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Saturday, December 17, 2005

AD: Canadian Political Spoofs (2006 Edition)

Canada is currently in a General Election, as you may be aware. Our Members of Parliament who in turn form the government and cabinet as well as determine the Prime Minister of Canada will be elected on January 23rd.

Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority government was ousted last month in a non-confidence vote in Parliament.

Canada has 3 main political parties (in alphabetical order, to avoid any partisanship):

  • Conservative - equivilent to the Republicans in the United States. They are the right end of the political spectrum. 2nd largest party based on 2004 election. Leader: Stephen Harper
  • Liberal - the mainstream party which crowns itself as Canada's only centrist party. They tend to move to the right and left in different political situations. The party has governed for most of Canada's history. Largest party based on 2004 election. Leader: Pau Martin
  • NDP - formed in the 1930's, the NDP is the socialist party on the left end of the political spectrum. The NDP has only formed government on several occasions. 4th largest party based on 2004 election - (we've omitted the 3rd largest party, the separatist Bloc Quebecois since they do not run candidates nationally) Leader: Jack Layton
We thought it would be cool, as we did last year in Canada's 2004 general election, to make political sign spoofs. These signs often appear on roadsides, buildings, etc. during an election and this is how they would look like if Clay was a candidate. With a little bit of humor dashed in, we hope you enjoy these political spoofs.

Again, in alphabetical order to avoid partisanship -- Click to enlarge. Claynadians- these are perfect for printing out.

Clayservative Party of Claynada

Cliberal Party Of Claynada

Cl-NDP Party of Claynada

AD: Charlotte, NC

Clay Has Strong Showing for 2005: Reuters

Short, complimentary article about Christian/Gospel music from Reuters/Billboard.

'Idol' worship shapes Christian, gospel genres
Sat Dec 17, 2005 3:58 PM ET11
By Deborah Evans Price

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - The power of the "American Idol" franchise is clearly evident at the peak of this year's Christian and gospel music charts.

"Idol" winner Ruben Studdard took the No. 1 spot on the Top Gospel Albums chart with "I Need an Angel" and also reached the summit of the Top Gospel Artists recap.

Clay Aiken's "Merry Christmas With Love" claimed the No. 1 title on the Top Christian Albums chart. Aiken also took the No. 2 spot on the Top Christian Artists list.

SoundScan data combine Christian and gospel sales stats, and the 2005 findings show the religious music biz in a slump. From the beginning of 2004 to November 14 of that year, 33.1 million units were sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. During the same time period in 2005, sales were down to 28.9 million.

Billboard Year End Issue

Clay was mentioned in Fred Bronson's year-end recap, which appears on the Dec. 24 issue of Billboard Magazine, as well as online at and Mr. Bronson is a Clay fan and has been very supportive of Clay's career.

The Year In Charts
By Fred Bronson

Clarkson is the main, but not only, reason that the "American Idol" franchise has made such a powerful showing on the year-end recaps. Contestants from the TV series are responsible for 17 year-end No. 1s, up from two in 2004 and 2003 and one in 2002. The honors are spread among all four "American Idol" winners and one runner-up.

Clarkson is responsible for nine of the 17 "Idol" No. 1s. She is the No. 1 artist on the Hot 100 Artists, Female recap. She has the No. 1 position on the Hot Adult Contemporary Songs recap--"Breakaway" (Walt Disney/Hollywood)--and is the No. 1 AC artist. She is also the No. 1 Adult Top 40 artist and the No. 1 Hot Dance Airplay artist. She has the No. 1 song on the Pop 100 Songs chart, "Since U Been Gone," which is also the No. 1 Pop 100 Airplay song and Clarkson is the No. 1 Pop 100 artist. Finally, "Breakaway" from "The Princess Diaries 2" is the top soundtrack single.

The second season "American Idol" winner, Ruben Studdard, has the No. 1 title on the Top Gospel Albums chart. "I Need an Angel" (J), and is the No. 1 act on the Top Gospel Albums Artist chart. Third season "Idol" Fantasia is the No. 1 Adult R&B artist and the No. 1 new R&B/Hip-Hop artist. Fourth-season "Idol" Carrie Underwood has the No. 1 title on Hot Singles Sales and on the online Hot Country Singles Sales recap with "Inside Your Heaven" (Arista), and also led the online Hot Country Singles Sales Artist recap. Second season runner-up Clay Aiken has the No. 1 Christian album, "Merry Christmas With Love" (RCA).

