months ago over allegations that he was influencing show contestants and employees into breaking their confidentiality agreements, the ABC show’s producers are suing once again. What set this round of legal wrangling on? Carbone posted spoilers from the show’s first five episodes, including a list of the women who were eliminated. [THR]

Ratings: NBC won the ratings race on Wednesday, which included a series high for Chicago Fire. The drama attracted 8.4 million viewers, which made it the most-watched show of the night. NBC also saw double-digit improvements for its reruns of Whitney, Guys With Kids and Law & Order: SVU. [EW]

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Kim Kardashian Tells Betty White to ‘Back Off’ Kanye West (VIDEO)

Betty White is definitely on a winning streak.

She’s starring on the TV Land hit Hot in Cleveland and the marathon of her prank show Off Their Rockers helped NBC win the ratings battle on New Year’s Day Tuesday. But, she’s about to find out that even an American treasure can’t have everything she wants.

Newly announced pregnant Kim Kardashian makes an appearance in a promo for Off Their Rockersand it ends in a feud.

In the video, White discovers that she’s somehow related to the reality show vixen, which in her mind means one thing.

“I’m just one step away from your boyfriend,” the 90-year-old Golden Girl star says. “You Kardashians share everything, right?”

To which a displeased Kardashian, 32, replies, “Back off, Betty.”

Watch the beginning of a family feud in the video above.

Betty White’s Off Their Rockers returns Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 8 PM on NBC.

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Midseason TV Preview: Standouts From 21 New Shows in 2013 (PHOTOS)

It’s a new year and that means the networks are rolling the dice on series to fill the time slots vacated by their fall fails and while their hits shoot more episodes.

There are some definite trends in the midseason offerings like suburban housewives who find their world evolving (ABC’s Red Widow, NBC’s Save Me).

And grown children returning to the nest (ABC’s How to Live With Your Parents and Family Tools, FOX’s The Goodwin Games).

How about a return to the 80s (The CW’s Carrie Diaries, FX’s The Americans)?

Or, manly men who are having their beliefs challenged (FOX’s The Following, NBC’s Do No Harm, The CW’s Cult)?

In the above gallery, I’ve compiled a list of 21 new shows premiering during the midseason. And, below I’ve listed some new offerings that pique my interest the most from the batch.

Dramas:

  • As a Sex and the City fan, I’m really looking forward to The CW’s Carrie Diaries, which follows the development of the future sex columnist as a 16-year-old in 1984.
  • There’s so much to love about what FX’s The Americans has to offer. Felicity fans get Keri Russell, Brothers & Sisters fans get Matthew Rhys. There’s spy intrigue set in the Cold War era. Can. Not. Wait.
  • Speaking of historical dramas, I’m definitely curious about History Channel’s first scripted series The Vikings. Not only because I love the blend of history and fantasy (Starz’s Spartacus!), but Elizabeth, The Tudors and Camelot’s Michael Hirst is behind this project.
  • Grappling for my attention are FOX’s The Following and The CW’s Cult. Both explore extreme fanaticism and star two actors I appreciate: Kevin Bacon (in his TV series premiere) and Matt Davis (formerly of The Vampire Diaries).

Comedies:

  • NBC has already previewed 1600 Penn for audiences in December, but I promise it doesn’t lose the pilot’s hilarity (and further builds on defining its characters really well) as the season continues. As my TV reporter colleagues have pointed out, Josh Gad is a lot. But, there’s some great stuff coming for the other actors.
  • The Goodwin Games doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but it’s definitely a competitive entry into the midseason comedy ring. Not only does Ugly Betty star Becki Newton get another chance at a series (I did enjoy Love Bites, judge me), but Scott Foley gets to flex his comic muscles again too (see his stints on Cougar Town and Scrubs).

Reality:

  • Premiering New Year’s Day Tuesday at 8 PM, TLC follows 90s girl group TLC member Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins as she moves to L.A. to jumpstart her music career again. She was always the most interesting member of TLC for me, so I’m interested to see how her unique gravelly vocals work as a soloist and years later.
  • Bravo goes deeper into the professional life of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills castmember Lisa Vanderpump with her spinoff Vanderpump Rules, which previews as a backdoor pilot as part of a two-hour RHOBH on Monday at 9 PM. Again, Lisa has been one of the most colorful additions to the franchise for me, so I’m way more interested in seeing her manage the staff than the drama between them. That could change as I get to know the cast, though.
  • I’m certain Foodies will find something to love about the new reality competition from ABC, The Taste, which combines elements of Top Chef with the winners judged in blind taste tests (a la The Voice’s blind auditions). Its judging panel should be entertaining with Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain on tap.
  • Speaking of The Voice, executive producer Mark Burnett once again throws some power the contestants’ way with CBS’ The Job, in which contenders vie for their dream gig while also considering offers from other companies. That’s a good twist on The Apprentice formula.

