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The Quiet Americans

What's going on with ''American Idol'' stars' CDs? Though their projects are in the works, we haven't heard much lately from Kelly, Justin, and Tamyra -- and experts say they may have missed their window of opportunity

Tamyra Gray, Justin Guarini, ... | 'IDOL' HANDS Tamyra, Justin, and Kelly are working on acting projects
Image credit: Tamyra Gray, Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson: Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
'IDOL' HANDS Tamyra, Justin, and Kelly are working on acting projects

Sure, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, and Tamyra Gray all scored post-''American Idol'' deals with RCA. But lately, their music careers have been as silent as the crowd at a Brian Dunkleman stand-up gig. None has completed a solo album yet, though a label rep insists their discs remain on the spring schedule.

Singing will have to wait: Gray will appear in four episodes of Fox's ''Boston Public'' starting Feb. 17, while Clarkson and Guarini began shooting the spring-break-themed romantic musical comedy ''From Justin to Kelly'' Jan. 7 in Miami for ''She's All That'' director Robert Iscove. After such a long wait, will the Idols' promised discs be DOA?

''There is a market for these releases, but as time wears on and the new series starts it's going to lessen,'' says Virgin Megastores exec Vince Szydlowski. ''They missed a golden opportunity.'' (Another bad sign: After 13 weeks, ''Idol'''s official soundtrack had stalled at No. 133 on Billboard's album chart.) Adds John Ivey of L.A.'s KIIS-FM: ''[Kelly's] single was a huge hit, but they didn't take advantage of the time frame.'' And when Clarkson and Guarini pulled out of the station's holiday concert, Ivey recalls, ''we didn't have much response. More people took a swipe at us for having them on the bill in the first place.''

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Originally posted Jan 15, 2003 Published in issue #691 Jan 17, 2003 Order article reprints