This is the fourth consecutive year that an "American Idol" singer has the best-selling single of the year. Underwood's "Inside Your Heaven" follows in the footsteps of Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" (2002), Aiken's "This Is the Night" / "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (2003) and Fantasia's "I Believe" (2004).

Raleigh N&O Special Editions

We have an update to the Raleigh News & Observer story we ran last Wednesday when the Raleigh News & Observer said they'd be printing 2 special editions of the paper to commemorate both Clay's move back to Raleigh and Clay's Dec. 22 concert at the RBC Center.

According to the paper, tomorrow's (Dec. 18's) edition will contain:

On the Road with Clay Aiken
After stays in Los Angeles, hotels and a tour bus, the Triangle sounds better than ever to Clay Aiken. Backstage in Boston, the Raleigh singer talks about the decision to come back to the place where he belongs - not just for his Dec. 22 concert but for good.
Arts & Entertainment

Dec. 22's paper will have a special full-coloured "Special Souvenir page celebrating Clay Aiken's 'Joyful Noise' concert in Raleigh." (appears above, click to enlarge)

The management has made the Dec. 18 issue available to fans not in the Raleigh area for $5 within the continental USA, $10 to Hawaii and Alaska and $20 to anywhere else in the world, including Canada. The Dec. 22 issue will also be available for $3 (US), $6 (Hawaii, Alaska) and $10 (Worldwide, Canada). All prices quoted include shipping fees and are in US Dollars. For more information, click here.

Korean Clayfans Mark Milestone

Congratulations to Clay's South Korean fans. Today, the Korean Clay Aiken fanclub reached 9000 members.

Bloomingclay of the CB who is a member of the club posted this on the CB this morning.

He has gained thousands of new fans here without any promotion this year.Almost all of them got to know him just by seeing a couple of his performances on the internet or hearing some of his songs.Though they knew little about him,they saw something special about him and it made them really want to know more.It's amazing and I'm so proud of him I can't imagine what it would be like if he got some promotion here.

Clay on The Internet 12/17

Kelly Clarkson becomes Blender magazine's woman of the year.

Kelly Clarkson is Blender's 2005 Woman of the Year (Explicit Content)
Kelly Clarkson has just sunk her fourth girl-flavored peach-schnapps concoction of the night when AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" beckons from the club stereo. It's a come-hither that Clarkson can't resist: She's been sitting still for almost an hour now -- having just finished a sold-out set at the Theater at Madison Square Garden -- and "Shook" is her favorite song of all time, y'all! So she rises from her corner seat and makes the back wall of this midtown Manhattan club her imaginary grind partner, sliding the back of her gray cargo pants up and down with a mild salaciousness that, while perfectly TV-14, would probably make Clay Aiken even more red-faced than usual.

Article about two photographers who took Clay's July 2005 cover shots for TV Guide.
Making the scene

Michael and James Bednark needed a large tree branch, and the storm had brought many down into area yards. They drove by one home and saw a family wrestling with a branch that was the ideal size and shape. The homeowners were glad to have the brothers haul it away.

The Bednarks have designed and built background sets for dozens of photos that have graced the pages, and sometimes the covers, of pretty much every issue of TV Guide this fall.

Employed individually and together, the New York roommates have worked on a long list of magazine photos, theatrical productions, TV shows, commercials, and student and feature films - sometimes involving celebrities such as Dennis Hopper, Patricia Arquette, Robin Williams, Zach Braff, Spike Lee and Clay Aiken.

The brothers acknowledge that few people even think about what it might take to set up certain photos and TV backdrops, but, James notes, ''we love what we do, and a lot of the older people realize how much work it takes.'' And some celebrities take notice, too: Singer Clay Aiken praised the brothers' work in his Web log after a TV Guide shoot, and Comedy Central star Steven Colbert told them their set of a miniature New York Harbor belonged in a museum.

AI2 Idol Julia DeMato arrested for DUI.
An Alex Too Far
DeMato in a parking lot
by Gary Carra

In other news, the careers of former American Idols Clay Aiken , Kelly Clarkson and now Carrie Underwood may be flying high, but apparently, the only thing soaring for 2003 contestant Julia DeMato of late has been her blood/alcohol level. According to the Danbury News-Times , the Connecticut-based songbird was arrested at about 2 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4 in the parking lot of Pancho and Gringo's Restaurant in Brookfield. Brookfield Police had reportedly witnessed DeMato pull into the parking lot an hour after that establishment had closed.

Um... What Did You Say Ryan?

Setting the record straight
It's official: Ryan Seacrest prefers women. Probably.

The "American Idol" host, who has never shied away from his metrosexuality, dished about growing up a chubby child, his hair and women in the January issue of Elle.

