Taylor Hicks’ album has third-best debut among American Idol winners

Taylor Hicks, the debut album by none other than American Idol 5 winner Taylor Hicks, sold 298,000 copies in its first week of release, Variety reports.

That makes Hicks’ debut the second best of any Idol winner, although he “barely edged the debut of Kelly Clarkson, whose ‘Thankful’ moved 297,000 copies when it was released in April 2003,” according to Variety.

The best debut belongs to Ruben Studdard, “who sold 417,000 copies of his debut when it was released in December 2003.” He’s followed by Carrie Underwood, whose album sold 315,000 copies when it was released in November of 2005. In third is Hicks, fourth is Clarkson, and fifth place is Fantasia, whose album sold 133,000 copies its first week, Variety reports.

Of course, those are numbers for people who’ve won the show. As has been noted before, Clay Aiken’s album sold 613,000 copies its first week.

‘Idol’ champs fill bill [Variety]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.