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Side show

By SHARON FINK, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 26, 2002

VOTING WITH YOUR MONEY: The American Idol flash hasn't faded from the pan yet.

Sure, almost no one watched Monday's Idol in Vegas special, but winner Kelly Clarkson's single, with Before Your Love and A Moment Like This, will debut at No. 1 on the next Billboard singles chart, according to SoundScan, which tracks record sales.

The single sold a whopping 236,000 copies in its first week; the next-bestselling single, Nivea's Don't Mess With My Man, sold 4,955.

Clarkson's single also was the No. 2-selling record, single or album, of the week, behind Disturbed's new album, Believe, which sold more than 283,000 copies and will debut at No. 1 on the album chart, says.

Clarkson had the No. 1 single in every U.S. market, says Aaron Borns, director of marketing for her label, RCA Records.

Up next: American Idol: Greatest Moments, a compilation album featuring all 10 finalists, in stores Tuesday. There has been a hitch with Clarkson's album, however. It had been scheduled for a November release but has been pushed back to next year.

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THE SHAPE OF THINGS: One of Sunday's Emmy-winning actors told friends in the days before the ceremony that his wife had recently had her breasts enhanced, and she was hoping she would heal in time to accompany him. She must have, because she was there, says New York's Daily News, which knows who the actor in question is but didn't name him. (Once again, your Emmy acting winners in attendance were Ray Romano, Michael Chiklis, Brad Garrett, John Spencer and Michael Moriarty. But you can rule out Moriarty.)

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JUST SIT AROUND AND SMILE, BABY: "Patriot or Flighty Woman?" was the headline that the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda put on its story about the dethroning of Oxana Fedorova as Miss Universe. In an interview with the newspaper, reported by Reuters, Fedorova expanded on the problems that led to her exit, saying the pageant people never told her exactly how much traveling she would have to do as the winner. "I never thought there would be so many commitments," she said.

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TO THE MOON, ALICE IN CHAINS! Now that Tom Hanks has moved on from the space program to World War II, the people at NASA are trying to persuade Hollywood there is a void that needs to be filled. Even though Apollo 13 didn't send young people into a science frenzy, NASA thinks that more movies and TV shows and other projects about rockets and space could do it.

Some Hollywood creative types met Tuesday with NASA officials to talk about working together, Reuters says. The Hollywood end was organized by producer Robert Shapiro, who knows just what needs to be done to get kids interested in space again:

"If the singer in Pearl Jam wears a NASA shirt, then it's suddenly cool to the kids."

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