"I'm not afraid to invite a woman to go shopping and to get a manicure-pedicure," Seacrest told the mag. He's also unafraid to set the record straight (sorta) about his sexual preference.

When asked which "Idol" contestant he'd most like to, ahem, get to know, the 31-year-old said, "I can't answer that. I can tell you that it's not Clay Aiken."

Jackson: Ruben Was The Right Winner

A few mentions in a new interview with American Idol judge Randy Jackskon. Although we value Mr. Jackson's personal opinions, I think he's got it wrong.

Randy Jackson Says American Idol 5 Has Interesting Fighting
American Idol judge Randy Jackson recently answered questions from the media about the upcoming American Idol 5.

In regards to the bad singers that always seem to make it into the audition rounds, Jackson said "People turn out and you go what show were they watching." When repeatedly questioned about if the show was too cruel, Jackson insisted that "the show is definitely not about cruelty." Jackson made the point that you have to let the contestants audition because you never know. Jackson pointed to Clay Aiken and said "what if we thought this guy should just be in a library somewhere?"
In regards to previous editions of American Idol, Jackson said that American got it right in selecting Ruben Studdard over Clay Aiken. Jackson said Clay Aiken ascended during the season, but Ruben Studdard was good from the day he started. Jackson also revealed that his favorite two American Idols so far were Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia.

Clay on Good Morning America 12/17

Clay appeared on Good Morning America this morning. There was some confusion as only SELECTED ABC stations carried the program this morning. If your ABC station (like mine, from Detroit) didn't carry the program this morning, there's a good chance they will carry the same program tomorrow (Sunday) morning starting at 7 AM local time.

Clay performed Mary, Did You Know, which he taped while in New York 2 weeks ago. Don't forget to mark your calendar for next weekend (24th and 25th) when Clay will appear on GMA again to sing My Grown Up Christmas List.

Thanks to Gerwhisp for these beautiful caps. All caps enlarge by clicking on the thumbnails posted here. Video should be up at the usual clack sites soon. The CB's GMA thread might already have a few video links up.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Charlotte Observer 'Q&A with Clay Aiken'

Another pre-concert article/interview. This one's from the Charlotte Observer. Clay plays his 2nd hometown of Charlotte, next week at the New Charlotte Arena. Tickets are available from the venue's website. Many thanks to the CB's CharlotteClayFan for the scans.

Q&A with Clay
Special to the Observer

Clay Aiken may not have won the top spot on "American Idol's" second season, but over two years later the N.C. runner-up's career is still going strong.

He debuted at No. 1 with both his first single and album. He published a best-selling book and has a top-selling 2004 holiday album and tour. He's also hosted his own NBC Christmas special, guest-starred on the sitcom "Scrubs" and monitored the red carpet alongside Pat O'Brien at the 2005 Emmys.

To beat it all, Aiken's done it on his own terms -- maintaining a responsible image while appearing as one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men in America" and continuing his work as an advocate for people with disabilities through the Bubel/Aiken Foundation and as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.

The UNC Charlotte graduate, whose "Joyful Noise" holiday show, now in its second year, makes it to Charlotte Bobcats Arena Wednesday, spoke with the Observer from a tour stop in Providence, R.I., recently. He talked about his return to the Carolinas, his work with UNICEF, and the story line for his latest holiday tour.

Q. So I hear you're moving back to Raleigh. What's makes this the right time? I always wanted to live at home. Whenever I saw the opportunity to get back I jumped at the first chance. We got into a position where we thought we would be able to sustain what we were doing from further away. So why not?

Q. Will you keep a home in Los Angeles as well? I'll probably have some place I can stay in L.A. or New York. I kind of just want a home base no matter what.

Q. Do you think being recognized will be more of a problem here? Coming off a reality show was a little different than people would expect. We have the recognize-ability and the neighborly approachability, which makes it complicated to live anywhere. I haven't lived in North Carolina since I've been doing this, but people are much more laid-back at home. I think it'll be something that I'm going to learn to deal with, because I love being there. My mom says eventually people will get used to the fact that you live here and they won't bother you anymore. At this point I don't care. I just want to come home.

Q. Tell me about this "Joyful Noise" tour. Weren't you more involved in the whole production this time around? I'm a control freak. I was involved in everything. We just wanted to change things up. We didn't make it (to Charlotte) last Christmas, but we did do a show with a regular orchestral production. We wanted to include the same songs, but connect them together. So, I sat down and tried to do an outline -- what could be said or done between songs to give it more warmth and meaning because in a Christmas show you want everything to have a meaning because Christmas is very emotional.

