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RETURN OF THE RUNNERS-UP: Two American Idol contestants who both finished in second place reappear on The Billboard 200 album chart this week, one from season seven and one from season nine. If you know your Idol — and since you’re reading this column, we’re betting you do — you know we’re talking about David Archuleta and Crystal Bowersox.
After recording one album for Jive Records, Bowersox moved on and recently signed with the Shanachie label. Her first release for that imprint, All That for This, enters The Billboard 200 album chart at No. 71. The album also debuts on Top Rock Albums at No. 21, Top Independent Albums at No. 13 and Top Folk Albums at a lofty No. 5. The first Bowersox album, Farmer’s Daughter, peaked at No. 28 on The Billboard 200 in January 2011. It fared even better on Top Rock Albums, where it reached No. 2. It did not appear on the Top Independent Albums chart since Jive was not an independent label, but a major.
Joining Bowersox on The Billboard 200 is the man on a mission. Archuleta began a two-year mission for the Mormon church one year ago. Halfway through that assignment, he debuts on the album chart with his second album since leaving for South America. No Matter How Far, which combines newly recorded material with tracks previously unreleased in the U.S., is new at No. 110. It follows by eight months an album titled Begin., which peaked at No. 28.
No Matter How Far is the fifth solo album by Archuleta to chart. He’s had one album chart in every year since he made his first appearance on the Billboard tallies in 2008. His run began with a self-titled set which, like Bowersox’s debut, was issued on Jive. David Archuleta peaked at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 and yielded a single, “Crush,” which coincidentally peaked at No. 2, on the Hot 100.
FIRST CASEY, NOW COLTON: In last week’s column, Idol Worship reported on season 10’s Casey Abrams getting a huge boost up the Billboard charts following his performance of the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” on the American Idol results show broadcast March 21. Seven days later, season 11’s Colton Dixon returned to the Idol stage to sing “Love Has Come for Me” from his album A Messenger. And, no surprise, Dixon is the latest recipient of the post-Idol bounce.
The song he performed, “Love Has Come to Me,” re-enters the Christian Digital Songs chart at No. 28. His first single, “Never Gone” (which season 12 finalist Angie Miller sang a few weeks back) also re-enters the list, at No. 13. And “You Are,” which has been moving up and down the chart of late, makes a nice rebound, jumping 13-3.
Meanwhile, A Messenger also boomerangs in a big way, with a leap of 11-2 on Top Christian Albums. That almost sends the album back to its peak position of No. 1. On The Billboard 200, A Messenger soars 119-41.
‘SEE’ CARRIE CHART: We’re already on the fourth single from Carrie Underwood’s album Blown Away. Following “Good Girl,” the title track and “Two Black Cadillacs,” the newest release, “See You Again,” makes its first chart appearance, debuting at No. 60 on Country Airplay. If Underwood performs it on the Academy of Country Music awards show this Sunday, look for the song to catapult up the chart and debut on other Billboard surveys very soon.
BITS AND PIECES: Phillip Phillips’ “Home” continues its reign on the Adult Contemporary chart, holding on to No. 1 for the 11th consecutive week … Season three’s Leah LaBelle debuts on the Hot Dance Club Play chart at No. 44 with “Lolita,” the follow-up to her Epic debut, “Sexify”… Fantasia’s “Lose to Win” holds at No. 7 on the Adult R&B chart and re-enters the R&B Songs chart at No. 24… Jason Castro’s “Only a Mountain” climbs 35-27 on Top Christian Albums… Scotty McCreery’s Clear as Day can see forever as it rises again on Top Country Albums, up 47-45… Constantine Maroulis is back on the charts, thanks to the re-entry at No. 14 of the Rock of Ages Broadway recording on the Top Cast Albums list.
TENTH ANNIVERSARY: Idols have been doing well on the Billboard charts ever since the season one finale, but for one select group, their connection to Billboard began exactly 10 years ago today.
On April 4, 2003, six of the finalists from season two took a field trip to the Billboard office to meet with this columnist and Billboard’s then-director of charts, Geoff Mayfield.
You may recall the video of Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Kimberley Locke, Josh Gracin, Carmen Rasmussen and Rickey Smith climbing the staircase from the sixth floor to the seventh floor of the Billboard offices (yes, there was an elevator, but the producer of this segment thought it would look better if the Idols were walking up the stairs). Once inside the conference room, the Idols had a half-hour class in how the Billboard charts work, ending with my prediction that many of them would be appearing on those charts soon.
Then it was question time, and the Idols had queries about what it took to get to No. 1. Aiken asked who had the most songs in the upper portion of the chart at the same time and the answer surprised everyone. Not that it was the Beatles, because it was, but that they occupied the entire top five exactly 39 years earlier, on the Hot 100 dated April 4, 1964.
The segment aired on American Idol four days later, the night that the contestants sang Billboard’s No. 1 hits for the first time in the series’ run. If you’re an Idol expert, you might be wondering why two finalists were not present. It was top eight week, but Kimberly Caldwell and Trenyce were too ill to leave the Idol mansion and were under doctor’s care. We’re convinced it was their biggest regret of the season.
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