Click through the gallery above for a quick look at 21 new shows in 2013.

Which new midseason series excite you and which ones won’t make your DVR playlist?

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‘X Factor’s’ Good and Bad Ratings News; ‘Parks and Recreation’ Nabs Jenny Slate for Guest Spot

Despite nabbing its best numbers in two months for its live results finale, FOX’s The X Factor was down 18 percent as compared to its Season 1 finale with 9.6 million total viewers. Meanwhile NBC’s A White House Christmas performed better than its usual Thursday comedies with 8.4 million viewers. [TV Guide]

Saturday Night Live alum Jenny Slate is headed to NBC’s Parks and Recreation. The comedian will play Jean Ralphio’s (Ben Schwartz) twin sister. Her character, Mona Lisa, will be hired by Tom (Aziz Ansari) to work at his Rent-A-Swag store. She is set to guest on at least one episode, which will air later in Season 5. [EW]

ABC News’ chief White House correspondent, Jake Tapper is leaving the network for CNN. He will be the chief Washington correspondent on CNN as well and also host a weekday program in 2013. In a statement, Tapper said, “With CNN’s impeccable reporting during the elections and the exciting changes in the network, this is a perfect time to join the CNN team.” [THR]

FOX’s Touch is bringing Ron Rifkin on for its Season 2 finale. The Alias alum will play Issac, a rabbi who believes in destiny. The second season premiere of Touch airs Feb. 8 on FOX. [THR]

Come January, ABC will be giving viewers an extra dose of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. Beginning Jan. 6 the two comedies will show additional original episodes in the now vacant slot left open by 666 Park Avenue. Both series will end their seasons in March to make room for Dancing With the Stars. [TVLine]

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2012 Year in Review: 20 Best and Worst TV Shows (PHOTOS)

When we were tasked to pick our 10 best and worst shows of 2012, we realized that in this TV landscape there was absolutely no way we could only pick five for our best of the year. So, Celebuzz went bigger and went for 20.

In the age of DVRs and delayed viewing, people are watching more TV than ever. But, this year there were a handful of these shows that became appointment television. Case in point, Showtime’s Homeland. Missing a Sunday night episode of the Emmy-winning drama’s second season had fans avoiding their Twitters and Faceboooks and even their friends the next morning, so they wouldn’t be spoiled.

Same goes for AMC’s The Walking Dead and ABC’s Scandal. Making it through a week without having watched the most recent episode was a hard feat to manage. Not all of our favorites were shocking dramas, though. We also couldn’t stop laughing at ABC’s hilarious cast of the under-appreciated Happy Endings and we were more than excited that Mindy Kaling was coming to TV in her very own show, The Mindy Project.

Of course, not all shows on the small screen had us addicted to the tube or laughing so hard we cried. Some of the broadcast network’s freshman comedies fell flat this year despite being picked up for full seasons.

ABC’s The Neighbors, about a family, which moves into a community of aliens was particularly light on the laughs. We also could have done without NBC’s Guys With Kids.

For our list of Best and Worst TV Shows of 2012, launch the gallery above.

What were your favorite and least favorite shows of the year?

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‘The Voice’ Nabs Highest Finale Ratings Ever; ‘Heroes’ Alum Headed to ‘Beauty and the Beast’

NBC’s The Voice has been on top of the ratings all season. And with its two-hour Season 3 finale, the reality show has achieved its most watched and highest rated finale ever with 14 million total viewers and a 4.9 rating in the ad-coveted demo. Cassadee Pope’s big win had the show up 11 percent compared to the rest of the season. CBS’ Tuesday night lineup also saw gains in the ratings of 7 to 18 percent. [EW]

Heroes alum Sendil Ramamurthy has been cast on The CW’s Beauty and the Beast as Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Lowen. As the new guy in town, Lowen may cause some drama between Cat (Kristin Kreuk) and Vincent (Jay Ryan) as he is said to be a new love interest for the police officer. Ramamurthy’s role is recurring and will begin with his first appearance on Episode 15. [Zap2it]

Sean Hayes could be coming back to TV full time next season. The actor, known for his work on Will & Grace has signed on to executive producer and star in a new project from writer Victor Fresco (Better Off Ted) on NBC. On the show, Hayes would be dealing with becoming a father to a 14-year-old girl who just moved in with him. [TV Guide]

MTV2 is beginning production on a six-part special with music superstar and entrepeneur Mac Miller. The special will follow miller along with his four best friends as they leave Pittsburgh, Pa. for Los Angeles, Calif. The show will premiere in the first quarter of 2013. The network has also set the Season 3 premiere date for Guy Code on Jan. 15 at 11 PM. [MTV2]

