"American Idol" finalists abound in the fourth quarter, from Kelly Clarkson's triumphant sophomore disc and Clay Aiken's holiday love fest to Fantasia's crafty R&B bow. But those fans who gravitat

"American Idol" finalists abound in the fourth quarter, from Kelly Clarkson's triumphant sophomore disc and Clay Aiken's holiday love fest to Fantasia's crafty R&B bow. But those fans who gravitate toward the pop pageant of the show will find their heroine in Diana DeGarmo's trustworthy debut, "Blue Skies." The 16-year-old is perhaps singular among the group to truly feed her fans what they hunger for: timeless pop melodies that display a voice we've come to love. The sturdy songbird stretches her wings throughout the 12 songs presented here, highlighted by the gospel "Go On and Cry" and singable "Cardboard Castles." Less stirring are songs like "The Difference in Me," which borrows from the songwriters who have propelled Ashlee Simpson and Hilary Duff, with their increasingly cliched grrl-against-the-world signature. Among so many heavily hyped artists, DeGarmo is playing to her audience, instead of a desire to be cooler than the room. It is radically refreshing. - CT