Record sales show that “enthusiasm for [American Idol] alumni seems to be waning”

American Idol may be increasing in popularity on television, but sales of records from the show’s past contestants are declining. USA TODAY looks at recent sales, and finds that “enthusiasm for alumni seems to be waning.”

For example, second-season winner Ruben Studdard’s new album “sold 71,000 copies last week to enter Billboard at No. 8. That’s a big slide from the No. 1 opening for 2003 debut Soulful, which moved 417,000 copies,” USA TODAY reports.

Most embarassing, though, is Mario Vazquez, who quit the show in an attempt to break out on his own. That kind of seems like a dumb move, considering that that his first album sold 4,200 copies this week, for a grand total of 27,000, according to USA TODAY’s Idol Chatter blog. Clay Aiken could sell more blank CDs with his picture on the front.

Speaking of Clay, while his new album didn’t sell as many copies as his first two did, Billboard’s Geoff Mayfield says, “The Clay number wasn’t bad. I’m not so jaded to think a 200,000-plus week is a failure. That’s just the way the market is this year. He still has a substantial fan base.”

J Records/Arista’s Tom Corson, who’s signed Taylor Hicks, Ruben, and Fantasia, says this is expected. “The second or third is more of an artist’s album, a big challenge and a different task. You have to create momentum,” he said.

‘Idol’ alumni feeling the sting of idling sales [USA TODAY]
Your Idol sales report [Idol Chatter]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.