Actress/singer Katharine Mcphee played down her fashion sense while competing on U.S. reality show American Idol in order to earn more votes.

The clever star rose to fame as a contestant on the fifth season of the programme in 2006, and pretended not to have a clue about style because she knew viewers liked a good makeover story, and always rooted for the underdog.

She tells Lucky magazine, "On Idol, I was very strategic with my look. I specifically wore very little makeup, did very little with my hair. I wore beat-up jeans and a simple jacket and I covered my body up because I knew that viewers like seeing transformation.

"As a viewer myself, it was one of those things I looked forward to. It's like when people watch Dancing With the Stars. They love to see the stars lose weight and start to feel confident. So I wanted to create that story - actually to push the story that I had no idea about fashion - which was not actually true."

And MCPhee's plan worked - she came in second place just behind winner Taylor Hicks and went on to become a household name in the U.S. where she now stars in hit Tv show Smash.