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'American Idol' on the Charts: Andrew Garcia Returns -- With a Comedy Hit?

The season nine alum breaks new genre ground and is the 71st Idol to appear on Billboard magazine's surveys.

Andrew Garcia 2014 L
Courtesy Andrew Garcia

MAKE ‘ROOM’ FOR ANDREW: Every week, there is some predictable American Idol chart news -- like this week’s debut of the new album by Ruben Studdard (see below). Then there are the surprises that come from out of nowhere -- like this week’s first appearance on the Billboard charts by season nine’s Andrew Garcia.

The resident of Moreno Valley, Calif., first garnered national attention when he sang an acoustic version of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” during Hollywood Week. He went on to finish ninth in the season that ended almost four years ago.

He has been working at his craft ever since. Three years ago he was doing a live show with a group called YTF. “Ryan Higa and I were in our hotel jamming on guitar and we came up with a chorus,” Garcia tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We loved it but we scrapped it until we recorded it last summer.” Higa and Garcia took the song to producer Andy Lange to record it and then shot a video of the tune, titled “GTFO My Room.”

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“Ryan uploaded it to his channel, which has 11 million subscribers. I uploaded the acoustic version to my channel and Andy uploaded ‘the making of’ to his channel,” says Garcia. The official music video was posted on Feb. 6 and has already garnered 1.8 million views.

All of this exposure had led to sales of the digital audio download, which is why the song debuts at No. 6 on Billboard’s Comedy Digital Tracks chart. Garcia is the first Idol to appear on this list.

He is the fifth Idol from season nine to chart, following Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, Casey James and Michael Lynche, the top four finalists from that year. Garcia is the 71st Idol to appear on the Billboard charts and the first to join this exclusive club since Candice Glover and Kree Harrison became the 69th and 70th Idols to chart in May 2013.

Watch the slightly NSFW video below:

UNCONDITIONALLY: Eleven years after he won American Idol, Ruben Studdard is still appearing in the top 10 of the Billboard charts. His fifth studio album, Unconditional Love, is a new entry on four different surveys this week.

Studdard’s first album for the legendary Verve label debuts at No. 7 on Top R&B Albums. The set also bows at No. 11 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, No. 44 on Top Current Albums and No. 46 on The Billboard 200.

Studdard made his first appearance on The Billboard 200 the week of Dec. 27, 2003, when his debut album, Soulful, entered at No. 1. That gives the second American Idol a chart span of 10 months and two weeks, making Unconditional Love the first charted album of his second decade on the Billboard charts.

SCOTTY EVEN STRONGER: Last week this column reported on the growing strength of Scotty McCreery’s latest album and single. This week, both continue an upward journey on the Billboard charts.

The single “See You Tonight” climbs 48-44 in its second week on Radio Songs, which measures airplay across all formats. The track also achieves new peak positions on Hot Country Songs (14-12), Country Airplay (also 14-12) and Country Streaming Songs (18-15). On Country Digital Songs, “See You Tonight” rebounds 25-22 after peaking at No. 14.

The parent album, which sports the same title, moves back up Top Current Albums (123-116) and The Billboard 200 (160-133). On Top Country Albums, See You Tonight slides 21-23, but earns a bullet for increased sales over the previous week.

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BITS AND PIECES: Colton Dixon’s A Messenger continues to bounce up and down the charts, this week rebounding 18-9 in its 49th week on Top Christian Albums. The set also re-enters The Billboard 200 at No. 152 and Top Current Albums at No. 125… Mandisa’s Overcomer also re-enters The Billboard 200, at No. 198… Daughtry’s Baptized advances 27-24 in its 12th week on Top Rock Albums. It previously peaked at No. 3. The single, “Waiting for Superman,” is in a holding pattern on several charts, standing pat 29-29 on Pop Digital Songs, 22-22 on Adult Contemporary and 12-12 on Adult Top 40… Phillip Phillips’ “Gone, Gone, Gone” may be in its final week on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it slides 7-10 in its 41st week. It is the longest-running song on this chart, and will be removed to the recurrent list if it falls below No. 10. Of course, it could hold its position or rebound next week… Jennifer Hudson’s “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel)” rises 31-27 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and holds at No. 3 on Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs… Candice Glover’s “Cried” moves up 22-21 on Adult R&B… Lucy Hale’s “You Sound Good to Me” travels 58-53 on Country Airplay and re-enters Hot Country Songs at No. 48… Season 12 and 13 judge Keith Urban spends a second week at No. 16 on Hot Country Songs with his latest single, “Cop Car,” while holding at No. 7 on Country Digital Songs.

Twitter: @Idol_Worship