ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (July 22) - President George W. Bush plans to host "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks and the other Top 10 finalists next Friday in the Oval Office. It will be the first time contestants from the hit television show have been invited to meet the president.
Hicks won the most recent season's contest May 24 after 63 million votes were cast for him in the season finale. That's more than the 59 million that Bush got in 2004, a record in any U.S. presidential election. Although, to be fair, voters can cast more than one ballot on "American Idol."
The White House announced the Idols' upcoming visit Friday as Bush traveled to Colorado for a Republican fundraiser.
The meeting is scheduled for July 28, when the performers were scheduled to be in Washington for their "American Idols Live" show at the Verizon Center. Hicks has a personal connection inside the White House: Susan Whitson, Laura Bush's press secretary, taught him in her English class at Hoover High School in Birmingham, Alabama.
The finalists will get a tour of the White House before their audience with the president. It was unclear if runner-up Katharine McPhee would be among the group since she missed recent tour stops due to bronchitis and laryngitis.