Rosie O’Donnell has revealed she is in talks to join NBC’s America’s Got Talent. The talk-show host revealed that she may be taking over for Sharon Osbourne on the new season at Cyndi Lauper’s second annual Home for the Holidays benefit at The Beacon Theatre. When asked what kind of judge she’d me, she said, “I think I’d probably be nicer than most but I think I’d be honest. I think he [Stern] is a genius, so to work with him would be a thrill for me.” [NY Observer]

NBC’s Parks and Recreation is bringing in Jason Schwartzman for a guest spot. The Bored to Death actor will play Dennis Lerpiss, the owner of the Pawnee VideoDome. Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) will help Lerpiss declare the store a historical landmark on an episode set to air in 2013. [HuffPost TV]

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‘The Voice’ Coach Blake Shelton Isn’t ‘Surprised at all’ by Cassadee Pope’s Win (VIDEO)

Blake Shelton has got the goods when it comes to being a great coach on NBC’s The Voice.

On Tuesday’s third season finale of the reality show, two of the three remaining finalists – Terry McDermott and Cassadee Pope – belonged to Team Blake. And last year, the country crooner proved he was the coach to beat with surprise winner Jermaine Paul.

Now, with Season 3′s winner, Shelton has done it again, nabbing back-to-back wins.

On Tuesday night, Team Blake superstar and former Hey Monday singer, Cassadee Pope was crowned the competition’s winner,  thanks in large part to the incorporation of iTunes voting. The singer had two of her three songs from Monday’s final performance show swimming in the Top 10 on the download program, allowing her votes to count 10-fold.

“You know I’m feeling really like a million pounds have been lifted off my shoulders,” Shelton told Celebuzz about Pope’s win after the finale. “I’m not surprised at all by Cassadee winning this show because she’s been a fan favorite and a frontrunner on iTunes all along.”

“I think that probably is the most impressive thing about Cassadee – holding on to that momentum and not peaking too early,” he continued to gush. “She is somebody who is smart enough to figure out what people react to. She’s the type of artist that can be artistic and satisfy herself and also give the fans what they want. That’s what makes her a superstar. It truly is. You can say what you want to say but that’s the truth. She connects with her fans and she’s here for them and that’s why she won The Voice.”

When the popular singing competition show returns for Season 4 in March, coaches Shakira and Usher will be joining Shelton and fellow coach Adam Levine as Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green take a hiatus from the program.

But does Shelton think he could beat the newbies and win three times in a row?

“I don’t think I have a three-peat in me,” he paused. “I KNOW I have a three peat in me.”

“I think winning three of these in a row could be very damaging to Adam Levine’s ego and that’s what I live for,” joked the star.

Watch Shelton’s full interview above.

Season 4 of The Voice begins Mar. 25 on NBC.

Do you think Blake could go for three next season? Are you happy with Season 3′s winner? Sound off in the comments below!

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‘The Voice’ Winner Cassadee Pope Talks Finale Night: ‘A Lot of Dreams Came True’ (VIDEO)

Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice has come to a close and a winner has been chosen.

Viewers waited patiently as the three finalists performed with their peers and idols during a star studded two-hour finale event. But in the end there could only be one victor and the announcement didn’t come as much of a surprise to fans keeping tabs on the iTunes charts.

Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the Season 3 finale of The Voice.

As predicted by many, Cassadee Pope came away victorious on the finale of the reality show. Pope, who charted in multiple spots on the iTunes Top 10 following Monday night’s performances, told Celebuzz she was feeling “pretty damn good” after her big win.

The next two days are sure to be a non-stop whirlwind for the newly crowned Voice champion as she is set to make appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live! with Kelly and Michael and Today.

One of the best parts of the finale for Pope, was being able to perform with not one but two of her idols: Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson.

“That was crazy,” she said of being able to perform with the stars during the broadcast. “Avril was so sweet. She knew that I’m a huge fan so I think she did a little research before she came. She watched my covers of ‘My Happy Ending’ and ‘I’m With You.’ She said she enjoyed them, which was really cool to hear.”

“Then Kelly Clarkson was the most down to earth, amazing person I’ve ever met,” Pope continued to gush. “She was like giving parts [of ‘Catch My Breath’] to me and Terry [McDermott] we weren’t originally supposed to have. She wanted to give us some more time so that was really cool. Overall, a lot of dreams came true tonight.”

And now that Pope has officially been declared the winner of The Voice, when can we expect to hear some original music from the pop star?

“I’m hoping January,” she said. “I’m going to hit the ground running right now. For Christmas, I’ll kick my feet back but I need to keep working. I need to keep up the momentum, which I’m really excited about, so hopefully January.”

Watch Cassadee’s full interview above.

Do you think America chose wisely? Should Cassadee have won The Voice? Sound off in the comments below!

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