American Idol Season 5’s winning voice, Taylor Hicks, has gone looking for love on the new FOX dating show, The Choice, premiering tonight.  But the singer revealed to Wetpaint Entertainment that he also struck up a surprising friendship with his co-star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino from The Jersey Shore.

On The Choice, viewers will see celebrity bachelors and bachelorettes swivel their chairs to choose regular people who are vying for dates with them.  As on the NBC show The Voice, the twist is that the stars can’t see the contestants until they choose them.

At the recent event, Taylor told Wetpaint about his new foray into reality TV, bromance with The Situation, his Las Vegas gig, and continuing friendship with Katharine McPhee, who was his Idol runner up in 2006.

Wetpaint Entertainment: What can we expect from The Choice?
Taylor Hicks: I keep saying this, but I really believe it — it’s every dating show that you’ve ever seen on American television all wrapped into one.  Unbelievable.

What did you enjoy most about doing the show?
I had a really great time with all the guys on the show.  All the celebrity guys were really cool and I think it’s a really cool idea and we had great fun.

Who did you bond with the most?
Well, let’s just say that The Situation and I are still texting each other.

About what?
(Smiles) I’m never going to say!

You still follow American Idol.  Who do you think stood out last season?
Hollie [Cavanagh, who finished 4th].  I thought Hollie was going to be in the finale.  I think it’s the “it factor.”  Her maturity as a performer and the maturity of her voice was just unbelievable.

What about the others?
All of them are great and all of them had a really fun ride.  They get to go on tour on buses [this summer] and some of them can skip the conversion van and the Ford Probe driving that I did for years.  They get to skip 10 years of working in clubs!

Now you’re performing in Las Vegas.
Yes.  I auditioned for American Idol in Las Vegas and in six years I’m headlining and so life comes full circle sometimes and it’s just a historic opportunity to be part of a historic entertainment landscape.  I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.

Do you still keep in touch with Katharine McPhee, who’s on Smash?
Oh, I do!  Yeah.  She’s a sweetheart and I couldn’t be more happy for her.

Do you two text?
Yeah.  [But] I don’t think it’s what The Situation and I talk about, put it that way! (Laughs)

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