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Credit: American Idol: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Advice for ”American Idol” finalist Katharine McPhee

WHAT’S WORKING Katharine’s low-key charm and pitch-perfect delivery have drawn comparisons to season 1 champ Kelly Clarkson. Fair enough, considering both ladies tackled risky Aretha covers early in the competition — and pulled them off with panache.

WHAT NEEDS WORK For Katharine, it all comes down to focus. And that means her listless, frumpy alter-ego (the one who limped through ”All in Love Is Fair”) must be permanently banished from the Idol stage.

FROCK U If Katharine’s got an Achilles’ heel, it’s probably her questionable taste in clothing: The dumpy black scoop-neck and rumpled jeans she wore during the March 7 semifinal, for example, should’ve stayed stuffed in her suitcase.

REQUEST LIST Hank Williams’ ”I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” the Motels’ ”Only the Lonely,” ‘Til Tuesday’s ”Voices Carry”

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