Karyn L. Barr
January 16, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

”American Idol” is not the only televised ticket for wannabe chart-toppers. Reality TV stars of every stripe are trying to mooch the most out of their C-list stardom. Bachelor Bob Guiney stopped playing kissy-face long enough to release his debut album, ”3 Sides,” in November, while ”Queer Eye”’s culture guru Jai Rodriguez is busy recording a pop and electro-soul album. Granted, both have some pre-TV chops: Guiney’s band Fat Amy nearly scored a deal in 1998, while the Fab 5-er appeared in Broadway’s ”Rent.” But musical talent only needs to be marginal these days. Witness as-yet-unsigned ”Simple Life” farm girls Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie (who’s hoping, we suspect, some of father Lionel’s musical magic rubbed off on her). Both are clocking time in the studio. ”They are novelty acts, but hey, there wouldn’t be a Paris Hilton record if there wasn’t a label that didn’t want to take advantage of her and her fame,” says Steve Lerner, president of Guiney’s label, Wind-up Records. Cautions Marty Maidenberg, general manager of S-Curve Records: ”Anyone can go into a studio, put something down, and shop it around. But they’ll need to do something left-of-center to catch people’s attention.” Considering her past exploits, Paris will not disappoint.

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