Justin Guarini: Joe Viles
Brian Hiatt
July 10, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Justin Guarini must feel like he’s facing a nation full of Simon Cowells. The cocky crooner’s self-titled debut album has proved to be far less buoyant than his hair, falling all the way down to No. 126 this week on Billboard’s chart, only four weeks after its release. With the first single, ”Sorry,” getting close to zero radio play — and ”Idol” fans’ attention apparently focused on Kelly, Clay, and Ruben — the album has sold a total of only about 100,000 copies. Clay Aiken moved more than three times that many copies of his two-song CD single in just one week (which, sadly for Justin, was the same week his album came out).

Guarini’s movie debut, ”From Justin to Kelly” (in which he smooched Kelly Clarkson) also flopped, opening outside the top 10. But there may still be some hope for the ladies’-man crooner, says Billboard chart director Geoff Mayfield. ”There is such a thing as a second single. Although it appears to be over, if they pick the right song to go to radio, it could come back.” But given the scathing reviews for Guarini’s easy-listening R&B album (EW gave it a D+), the right song might be hard to find.

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