'American Idol' on the Charts: 'Bad' News is Good for Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert
A performance on the Billboard Music Awards propels the duet to the top of Country Digital Songs. Also: Caleb Johnson earns his first Billboard ink and Phillip Phillips' second album debuts in the top 10.
A 'BAD' DEBUT: In a very newsy chart week for American Idols, Carrie Underwood makes headlines with twin debuts, including a new entry in pole position. After premiering their first-ever collaboration on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, the season four Idol winner and Miranda Lambert see their duet, “Somethin’ Bad,” open at No. 1 on Country Digital Songs. This gives Underwood her 70th Billboard chart-topper.
“Bad” has a great start on five other tallies, bowing at No. 5 on Hot Country Songs, No. 10 on Hot Digital Songs, No. 10 on Hot Digital Tracks, No. 48 on Hot Country Airplay and No. 58 on Country Detections. North of the border, “Bad” is new at No. 33 on the Canadian Hot 100.
Just two days after the Billboard Music Awards aired on ABC, Underwood introduced a new, original song on the CBS special, ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops. “Keep Us Safe,” composed for that two-hour show, also debuts on the Billboard charts this week, with a No. 20 start on Country Digital Songs and a No. 36 opening on Hot Country Songs.
“Somethin’ Bad” is by far Underwood’s highest debut on Hot Country Songs. Of her 32 titles to appear on this tally, “Bad” is the first to debut in the top 20. Before this week, Underwood’s highest-ranking new entry was “So Small,” which opened at No. 20 the week of Aug. 18, 2007. “Bad” is Underwood’s 18 song to reach the top five on this chart.
Two older Underwood singles are seeing new action on the Christian Digital Songs list. “Jesus, Take the Wheel” rebounds 41 to 33 in its 227 chart week and the live recording of “How Great Thou Art” moves from 48 to 46 in its 147 week.
‘LOVE’ HIM TWO TIMES: Every finalist who has won the title of American Idol has landed on the Billboard charts and season 13 champion Caleb Johnson proves to be no exception. His coronation song, “As Long As You Love Me,” debuts on two surveys this week. The single is a new entry at No. 26 on Rock Digital Songs and No. 42 on Hot Rock Songs.
Where “Love” disappoints is on the Hot 100, where it fails to secure a berth. Johnson could still appear on this list, either with his current single or a future release, but if he doesn’t, he will be the first Idol winner to miss the main pop singles chart.
Last year’s winner, Candice Glover, charted on the Hot 100 with her season finale ode, “I Am Beautiful,” although it only reached No. 93.
Another letdown is the failure of Jena Irene’s single, “We Are One,” to appear on any Billboard chart. No prior runner-up, from Justin Guarini to Kree Harrison, has missed landing on one or more of the magazine’s tallies, though not all have made the Hot 100.
Lower ratings for season 13 of American Idol means there are fewer people who would be likely to purchase a finalist’s recording, though the Nielsen ratings’ season rankings show that an average of 12 million viewers per week were still watching the Fox series this year (with 10 million viewing the finale).
‘LIGHT’ SINGS: Phillip Phillips’ second studio album bows on the charts this week and there is good news for the season 11 winner. Behind the Light pops onto The Billboard 200 at No. 7, giving him his second top 10 debut. His first post-Idol set, The World from the Side of the Moon, began its chart life at No. 4 the week of Dec. 8, 2012.
Light is also new at No. 5 on Top Internet Albums and Top Digital Albums and No. 7 on Top Current Albums.
The first single from Light, "Raging Fire," continues to perform well. It improves 9 to 7 on Adult Top 40, 21 to 20 on Adult Contemporary Audience and 88 to 70 on the Hot 100. On Pop Digital Songs, "Fire" re-enters at No. 27. The biggest jump for the track is on the Canadian Hot 100, where it soars 55 to 26.
Phillips' first album gets a surge of energy, thanks to the release of album number two. World re-enters The Billboard 200 at No. 153 and makes its first appearance on Top Catalog Albums at No. 37.
The singles from World also get a boost. "Gone, Gone, Gone" is up from 27 to 24 in its 69th week on Rock Digital Songs and "Home" rockets 46 to 25 in its 104th week, marking a run of two full years on this chart.
BITS AND PIECES: Danny Gokey's "Hope in Front of Me" breaks into the top 10 on Christian Adult Contemporary with a move of 14 to 10. The single holds at No. 16 on Hot Christian Songs and is up 23 to 22 on Christian Airplay… Jennifer Hudson's latest, "Walk It Out," recorded with Timbaland, climbs 28 to 22 on Adult R&B… Scotty McCreery's new single, "Feelin' It," rises 41 to 38 on Country Airplay… Mandisa's "Back to You," the second single from her Overcomer album, is up from 15 to 14 on Hot Christian Songs and 15 to 13 on Christian Airplay… Jennifer Lopez is seeing action on two different singles. "I Luh Ya Papi" races 24 to 18 on Hot Dance Club Play and the follow-up, "First Love," is new at No. 23 on Bubbling Under the Hot 100.