Now that the debut week sales numbers for Kris Allen’s and Adam Lambert’s post-Idol singes are finalized, it’s interesting to see where their data fit in the bigger Idol winner and runner-up picture.
Although it is a little difficult to accurately rank the numbers considering the differences in the sales releases, I did my best to come up with how things should look with Hot 100 peaks (and debuts).
1) Ruben Studdard, “Flying Without Wings / Superstar” – 286,000* – #2 (#2)
2) David Cook, “The Time of My Life” – 236,024 – #3 (#3)
3) Kelly Clarkson, “A Moment Like This / Before Your Love” – 236,000* – #1 (#52)
4) Taylor Hicks, “Do I Make You Proud / Takin’ It to the Streets” – 190,147* – #1 (#1)
5) Fantasia, “I Believe / Chain of Fools / Summertime” – 142,141* – #1 (#1)
6) Kris Allen, “No Boundaries” – 134,458 – #11 (#11)
7) Carrie Underwood, “Inside Your Heaven / Independence Day” – 131,504* – #1 (#1)
Jordin Sparks, “This Is My Now” – 74,303 – #15 (#15)
*denotes only commercial singles counted
So as you can see, Kris’ “No Boundaries” comes in at #6 among winners’ debut single sales, with only Carrie Underwood’s “Inside Your Heaven / Independence Day” and Jordin Sparks’ “This Is My Now” coming in behind it. Now, as indicated above, some singles are only including commercial single sales (aka physical copies), which makes things a little tricky. If digital sales are combined, we’d see Carrie’s “Inside Your Heaven” at 170,528 total single sales, and Taylor Hick’s “Do I Make You Proud” would be at 228,418. But the reason I did not include those is because they do not take the digital sales for “Independence Day” and “Takin’ It to the Streets” into consideration.
1) Clay Aiken, “This Is The Night / Bridge over Troubled Water” – 393,000* – #1 (#1)
2) Adam Lambert, “Mad World” – 114,763 – #19 (#19)
3) Bo Bice, “Inside Your Heaven / Vehicle” – 108,158* – #2 (#2)
4) David Archuleta, “Imagine” – 71,178 – #36 (#36)
5) Blake Lewis, “You Give Love a Bad Name” – 70,133 – #18 (#18)
6) Diana DeGarmo, “Dreams / Don’t Cry Out Loud / I Believe” – 65,000* – #14 (#14)
7) Katharine McPhee, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow / My Destiny” – 47,394* – #12 (#12)
As for the runners-up, Adam’s highest-selling track, “Mad World,” actually stands at #2 when compared to the other six singles’ debut week sales in the same manner. But if digital sales are included, Bo Bice’s “Inside Your Heaven / Vehicle” has a total of 121,423 downloads, which puts him ahead of Adam.
On the Hot 100 side of things, Kris has the second-lowest debut on the chart for any winner (only ahead of Jordin’s “This Is My Now”) and Adam’s highest-charting single is also the second-lowest debut for any runner up on the chart (ahead of David Archuleta’s “Imagine”).
But there are plenty of other factors to consider when comparing the single sales from over the years. For example, the recent singles (seasons 6-8) have all been made available to download almost instantly after a winner was crowned, whereas the previous five seasons all had their commercial singles for winners and runners-up wait a few weeks before being released. Also, the formula that is used to determine how singles chart on the Billboard Hot 100 has changed since digital sales have become more important to the chart, which has put more of an emphasis on sales and in effect provided for a much bigger sample of competition for the more recent singles.
Another major factor that should be considered is pricing differences. When the third season’s singles went for more than five dollars for three songs and even the other seasons that had physical singles saw price tags of over three dollars for two songs, it is hard to compare those with seasons 6-8 that had $0.99 (and a $1.29) downloads.
Back in the day when the commercial singles were must-have collectors items for any self-respecting Idol fan, the sales looked much more impressive, especially when compared to rival entries on the Billboard Commercial Single Sales chart. If they kept with the tradition nowadays, things might be in a similar situation, but it’s also entirely possible that the advent of digital singles and necessity of having things instantly could have destroyed the novelty of having the CD singles.
Either way, it is interesting to see how the sales of these silly coronation songs have changed depending on the year and the Idol winner/runner-up.
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