'Idol' wild: Three alums in top 10

But '06 champ can't top Young Jeezy's 2nd album

It was a big week for "American Idol" contestants on the Billboard 200, but none could match Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy, who debuts at No. 1 with his second Def Jam album, "The Inspiration." The set sold 352,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Dec. 17.

Taylor Hicks leads a trio of "Idol" alums in the top 10 as his self-titled Arista debut bows at No. 2 with 298,000 units sold. "Some Hearts," the debut album from the show's 2005 winner, Carrie Underwood, leaps four spots to No. 6 in its 57th chart week, shifting 199,000, while the self-titled RCA debut by Daughtry, fronted by 2006 also-ran Chris Daughtry, holds at No. 7 at 181,000 units sold. Meanwhile, 2003 winner Fantasia bows at No. 19 with her self-titled sophomore album for J Records.

In a week in which every holdover album in the top 10 enjoyed a sales increase, the Walt Disney Records soundtrack to "Hannah Montana" inches up one slot to No. 3 with 274,000 sold, while the Sony-distributed "Now 23" hits compilation also rises one rung to No. 4, selling 235,000 units.

Josh Groban's "Awake" (143/Reprise) jumps back into the top 10, moving up six notches to No. 5 on an 83% increase to 222,000. The Beatles' "Love" (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol) remains at No. 8 with 178,000 copies scanned.

Leading Grammy nominee Mary J. Blige's "Reflections (A Retrospective)" (Geffen) debuts at No. 9, selling 171,000 units, while Il Divo's "Siempre" (Columbia) rounds out the top 10, sliding four rungs on 167,000 copies sold.

It was a rough week for last week's top three albums, all of which were chart debuts and fall out of the top 10 this week: Ciara's "The Evolution" (LaFace/ Zomba), plummets to from No. 1 to No. 11, followed by the Eminem-reared compilation "Eminem Presents: The Re-Up" (Shady/Interscope), down from No. 2 to No. 13, and Gwen Stefani's "The Sweet Escape" (Interscope), which also drops 11 notches to No. 14.

Jonathan Cohen is senior editor at Billboard.
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