E! Online reports that Clay Aiken's CD Measure of a Man has fallen to third place on the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Album Sales chart for the week ended November 2 after two weeks in the top slot. However, the gap between Clay and the top two CDs, which also were released by labels in the BMG Music Group, is only 741 copies.

In first place, moving back up from fourth after the group appeared on NBC's Saturday Night Live, is OutKast's Arista CD Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, with total sales of 141,698 units. Second for the second straight week was Rod Stewart's J Records release As Time Goes By: The Great American Songbook Part II, with 141,160 units sold. Measure of a Man sold 140,957 -- 203 out of second and 741 out of first.

The two new releases for the week also sold almost the same number of units -- but over 13,000 less that the leaders -- to place fourth and fifth. R.E.M.'s In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003, sold 127,000 copies in two different versions, while the Strokes' Room on Fire (also on RCA, like Clay) sold 126,000 units.

Clay's sales dropped 37% from the prior week, but total units sold have now reached about 979,000 copies in just three weeks. As illustrated by the OutKast sales figures this week, TV appearances can have a large impression on album sales -- which means that Clay's appearance on the American Music Awards on November 16th may produce a resurgence in sales of Measure of a Man ... and his roles on the American Idol Christmas special on November 25th followed by the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 27th may help too.

Speaking of the American Idol Christmas show, a copy of a contract on The Smoking Gun indicates that the show was filmed on October 29th and 30th at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Appearing live, according to the contract, were most of the Idol artists signed to BMG: Clay, Ruben Studdard, Kelly Clarkson, Tamyra Gray, Christina Christian and the American Juniors. Considering that this show airs two days before Thanksgiving, we hope that it gives us something to be thankful for -- instead of becoming just another holiday turkey.