''American Idol'' finalist strips for PETA. Kathy Najimy and Moby support Vanessa Olivarez's nude ad campaign

By Liane Bonin
Updated May 01, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Simon may have griped that her hourglass figure runneth over, but that didn’t stop ”American Idol” finalist Vanessa Olivarez from getting nekkid. The 22-year-old singer is the latest to strip down for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) ongoing ”Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur” ad campaign.

Olivarez, who wears nothing more than a microphone and a cherry tattoo in the ad, is following in the unclad footsteps of Pamela Anderson, Kim Basinger, and Christy Turlington. ”I definitely don’t have the body that Pamela Anderson and Christy Turlington do, but hopefully people won’t be so offended,” Olivarez said on the organization’s furisdead.com website. ”My butt’s bigger, but it’s cool.”

It was actually another curvy star who got Olivarez the gig. ”Kathy Najimy, who also posed for an ad, was the one who told us Vanessa was a big animal-rights advocate,” PETA vice president Dan Matthews tells EW.com. ”And we were thrilled to have her, because we also believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Her ad can send a positive message to teens who may feel insecure about their weight.”

The ad has already appeared on billboards in New York (other cities will be unveiled in the coming weeks) and will pop up in selected teen magazines. Olivarez, who was booted from ”Idol” on March 12, signed posters of the ad in the audience during a matinee of the Broadway musical ”Hairspray.” ”Some of the cast recognized her and dragged her backstage, asking ‘How can we get you to be in our show?”’ says Matthews. She even landed a dinner invite from vegan activist Moby during her stay in New York, but it isn’t likely a collaboration will result. ”They talked a little bit about music, but her tastes were much more mainstream, R&B than his,” says Matthews. But hey, if Gwen Stefani isn’t available?