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'Idol's' Guarini reportedly dropped

Second-place finisher's sales disappointing

Guarini and Clarkson
Justin Guarini with the eventual "Idol" winner, Kelly Clarkson, during the show's first season.

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NEW YORK (Billboard) -- Justin Guarini, the second-place finalist for the first season of "American Idol," has reportedly been dropped by RCA.

The label, which no longer lists him on its Web site, declined comment. Guarini's eponymous debut album has sold 134,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

By contrast, the debut from first-season "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson, "Thankful," has sold 1.7 million copies. Second-season finalist Clay Aiken's "Measure of a Man" has sold 1.3 million copies since its release in October.

US Weekly quoted "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell as saying, "He's been dropped. It happens sometimes."

Guarini did not appear on last week's Fox "An American Idol Christmas" TV special, although he was initially announced as one of the performers. 19 Entertainment, which signed Guarini to a management deal after his appearance on "Idol," did not return calls.

Guarini's record-label woes aren't the only problem facing the singer. As previously reported, on November 7 he was sued for more than $100,000 by a Pennsylvania couple claiming injuries from a rear-end auto collision that Guarini was involved in last year.

"American Idol's" third season premieres January 20, 2004. According to published reports, music producer Pete Waterman, a judge on the U.K.'s "Pop Idol," is in discussions to join the show as a fourth judge alongside current "American Idol" judges Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Cowell.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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