That was fast. Less than 24 hours after winning season nine of "American Idol," Lee DeWyze signed a record deal with 19 Recordings Limited and RCA Records, while his pal and runner-up, Crystal Bowersox, inked a contract with 19 Recordings Limited and Jive for her debut major-label album.
According to Billboard.com, the pacts were signed on Thursday and will have DeWyze joining the label that houses such "Idol" luminaries as Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert. Bowersox will rub elbows with the likes of Kris Allen, Jordin Sparks and Allison Iraheta.
Last year's top two, Allen and Lambert, got their debut albums out in late November, so it's safe to assume both Bowersox and DeWyze will aim for the same timetable to quickly capitalize on the lingering buzz of the "Idol" finale and this summer's "Idol" tour. Both singers already have experience in the recording studio. DeWyze has released two independent CDs, including January's Slumberland and 2007's So I'm Told. Bowersox has recorded several dozen original songs with a folky feel, including an ode to her hometown, "Holy Toledo," which got some airplay during her "Idol" run.
In another sign of how quickly things are moving for the "Idol" top two, their debut singles were already serviced to radio and iTunes on Thursday. Billboard.com reported that Lee's cover of U2's "Beautiful Day" and Crystal's take on Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain" had already gotten a number of spins.
iTunes sales figures won't be available for a while, but the magazine asked experts to compare how the digital sales of recent winners have fared. Allen sold 134,000 downloads of his oft-criticized "No Boundaries" in week one, while Lambert's cover of "Mad World" moved 115,000 copies. The year before, champ David Cook's "The Time of Our Lives" sold 236,000, while runner-up David Archuleta's cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" sold 71,000.
Unnamed label sources said there may be less interest in both DeWyze and Bowersox than previous winners, and that first-week sales might not approach the heights of past "Idol" duos. Ratings for this year's "Idol" were down nine percent overall, and Wednesday night's finale had the second-lowest rating in the show's history, just barely edging out the final night of season one.
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