Diana DeGarmo lost the "American Idol" title to Fantasia Barrino by a mere 1 percent margin, but the contest on the sales chart is hardly as close.
DeGarmo's "Dreams"/"Don't Cry Out Loud"/"I Believe" single debuted at #2 on this week's chart Wednesday (July 7) with about 65,000 copies sold, less than half of what Fantasia moved a week ago. The winner sold another 81,000 this week to stay atop the chart.
Experts expected Fantasia to outsell Diana (see "Who'll Sell More: Fantasia Or Diana? The Experts Weigh In"), but the wide margin is surprising considering how popular DeGarmo has been with the younger, typically record-buying audience. She was the favorite on MTVNews.com's "American Idol" poll (see results), and she's done the same amount of promotion as Fantasia, if not more, since the show wrapped.
Also unexpected is how Fantasia and Diana's single sales have stacked up against past "Idol" contestants (see "Fantasia's Single Sales Pale In Comparison To Clay, Ruben And Kelly's"). Still, like Fantasia, DeGarmo is just happy to have a single in stores and an album on the way. In fact, the 17-year-old from Snellville, Georgia, got quite emotional when she first heard the final version of "Dreams."
"I was sitting in the car and my mom put it in the radio and I was like [sniffling], I got all teary-eyed," Diana recalled. "My mom was like, 'Are you crying?' I was like, 'No,' looking out the window. I was like, 'I'm not crying, I'm too tough to cry.' But it kind of gave that feeling of accomplishment because we've come so far, done so many things. And we've worked so hard, put time and money into things that didn't end up working so well and falling apart, and actually seeing something that people are gonna actually hear, with all the hard work behind it, it's such a great feeling."
DeGarmo loves "Dreams" now, but when the song was first presented to her before the "American Idol" season had even ended, she wasn't exactly thrilled.
"Fantasia and I both [recorded 'I Believe' and 'Dreams'] 'cause you didn't know who was going to win or who was going to come in second, so we're both sittin' there and when ['Dreams'] came on it was a man singing it and it was very country and we both looked at each other and we're all like, 'I don't know about that,' " DeGarmo said. "But after recording and everything, I was really proud of how it came out. Mr. Desmond [Child] and all of the people who worked on it, they really made it so much better than what I had expected."
Child, whose résumé ranges from Cher to Bon Jovi, not only produced "Dreams," he co-wrote it with Chris Braide and Andreas Carlsson, the same trio behind Clay Aiken's "Invisible." "Desmond also wrote 'She Bangs,' which is kinda funny," DeGarmo noted, referencing the hit single of "Idol" wannabe William Hung.
"He's an amazing, amazing writer," she continued. "And the song has such a positive meaning. It talks about your dreams — like, what else do people have nowadays? It's a really positive, inspirational song."
As for releasing her version of "I Believe," the song Fantasia sang after winning "Idol" and is promoting at radio, Diana finds nothing awkward about it.
"My version, vocally, is completely different than Fantasia's," she said. "We obviously have different voices — duh — but we just put our own different spin on it. Like, when you hear mine you can definitely tell it's my version, and when you hear Fantasia's you can definitely hear it's Fantasia's version. ... I know it's Fantasia's official single, but all my fans and people were like, 'You know you sang it so well, why not?' And I really love this song. Tamyra [Gray] and all the other people that wrote it just made it a wonderful song and I'm proud that it's on my single."