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'American Idol' on the Charts: Kellie Pickler and Mandisa Share 7-Year Itch

The season-five finalists stretch their chart spans with new singles. Also: Jordin Sparks talks to THR about her latest Hot 100 appearance -- as a songwriter.

Kellie Pickler
Kellie Pickler

LONG-LASTING: Kellie Pickler and Mandisa became great friends when they competed on season five of American Idol and they’re still achieving career goals together seven years later -- like debuting on this week’s Billboard charts with their new singles. The two finalists remained pals after their season, doing things together like attending a live broadcast of So You Think You Can Dance in the summer of 2006. Now, timing has brought them together one more time.

Pickler has a new label home, moving to the Black River imprint after a six-year stint with BNA. “Someone Somewhere Tonight” is her first single on her new label, and the song debuts on the Country Airplay chart at No. 57. Pickler’s first country hit, “Red High Heels,” made its chart debut the week of Sept. 30, 2006, giving the recent Dancing with the Stars winner a Billboard chart span of six years, eight months and two weeks.

Pickler's biggest hit to date is “Best Days of Your Life,” which she wrote with Taylor Swift. Their collaboration peaked at No. 9 on Hot Country Songs in early 2009.

STORY: 'American Idol': Executive Producers Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick Are Out

Like Pickler, Mandisa has proven that she is here to stay. Her brand-new single, “Overcomer,” the title track from her new album due for release on Aug. 27, debuts on the Christian Songs tally at No. 41. This is Mandisa’s 15th title to appear on this chart. Her run began with “Only the World,” which debuted the week of June 2, 2007, giving her a chart span of six years and two weeks.

Mandisa’s most successful single to date on this chart is “Stronger,” which spent a week at No. 1 exactly two years ago this week.

SHE WRITES THE SONGS: Jordin Sparks, the sixth person to win American Idol,  is back on the Hot 100 but not as an artist. She is one of the writers of “The Way,” the debut single by Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande.

The song was intended for Sparks to record herself, as she tells The Hollywood Reporter: "I wrote it with Sevyn Streeter, Sherrod Lambert and producer Harmony Samuels for my upcoming album. It was definitely written about my love, Jason [Derulo]. We had a blast writing it. Ariana's team heard it and she loved it! So she cut it. She did an amazing job and she kills it live!"

“The Way” rebounds 13-12 this week, after peaking at No. 10 a few weeks ago.

STORY: 'American Idol' on the Charts: Carrie Underwood Sees Second 'Voice' Bump

‘PEOPLE’ POWER: Kelly Clarkson’s “People Like Us” is having a good week on the charts. The song holds at No. 4 on the Hot Dance Club Play list and is still a contender for No. 1. On the airplay-based Adult Top 40 survey, the track rises 12-11. On the sales-based Hot Digital Songs chart, “People” debuts at No. 75. And best of all, on the Hot 100 the song makes a 20-point leap, from 97-77. “People” is also doing well on the Canadian Hot 100, where it’s up 44-35.

BITS AND PIECES: Phillip Phillips’ “Gone, Gone, Gone” is still moving in the right direction, advancing 8-6 on Rock Songs. On the Hot 100, the follow-up to “Home” jumps 57-52 and on Adult Contemporary, “Gone” jumps 22-19… Carrie Underwood’s “See You Again” continues to rise. The song improves 79-76 on the Hot 100, while climbing 25-23 on Country Digital Songs and 19-17 on Hot Country Songs… Scotty McCreery’s “See You Tonight” re-enters Hot Country Songs at No. 50… Colton Dixon’s “You Are” rebounds 34-30 on Christian Digital Songs and 14-13 on Christian Songs.

Twitter: @THRMusic