“American Idol” fans have been anything but idle this week, snapping up copies of new singles by both Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken. The singers are each looking at first-week sales of over 200,000 copies, according to estimates compiled by music-industry website Hitsdailydouble.com. What’s more, show runner-up Aiken is outselling the velvet teddy bear who bested him; Aiken’s ”Bridge Over Troubled Water/This Is The Night” is likely to sell between 250,000 and 300,000 units, while Studdard’s ”Flying Without Wings/ Superstar” is set to do no more than 250,000. Hitsdailydouble.com compiled the numbers based on early estimates from retail chains (the singers’ label, RCA, couldn’t confirm the estimates).
Those numbers – already extraordinary compared the usually minuscule sales for CD singles – would surpass the first-week sales of Kelly Clarkson’s debut single, ”A Moment Like This,” which sold 236,000 copies. Meanwhile, there’s no word on sales of the self-titled debut album from last season’s ”Idol” runner-up, Justin Guarini. But since he’s up against the likes of Luther Vandross, Metallica, and Radiohead – and it’s been months since his second-place finish – even making the top 10 could be difficult.