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Kelly Clarkson picks Taylor to win ‘Idol’

‘He’s unique’ she said at the Academy of Country Music Awards
/ Source: The Associated Press

Kelly Clarkson, who won the first “American Idol” competition, wasn’t afraid to predict who is going to win this one.

“I’d say Taylor. He’s different, he’s unique,” Clarkson said of soul singer Taylor Hicks as she arrived at Tuesday’s 41st annual Academy of Country Music Awards show.

Clarkson, who arrived in a vintage gown with plunging neckline, wasn’t the only “Idol” winner at the show. Carrie Underwood, who took the award last year, also attended and took home country music awards for top new female vocalist and top single for “Jesus Take the Wheel.”

Clarkson said she didn’t have any advice for Underwood.

“Oh no, she’s been doing great on her own,” she said.

In another competition, for ratings, an “American Idol” episode aired Tuesday night on Fox, opposite the Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS.

What a dollWhile plenty of stars who arrived on the orange carpet before Tuesday’s show were model-thin, Brian McComas’ date was actually small enough to fit inside his pocket.

McComas, who’s “Good Good Lovin”’ video won a Country Music Television award, brought a Barbie doll with him. The doll, which he renamed “Carrie,” was featured in his latest video, and he said he’s become attached.

“She’s easy to deal with, low maintenance,” he quipped.

“I don’t know who she’s wearing,” he said of Carrie’s gown. “I know it was made in China, though. My road manager dressed her.”

Gill humbledVince Gill says he’s humbled by being chosen humanitarian of the year by the Academy of Country Music and Home Depot.

“The title ‘humanitarian’ is a big one,” he said. “I’ve gotten to write songs, sing and play a guitar for a living, which is a blessing. I’ve also tried to help other people along the way.”

Along with a crystal trophy designed by Tiffany & Co., Gill will choose the location for a playground to be built by Home Depot and the company’s volunteers. He said his choice probably would be New Orleans, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Speeding by the paparazziTony Stewart, NASCAR’s defending Nextel Cup champion, was almost overlooked on the orange carpet Tuesday as he made his way through a galaxy of music stars arriving at the show.

“It’s nice to let somebody else have the attention,” said Stewart, who is routinely mobbed at race tracks.