Will Sleeping Computers Pick the Next 'American Idol'?

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If idle computers get to pick the next "American Idol" contestant, Chris Daughtry is the picture of success.

In the past few months, Daughtry's image has been downloaded for screensavers more than any of the three remaining contestants, and when competing against previous winners, the 26-year-old North Carolinian trails only former winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, according to Screensavers.com.

The Web site has registered more than 14,000 "American Idol"-related downloads among its selection of past contestants, celebrity guests and, of course, judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

Clarkson leads in "Idol"-related screensaver traffic, accounting for 57 percent of downloads, followed by Underwood, at 12 percent. Daughtry is an overall third, with 7.6 percent.

However, when Daughtry squares off against the three remaining "American Idol" contestants, he's the runaway front-runner, with 44.7 percent. Katherine McPhee has 25.7 percent and Taylor Hicks registers 20.8 percent.

If the screensaver vote counts, it could mean bad news this week for Elliott Yamin, who garnered just 8.8 percent.

As a measure of popularity, budding celebrities are well served by becoming screensavers, which can make a star omnipresent on PCs in offices and schools. Star value now extends into the virtual world," says Screensavers.com general manager Rob Roe.

But computer users use screensavers to celebrate both the famous and the infamous. Cowell leads fellow judges in downloads, but he's still trailing "Idol' reject William Hung, who apparently sang "She Bangs" so badly a few seasons ago that it's still being celebrated on computer screens across the country.

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