It’s no surprise to find nine songs by American Idol Season 8 winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert jumping onto Billboard’s Hot 100 chart this week. What’s a little less expected is the details of those singles’ chart performance. Allen’s victory song, “No Boundaries,” landed at No. 11 after selling 134,000 downloads – not bad, but substantially less than the 236,000 downloads that earned Season 7 winner David Cook’s “The Time of My Life” a No. 3 debut on the same chart at this time last year. And while Cook found himself with a total of 11 singles on the Hot 100 in that crucial post-win week last year, Allen has just five. As for Adam Lambert, he made it to No. 19 this week with 115,000 downloads of “Mad World,” plus three other charting singles, which is better than his counterpart David Archuleta could manage last year. Meanwhile, the kids from Glee beat out both Idol guys, entering with 177,000 downloads of “Don’t Stop Believing” at No. 4 – which, incidentally, is higher than Journey’s original ever got.
None of those numbers are embarrassing for anyone involved. And it’s worth noting that, unlike last year’s “The Time of My Life,” “No Boundaries” as a song has been near-universally panned by fans – if people aren’t choosing to download it quite as often, that may have more to do with the song than their feelings toward the guy singing it. What’s more, this year iTunes buyers were able to choose between Allen’s and Lambert’s versions of the victory song, presumably splitting their sales to some degree; last year only Cook’s was available for download. Still, it’s hard not to think that Allen and the Idol machine would have liked his victory single to do at least as well as last year’s winner. What’s your take? Is this just a minor speed bump in Allen’s march to global domination, or a sign that he might not be cut out for the big time?
More from EW’s Music Mix:
Eminem trounces the competition in a crowded week
Glee propels Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” to go on and on and on and on
Adam Lambert in Queen might actually happen, according to Brian May
Kris Allen’s win – biggest Idol upset ever, or not so much?