Q. You cast Carolinians in the leads? As I was doing that I started thinking about my high-school music teacher. I thought, "Wow, she'd be so funny in this part," and kind of wrote it around her. Then we called her up and asked her if she'd do it. So my old high-school music teacher is on the road with us now. She's playing the lead role.

We hired a little boy out of Raleigh because I was too cheap to hire a tutor. I'm still able to teach (in North Carolina), so I said, let me do it myself.

Q. What's the story line? We see this older woman who has lost the spirit of Christmas. This little boy comes in and he's kind of precocious and annoys her at first, but she eventually tells him the story of what Christmases were like for her when her husband was alive and her son was still living at home. Through flashbacks of these memories she regains the meaning of Christmas, the feeling of Christmas. It's got the classic Christmas story arc, but it does it with the help of some guardian angels. Myself and two ladies who sing with me on the show direct the action and provide for the flashbacks and provide the soundtrack as well.

Q. What about your involvement with UNICEF? I went to Indonesia as a practice trip. They wanted my first trip to be to Indonesia after the tsunami because I could see first-hand what UNICEF does. I remember getting off the plane in the hardest-hit area and seeing the devastation and thinking, "This is practice?"

I got an understanding of what UNICEF does, then I went to Uganda, and decided Indonesia probably was practice because in Indonesia there was a sense of hope. In Uganda this war's been going on for 18 years. Children have to leave their homes every night to walk to the cities to be safe. They can't stay in their homes because they're being kidnapped to become child soldiers or sex slaves or be killed. There is less hope. I understood at that point why Indonesia was practice. They've both been life-changing opportunities. I'd think, "I'm sitting here in Los Angeles complaining about traffic and I don't really have a right to." I certainly won't complain about traffic on I-77 anymore.

Q. When you started in the entertainment industry did you immediately see it as a way to do more charitable work? Absolutely. I remember the very first question I was asked in one of the interviews, was why do you want to do this? I couldn't help think of Oprah. I didn't use to watch Oprah, but everybody knows who she is. After 20 years, she can say the name of the book and people will read it. When she says she's not going to eat a hamburger, the beef industry sues her. That's how much power she has. That's an amazing amount of influence and she uses it for what she feels is important. I'd like to be in that position as well.

Coming Soon: FREE Daily Newsletter

Due to popular demand to our newsletters (we just surpassed 250 subscribers!), we will soon be offering a free daily newsletter called CDD Clay News Daily in addition to our current weekly newsletter, CDD Clay News Weekly. We are currently working out the technical aspects. Look for it before the end of the year. CDD- Always keeping you on top of news and events in the Clay Nation.

Good Morning America Moved to Saturday on SELECT ABC Stations

Select ABC stations have stated that they will air Clay's scheduled Mary, Did You Know performance on Saturday (the 17th) instead of the Sunday (the 18th), previously announced by ABC and the Clay Aiken Fanclub. Clay will also appear on the Dec. 25th edition of GMA Weekend Edition to sing My Grown Up Christmas List. Check local listings as times vary by area. Both of these performances were taped on Dec. 5 in GMA's New York City studios.

12/17 Update. We have confirmation from the Official fanclub.

Clay's upcoming Good Morning America performance - originally scheduled for Sunday - will now air a day earlier on Saturday, Dec. 17th. You can see him perform "Mary Did You Know" on GMA TOMORROW, and "My Grown Up Christmas List" on Christmas Day! Be sure to check your local listings for exact show times and channels. Under Re-Construction

The CB's home site, is currently under re-construction. The owner of the CB and the site, ClayNation left this message on the site's homepage.


"" is currently under re-construction.

In the meantime, please join us at's message board, The Clayboard, where you can read and join in on thousands of Clay Aiken & General discussions within the forums listed below. Please refer to the forum descriptions to find out what kinds of discussions take place in those particular forums. News Tidbits

A few interesting tidbits today from courtesy CDD's Clayscience21. Clayscience's daily rankings are posted at CDD Charts/Stats.

Bo Bice's Album Offered With MOAM
Bo Bice's The Real Thing (this has been offered at a $2 discount with MOAM. That might account for a bit of the rise in MOAM sales yesterday when The Real Thing was higher on the Amazon charts). Yesterday's MOAM ranking was in the 800's, compared to the normal ranking in the 2000-4000 range.

