At the finale of last season's "American Idol," Carrie Underwood was crowned the victor, besting runner-up Bo Bice and scoring a major-label recording contract. Bice inked a deal of his own and released his debut offering, The Real Thing last week. And according to the latest SoundScan figures, the Billboard albums chart stacks up in much the same fashion that the "Idol" finale played out.
Bo's stab at #1 was spoiled by Underwood — who passes the 1-million-sold mark and climbs to the chart's #2 slot with Some Hearts — and Eminem, who holds court at the top of this week's chart for a second week with Curtain Call: The Hits Em outsold Carrie by more than 50,000 copies to end the week with close to 324,000 scans, bringing the two-week sales total for Mr. Mathers' latest to over 766,000. The 20th installment in the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation series — including tracks from Fall Out Boy, Ciara, Kelly Clarkson, the Pussycat Dolls and Black Eyed Peas — netted sales of over 259,000 for a comfortable third-place finish.
Bice's The Real Thing opens on Billboard's albums chart at #4, with 227,000 copies sold during its first week in stores. Underwood's Some Hearts debuted at #2 with sales of more than 314,000 when it was released last month. And Carrie isn't the only "Idol" veteran to top Bice's initial take. 2004's "American Idol" champ Fantasia sold more than 239,000 copies of her 2004 LP Free Yourself. 2003 winner Ruben Studdard's 2003 debut Soulful topped Billboard with 416,000 scans, while runner-up Clay Aiken's Measure of a Man, released that same year, also debuted at #1 with 613,000 copies sold. And Kelly Clarkson's inaugural LP, 2003's Thankful, opened at #3 with 297,000 sold.
Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio follows The Real Thing on the latest albums chart, finishing at #5 with 217,000 copies sold. Nickelback's All the Right Reasons is up one to #6 with 192,000 scans. Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi finished the week out at #7 with sales of 191,000, and Clarkson's latest, Breakaway, sold 180,000 copies to climb back into the top 10 at #8. Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business finished ninth with 158,000 copies sold. The late Johnny Cash rounds out the top 10 with the career-spanning collection The Legend of Johnny Cash garnering sales of 154,000.
In addition to Bice, there were a handful of newcomers to this week's chart, including Ludacris Presents Disturbing Tha Peace. The disc, featuring five solo artists, four groups and guest appearances by Jamie Foxx, Stat Quo, Rich Boy, and Gangsta Boo, opens at #11 with 151,000 copies sold. R&B artist Anthony Hamilton's Ain't Nobody Worryin' cracks the top 20 with a #19 showing, thanks to sales of more than 112,000. And reggaetón heavyweight Daddy Yankee enters the chart at #24 with 100,000 plus scans of his Barrio Fino en Directo. Youngbloodz's Ev'rybody Know Me debuts at #44, with sales nearing 58,000.
Offerings from two prominent artists managed to penetrate the top 200, but just barely. Snoop Dogg's Bigg Snoop Dogg Presents: Welcome to Tha Chuuch - Tha Album, a collection of tracks from Snoop's mixtape series, opens at #184 with sales nearing 15,000; the album features contributions from Nate Dogg, Daz Dillinger and Kurupt. And Beck's Guerolito, featuring tracks from his album Guero remixed by the likes of the Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock, the Dust Brothers' John King and Boards of Canada, debuts at #191 with 14,000 plus scans.