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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 1

Original 'Idol' runner-up Justin Guarini dropped by RCA Records

By Reality TV World staff, 12/03/2003 

According to numerous media reports, American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini has been dropped from RCA Records after disappointing sales of his debut album. In comparison to the hit debut albums of fellow Idol alumni Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken, which have each sold well over one million copies to date, Guarini's self-titled "Justin Guarini" album has sold only 134,000 domestic copies since its June release.

Neither RCA or Guarini's 19 Entertainment management would comment on Tuesday regarding the reports, however Guarini has been removed from the roster of artists on RCA's Web site. Guarini was also mysteriously absent from last week's FOX broadcast of the An American Idol Christmas special, despite being billed as one of the program's performers during the initial promotion of the show. According to MTV, the show's producers had no comment on Guarini's absence from the program, which had been pre-recorded earlier last month. Meanwhile, while the singer's agent told MTV that Guarini is still booking performances, he referred questions about Guarini's record contract to RCA.

The one personality who apparently isn't afraid to publicly comment on the situation is, naturally enough, outspoken Idol judge Simon Cowell, who was often hard on Guarini during his appearances on the program. Cowell recently told US Weekly magazine that "he's been dropped. It happens sometimes."

After learning of the news from Cowell, the magazine then contacted first season American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson for comment on the news, only to discover that Clarkson was apparently unaware of the label's decision. "Oh my God," Clarkson told the magazine. "I had no idea. I'm friends with Justin. That is so sad."

The June release of Guarini's disappointing album came just before "From Justin to Kelly," the ill-fated movie starring Guarini and Clarkson bombed at the box office. After the album received poor reviews and the first two tracks of the album, "Sorry" and "Unchained Melody," were released to little radio airplay, Guarini stated that plans were underway for a music video to help promote the album, however a video was never produced.

The fact that Idol judge Randy Jackson, one of Guarini's biggest boosters when he appeared on the talent show, publicly trashed the album also couldn't have helped sales. "Everyone who had a hand in this catastrophe, y'all really should rethink your jobs" wrote Jackson in a Savoy magazine review of the release. Ouch.

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