If there was any doubt about just how pervasive the "Fierce Five" women's gymnastics gold-medal-winning squad has been, consider this: The song NBC chose as the group's intro theme rocketed all the way from No. 80 to No. 1 in the iTunes charts in the three days since it debuted to a montage of the smiling and posing gymnasts on July 30.
As noted by Yahoo! Music and Entertainment Weekly, among other sources, "Home", the debut single by "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips, reached the No. 1 download slot on iTunes on Aug. 1. The track's top spot followed a meteoric rise from a spot in the "80-something range" of iTunes when it was first used on NBC's prime-time broadcast of women's gymnastics. It had previously peaked at the No. 10 spot on the list after its original release on May 23.
[ Photos: US wins gymnastics gold ]
Phillips, who is currently touring on the "American Idol Live" circuit, had the song's rapid rise brought to his attention on Twitter, and posted a thank you tweet to his fans for purchasing so many copies of it.
Yet Phillips didn't acknowledge the people who are almost certainly behind the track's sudden mass popularity: the Fierce Five and producers at NBC.
As EW noted, NBC began using "Home" with its internal Olympics promotions during the U.S. Olympic trials, yet that appeared to have little -- if any -- effect on the song's download rate.
With an estimated 41 million viewers on Sunday night during the women's gymnastics preliminary team competition, the newest promotions brought a very different story. The song's second life serves as a pseudo litmus test of just how popular the Fierce Five (as McKayla Maroney has named the group) really is; it's a good song, but it had been lying dormant on the iTunes charts for weeks until it was more publicly associated with the U.S. gymnasts.
Now, with the nation seemingly scrambling to commemorate another monumental U.S. achievement in women's gymnastics, Phillips stands likely to gain some of the collateral benefit of the accomplishments of Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross and Maroney, whether he truly deserves it or not.
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