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February 12, 2008
Dreyer's taps Melinda Doolittle

AMERICAN-IDOL.jpg
Fox

Last year, it was Season 5 heartthrob Ace Young who dished up bowls of Dreyer's ice cream after crooning a few tunes in the backyard of a lucky Citrus Heights family.

What am I "churning" about now?

This year, it's Melinda Doolittle.

Here's the backstory: In 2007, Dreyer's came up with the nifty idea of pairing a past "Idol" favorite with new ice cream flavors, then having a contest where folks in 10 communities - Sacramento being one of them - could win a private concert/ice cream party in the privacy of their own homes and/or backyards.

As a result, the contest was a promotional success for both the ice cream company - and for Ace.

Now, as Season 7 of "American Idol" prepares for the Hollywood rounds (at 8 tonight and Wednesday on Channel 40), Dreyer's is launching five new flavors with Melinda, who finished third last year (she's pictured with winner Jordin Sparks and runner-upBlake Lewis).

The Sacramento-area private concert is set to take place Feb. 27; on that same day, Melinda will appear from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at a Raley's in El Dorado Hills (3935 Park Drive).

To enter the contest, vote for your favorite Dreyer's "Idol" flavorhere. Votes must be cast by 1 p.m. Feb. 26 to be eligible.

Oh, and the new flavors are Cheesecake Diva, Cookies 'N Dreamz, Mint Karaoke Cookie, Most Orange-inal and One Split Wonder.

Back to tonight's show for a moment: There are 164 contestants vying for 24 spots during the Hollywood rounds, which, if you're an "Idol" fan, you know are grueling at best. They will be allowed to play an instrument if they want. But, as the promos have been touting all week, only the strong will survive. Hope that actually means talented.

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