Nation/World

‘American Idol’ finalists to visit White House

WASHINGTON – “American Idol” will reach the pinnacle of political validation today when President Bush welcomes this year’s winner, Taylor Hicks, and the show’s nine runners-up to the White House.

It’s not as if the blockbuster Fox show needs any more publicity. The season’s finale drew 36.38 million viewers, behind only the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards this year, and its 10 top performers are in the midst of a 58-stop summer concert tour. But Bush could use a ratings boost – for months polls have consistently showed fewer than four in 10 Americans approve of his job performance.

It’s the first time “American Idol” stars – or those from any reality TV show – have earned a White House meeting. Hicks, along with second-place finisher Katharine McPhee, third-place finisher Elliott Yamin and the show’s other finalists, will visit Bush in the Oval Office this afternoon.



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