Brian Hiatt
June 11, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

“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 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. 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.

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