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Kris Allen? Adam Lambert? Got nothing on Journey

May 21, 2009 |  1:27 pm


Those unhappy with Wednesday night's "American Idol" results shouldn't be in mourning for too long. Adam Lambert and Kris Allen aren't going anywhere, and next week they'll be rocketing to the top of Billboard's digital singles chart.

Lambert boosters should also take solace in the fact that winning "Idol" doesn't always equate to success outside of reality television. Just look at fourth-place finisher Daughtry. But if early results are any indication, "Idol" voters seem to have chosen the singer with the greatest shot at mainstream pop appeal.

Already, crooner Allen has three songs in the iTunes Top 10, compared with  Lambert's one. Go beyond the Top 10, and the results don't necessarily get prettier for the would-be glam-rocker Lambert. Allen has five songs currently in the Top 30, and Lambert has just two -- his takes on Tears for Fears' "Mad World" and Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."

Meanwhile, "Idol" fans are definitely gravitating toward Allen's rendition of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" and "No Boundaries," the Kara DioGuardi-co-penned rewrite of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb." Fans may remember last year, when songs sung by "Idol" contestants racked up about 1.5 million digital downloads after the finale, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

But the real winner in all this? Fox --  this despite the fact that the finale "Idol" ratings were down slightly. The top-selling song this morning on iTunes is not from an "Idol" contestant, but from another Fox show in the "Glee" edition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."

The original is one of the most consistent sellers in the digital music era, thanks to a bevy of recent pop-culture placements, be it "The Sopranos" or the theme song to the 2005 Chicago White Sox. It was used as the selling point for Fox's new musical comedy, whose debut  this week propelled it back to the top spot on the iTunes chart.

But we'll have to wait until the fall to find out if the Fox series ultimately goes the way of Carrie Underwood or Bo Bice.

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Kris Allen by Associated Press