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WITH ALL DUE R-E-S-P-E-C-T

We hate to say we told you so, but doggone it, we did tell you so. On last night's first-season finale of American Idol, the search for a superstar ended with Kelly Clarkson being awarded a recording contract worth a cool $1 million. Don't feel too bad for runner-up Justin Guarini, though: As the ostensible loser, the lucky stiff won't have to fill his first CD single with "Before Your Love" and "A Moment Like This," the lachrymose power ballads that the show commissioned to ensure the victor's chart success. Um, is it too late to tack on Clarkson's ballsy cover of Aretha Franklin's "Respect"? Pretty please?

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We hate to say we told you so, but doggone it, we did tell you so. On last night's first-season finale of American Idol, the search for a superstar ended with Kelly Clarkson being awarded a recording contract worth a cool $1 million. Don't feel too bad for runner-up Justin Guarini, though: As the ostensible loser, the lucky stiff won't have to fill his first CD single with "Before Your Love" and "A Moment Like This," the lachrymose power ballads that the show commissioned to ensure the victor's chart success. Um, is it too late to tack on Clarkson's ballsy cover of Aretha Franklin's "Respect"? Pretty please?