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Monday, 28 October, 2002, 13:53 GMT
Fame show eyes early chart assault
Graph showing Popstars: The Rivals and Fame Academy ratings
Fame Academy producers are hoping to steal a march on Popstars: The Rivals by releasing a single while the show is still on the air.

The final contestants in the BBC reality show are likely to make a bid for chart glory in late November, while they are still in the house and before a winner has been chosen.

Camilla Beeput on Fame Academy
Camilla Beeput, 21, was voted off Fame Academy on Friday
Their single is expected to come before the two Popstars singles - from the all-male and all-female acts - which will challenge for the Christmas number one spot.

ITV1's Popstars: The Rivals continues to beat Fame Academy in the ratings - but Fame Academy broke through the five million barrier for the first time on Friday.

On that show, 5.1 million viewers saw 21-year-old Camilla Beeput was voted off the show.

Friday's ratings of 5.1 million have given a boost to the show, which was seen to be struggling and dubbed "Lame Academy" by its detractors.

An average of 7.1 million watched the Popstars show the following night.


People are beginning to relate to the students, to have their favourites

Fame Academy
spokesman
Fame Academy producers say the single could be a cover version or one of the students' own compositions.

The Fame Academy mansion has its own recording studio.

Producers say viewers are gradually getting hooked.

"The ratings of the Friday live shows have been consistently nudging up since the first one," a spokesman for the show told BBC News Online.

"Now that it's broken through the five million barrier, that shows that people are beginning to relate to the students, to have their favourites and perhaps care about one."

Shania Twain with Fame Academy students
Shania Twain (second left) dropped into the Fame Academy house
This week, Beeput, from north west London, lost out after David Sneddon, from Glasgow, won 50% of the public vote.

The remaining students then had to choose between Beeput and Katie Lewis, 18, from Bristol, to decide who should stay in the house.

On Monday, the remaining nine students found out that Pippa Fulton, Katie Lewis and Nigel Wilson will be "singing for survival" on the next eviction show

The top student this week was judged to be Sinead Quinn from Northern Ireland.

Friday's show also included a performance by Canadian star Shania Twain, who had earlier been working with the students in the mansion.

Superstars

Lionel Richie will also drop in, and there are strong rumours that Mariah Carey will put in an appearance.

"The place will be opening its doors to a variety of international superstars over the next few weeks," the spokesman said.

The two Popstars singles are scheduled to hit shops on 16 December.

Saturday's show saw Nikk Mager, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, became the second male to be voted off.

Pete Smith, from Dublin, also left after revealing live on air that he had lied about his age to get on the show and was actually two months too old.


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27 Oct 02 | Entertainment
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