'American Idol': New holiday albums hard to come by

davidarchuleta_christmas2.jpgPlenty of past "American Idol" contestants have albums out just in time for the holiday shopping season. But if you want new seasonal music from past Idols, the pickings are mighty slim.

Only 2008 runner-up David Archuleta has released a full album of Christmas songs this season, and it's doing quite well: "Christmas from the Heart," a mix of traditional yuletide hymns and standards like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas," ranked fifth on the Amazon music sales charts as of late Monday afternoon.

Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler contributed songs to "A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 7," but that's it in terms of new holiday product from the "Idol" alumni this year. (Last season's top two, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, have of course just released non-holiday albums, and fourth-place finisher Allison Iraheta's debut hits stores Tuesday.)

If Archie is not enough, though, here's a sampling of other Christmas albums from past Idols, listed in order of their Amazon sales rank at posting time.

"A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 7," various (No. 109): In addition to Underwood's rendition of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and Pickler's "Santa Baby," you'll also get carols by Cobie Caillat, Miley Cyrus, Sean Kingston and "Gossip Girl" star Leighton Meester.

"Merry Christmas with Love," Clay Aiken (No. 1,795): This 2003 album, released at the height of Claymania, has familiar tunes like "Winter Wonderland" and closes with "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"

"It's Christmas," Mandisa (No. 2,491): The season 5 finalist stays inside the neatly wrapped Christmas box in this 2008 collection featuring "Christmas Day" (with Michael W. Smith), "O Holy Night" and a medley of "Feliz Navidad" and "Joy to the World."

"American Idol: The Great Holiday Classics," various (No. 7,294): This compilation released after the first two seasons includes tracks from Ruben Studdard ("This Christmas," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"), Kelly Clarkson ("O Holy Night," "My Grown Up Christmas List") and a couple of group numbers.

"My Kind of Holiday," Elliott Yamin (No. 7,603): Yamin mixes up the traditional stuff ("Jingle Bells," "The Christmas Song") with a few more playful tracks like the bluesy "Christmas Without Carol" and the mildly salacious "Let's Be Naughty (and Save Santa the Trip)."

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Photo credit: Jive
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