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Sunday, 10 November, 2002, 20:41 GMT
Fame Academy wins more viewers
Marli Buck with Cat Deeley and Patrick Kielty
Marli [C] was evicted on Friday's show
BBC talent show Fame Academy has boosted its viewing figures with six million people tuning in to watch Friday's programme, improving on the previous week's 5.1 million viewers.

It also included a solo song from US singer Mariah Carey, who signed a new record deal in May after being dropped from EMI/Virgin records with a 19m payoff earlier this year.

The show saw Marli Buck become the fifth student to be voted off by viewers and her fellow contestants.

A spokesman for Fame Academy said: "Figures have been getting much better. People are hearing about the show and tuning in."

Mariah Carey and Fame Academy Contestants
The contestants sang backing vocals for Mariah Carey
The programme, which houses the "students" in a 35m mansion while they hone their musical skills ready for a career in showbiz, has struggled to get good TV ratings.

Poorly-performing contestants are singled out by their tutors and then face eviction by the public and their peers.

All of the contestants are fighting to win a 1m record deal and life in the lap of luxury, although they will have it for only one year.

The contestants were among 12,000 hopefuls who vied to take part in the show.

They are currently attending vocal coaching sessions, intensive song-writing tutorials and dance and exercise classes, which are all filmed at the academy.


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