You can see "cover boy" Taylor on the June 14 issue of People Mag. by clicking here: Hottest Bachelors 2006
Plus, it seems the 150K projection does not include digital downloads, which should add another 30-40K. If this materializes, Taylor would rank 4th in Idol contestants' first week singles sales:
Clay - 393,000
Ruben - 286,000
Kelly - 236,000
Taylor - projected 180,000+
Carrie - 170,000
Fantasia - 142,000
Bo - 106,000
Diana - 65,000
Justin - N/A
(DK about Kim Locke and Josh Gracin, but I don't think they beat Diana in first week sales, did they?)
(Kelly, Ruben, and Clay did not have the benefit of paid digital downloads being counted for SoundScan for their first singles, did they? Not sure Fantasia and Diana did either, but I think they did, as long as you bought both/all 'sides' of the single together.
The bad news for artists in the "iTunes" era of SoundScan is that you can now pay to download individual songs off the American Idol Compilations albums -- something you could not do in 2003 and 2004. That may have increased sales of the compilation albums but if you bought those albums for Kelly's, Clay's, or Ruben's songs, the artist didn't get the credit at SoundScan.
It's really hard to compare the Billboard data from one year to another when the "rules" and accounting methods keep changing.)