Just like her performance on the fifth season of Fox's American Idol, Katharine McPhee's debut album earned second place during its first week on The Billboard 200 album sales chart. 

The Idol 5 runner-up's self-titled RCA debut sold 116,000 copies in its first week of release, placing it second behind Norah Jones' "Not Too Late," which sold 405,000 copies in its debut week.

McPhee's first album had the same fate as Idol 5 winner Taylor Hicks' self-titled debut effort -- which also premiered at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 during its first week of sales in early December -- however Hicks' debut sold 298,000 copies, 182,000 more than McPhee. 

Although her first week album sales figure was much lower, McPhee's debut effort technically outranked that of her predecessor, Idol 4 runner-up Bo Bice, who debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 in December 2005 with "The Real Thing."  While selling 227,000 copies in its first week placed "The Real Thing" fourth on the sales chart, selling slightly more than half of that earned McPhee second place, an acknowledgement of 2007's slow post-holidays sales start.

After claiming the top spot for the first time a few weeks back, fellow Idol 5 finalist Chris Daughtry remained at No. 3 this week on The Billboard 200 with the self-titled RCA debut from his band Daughtry, which sold 77,000 copies, a 4% decline over last week.  Like McPhee and Hicks, Daughtry's first post-Idol effort -- which has now sold well over one million copies -- made its debut at No. 2.

Idol's top two finishers traditionally debut well on The Billboard 200.  Counting the 10 artists who have finished in either first or second place in the five seasons of the Fox mega-hit, all but two have started in the top 10 with their debut album.  However McPhee's first week sales weren't that much better than those of Idol 5 sixth place finisher Kellie Pickler, who moved 79,000 copies of her debut effort "Small Town Girl" in early November.