Last week's "American Idol" finale certainly added some spice to a slow run on this week's Billboard charts, with winner Lee DeWyze, runner-up Crystal Bowersox and a number of the show's guest stars impacting the Digital Songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums tally.
Many of the contestants' songs have been available to purchase in the iTunes Store for weeks now, but -- as has been done in years' past -- their weekly sales are withheld from SoundScan (and from appearing in the iTunes Store's own popularity lists) so as to not influence the voting public in the course of the season.
This past week was the first of the current "Idol" season where the sales were transmitted to SoundScan, and thus, we see DeWyze and Bowersox arrive on the Digital Songs chart. DeWyze's top seller is his cover of U2's "Beautiful Day," which bows at No. 12 with 95,000. Bowersox's biggest is her rendition of Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain," debuting at No. 32 with 49,000.
Neither "Idol" posed a threat for the No. 1 position though. Katy Perry's "California Gurls" re-takes the pole position with "California Girls," rising two spots with 269,000 (up 16%). Last week's No. 1, Usher's "OMG," falls to No. 3 with 227,000 (down 4%). Two songs jump into the top 10 this week: La Roux's "Bulletproof" (rising from No. 11 to No. 7 with 119,000 -- up 22%) and the "Glee" Cast's cover of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" (flying from No. 66 to No. 9 with 109,000 -- up 353%).
DeWyze also posts entries on the 75-position chart with "Hallelujah" (No. 20; 63,000), "Falling Slowly" (with Bowersox, No. 38; 44,000) and "The Boxer" (No. 61; 26,000). Bowersox debuts with only the two previously mentioned titles.
Last year, winner Kris Allen sold 134,000 downloads of the original tune "No Boundaries" in its first week, entering at No. 4. Runner-up Adam Lambert's best-seller was his redux of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" with 115,000 (No. 7). Each of the two gents posted five debuts on the Digital Songs chart.
Two years ago, champion David Cook moved 236,000 of "The Time of My Life" (No. 1) while second-placer David Archuleta's biggest single during finale week was his cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" (71,000; No. 16). Cook wowed the list with 14 individual debuts, while Archuleta managed three.
DeWyze's "Beautiful Day" and Bowersox's "Up to the Mountain" seem on course for somewhat tepid debuts on the sales/airplay-hybrid Billboard Hot 100 chart, due to be released on Thursday (3). A full recap of all the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart action will follow on Thursday morning.
Both DeWyze and Bowersox also released digital albums last week titled "Season 9 Favorite Performances." Each features 12 tracks from throughout the season by each performer. Both titles sold about 2,000 downloads each -- with Bowersox's just a hair ahead of DeWyze's. Neither title debuts on the Billboard 200 albums chart or the Digital Albums chart.
Those sales stats are a far cry from the "Favorite Performances" numbers that Allen and Lambert posted last year. Lambert's "Favorite Performances" blew in with 16,000 sold in its first week -- bowing at No. 33 on the Billboard 200 and No. 5 on Digital Albums. Allen's "Favorite Performances" moved 10,000 upon its arrival, starting at No. 50 on the Billboard 200 and No. 8 on Digital Albums.
Shifting gears from the DeWyze and Bowersox lovefest, let's look at some of the other "Idol"-related impact on Digital Songs and on the Billboard 200.
Carrie Underwood's "Undo It" -- which she performed on the finale -- climbs from No. 61 to No. 18 on Digital Songs with 69,000 (up 165%). Her album "Play On" also moves from No. 35 to No. 24 on the Billboard 200 with 16,000 (up 36%) ... Will Young's "Leave Right Now" benefits from his performance on the first half of the two-night finale, as it debuts at No. 50 on Digital Songs with 32,000 ... Poison's "The Best of Poison" album re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 111 with 5,000 (up 117%) after the band's Bret Michaels performed the set's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" on the finale.
Digital track sales this past week totaled 21.7 million downloads, down 1% compared to last week (21.9 million) and up 1% compared to the comparable week of 2009 (21.5 million). Year to date track sales are at 488.0 million, down less than 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (488.6 million).