By Grady Smith
Updated October 21, 2011 at 08:21 PM EDT
Credit: Frank Micelotta/Fox/PictureGroup
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American Idol Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox has split with label RCA/Jive, a rep for the singer confirmed yesterday to TVLine.

Bowersox, whose debut album Farmer’s Daughter sold 210,000 copies (compared to Idol winner Lee Dewyze’s Live It Up, which moved just 168,000 copies.), said, “For not having any radio play and any great promotion, I think I’ve done pretty well on sales … I’m able to provide a good, comfortable life for my family, and that’s what I wanted out of it.” She says that she expects that her second album will be released independently.

Reports of Bowersox’s split arrive just two weeks after news that Lee DeWyze had been dropped by RCA as well. Apparently, Season 9 of American Idol, which many viewers felt was lackluster edition, just didn’t produce a bankable star. (Although, technically, the jury’s out on third-place finisher Casey James, who just released his debut country single “Let’s Don’t Call It A Night.” He seems to be Season 9’s last hope.)

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Meanwhile, Season 10’s top two finishers, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, both of whom are managed by Interscope and signed to Mercury Nashville, are both kicking off their careers with decidedly healthier results.

In its first two weeks on the chart, Scotty McCreery’s Clear As Day has sold a strong 285,000 copies, while Lauren Alaina’s Wildflower managed to sell 69,000 copies (the best female country debut since 2006) in its debut last week. HITS Daily Double predicts that those titles will sell an additional 65,000 and 30,000, respectively, this week. Not too shabby for a couple of teens!

Perhaps the better numbers are a result of country audiences more willingly buying whole albums than pop listeners, or perhaps Scotty and Lauren benefited from October release dates, rather than the more competitive mid-November (Lee) and December (Crystal) dates of their predecessors. Or maybe audiences just like them more—after all, Scotty and Lauren fit into the smiley, bright-eyed, big-dreaming mold of American Idol better than the more subdued Bowersox and DeWyze.

Whatever the reason, McCreery and Alaina (and hopefully Haley Reinhart one day soon!) are re-establishing American Idol as a brand that can produce stars—so long as they aren’t named Pia Toscano, of course. She just never really happened, did she?

What do you think? Will Bowersox and DeWyze find success on the indie circuit? Will McCreery and Alaina experience career longevity? Sound off about all your favorite Idol-ites in the comments below!


Follow Grady on Twitter: @EWGradySmith

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