Measure Of A Man -- New Order From RCA
An interesting factoid this morning. Amazon notes that there are only two copies left in stock, but more are on the way. The good news - Amazon has ordered more from RCA (will help with numbers shipped which counts to RIAA platinum certifications). The bad news - this is right before Christmas so sales may be lost. I think it's unfortunate that any company allows stock to drop so low before re-ordering. But I also suspect Amazon also uses this as a sales tool - i.e. "Order now before they're all gone".

Relive Summer 2005 with New Jukebox Tour Montages

The CB's tsunamimommy has been hard at work on her Jukebox Tour montages. You can download the files (they're huge, so a download manager is highly recommended) via her website. More information was posted here on the Clayboard.

Aspiring American Idol: 'Watch Out Clay'

From the CB's Claysmywonderland:

Am I the only one who saw this ad on TV for the new American Idol season? A guy was auditioning dressed AS CLAY . He was in the same beige striped shirt and those brownish bell bottomy pants Clay wore during his audition. He had the glasses and everything. When he came out he pointed at the camera and said "Watch out Clay Aiken, I'm coming ta gitcha" :laugh

Mentions On The Internet 12/16

Clay's web/graphic design agency choosen for design magazine.

Logo Lounge Chooses Anoroc Agency's Creative for New Edition

Anoroc Agency's logo created for Hideaway BBQ, has been selected to appear in the latest edition of LogoLounge. While exhibiting top brands and the latest trends, LogoLounge, known as the ultimate international guide in logo and identity design, features the industries best logos for study and inspiration. The book features designs from leading agencies around the world. Anoroc's identity work has been chosen to be featured in the most recent edition.

Anoroc is a full service strategic marketing, advertising, graphic design and public relations agency located in Raleigh on Glenwood south. With more than 25 awards for design and strategy, Anoroc was recently named one of the top advertising and graphic design firms in the Triangle. Agency clients include Clay Aiken, Rosen Divorce, The Bubel Aiken Foundation, Twiga Imports, Marc Brown Studios, 212 Media, Community Home Care & Hospice and Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center.

About the most popular Christmas songs.
Songs of the season
Mike Pound
Globe Staff Writer

For the past three years, two Joplin radio stations have switched to all-Christmas music formats during the holidays.

Ron Peterson is the president and general manager of Mix 95.1 (KMXL) FM and KDMO. Because KDMO tends to skew toward an older audience, he tries to stick with a more traditional musical selection.

To Peterson, Christmas carols are songs like "Silent Night" or "The First Noel."
"If you are very much into Christmas as a religious holiday, then carols like those are what you will associate with Christmas," he said.

Traditional Christmas songs include Crosby's version of "White Christmas," Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song."

"We play a lot of same music but done by different people. There's Elvis'' ‘White Christmas' but there are also versions by Whitney Houston, Clay Aiken and of course Bing Crosby," he said.

Here, according to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, are the most-performed holiday songs of the past five years.
1. "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"
2. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
3. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
4. "Winter Wonderland"
5. "White Christmas"
6. "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!"
7. "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"
8. "Jingle Bell Rock"
9. "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
10. "Little Drummer Boy"
11. "Sleigh Ride"
12. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
13. "Silver Bells"
14. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"
15. "Feliz Navidad"
16. "Blue Christmas"
17. "Frosty the Snowman"
18. "A Holly Jolly Christmas"
19. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"
20. "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)"
21. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"
22. "(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays"
23. "Carol of the Bells"
24. "Santa Baby"
25. "Wonderful Christmastime"

Clay helping keep the Christmas tradition alive with 2004 'A Clay Aiken Christmas' TV special.
Holiday show pays homage to late greats

There was a time when December television viewing meant lots of annual celebrity holiday specials.

Bob Hope, Perry Como, The Osmonds, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Andy Williams all did yearly one-hour specials.

Today, all that's left are the likes of Clay Aiken, Kathie Lee Gifford and Harry Connick Jr., who are trying to keep the same tradition alive in today's world of cable channel competition and networks worried about advertising and cheap show production opportunities.

Random mention -- negative content alert.
White Sox Conductor Says All Aboard the Bandwagon
by Scott Long
[article about baseball]

Hey, Clay Aiken, give me a jingle. I'm a good advocate for the hated and I've got some free time on my hands.

Clay mention in review of the new movie 'The Producers' from USA Today. Not very nice. The author has a history of bashing not only Clay, but all the Idols.
On the stage vs. on the screen
Two of the biggest Broadway blockbusters of the past decade, The Producers and Rent,are either playing at or headed to a theater near you -- a movie theater, that is. USA TODAY theater and music critic Elysa Gardner gave the soundtrack for each new big-screenmusical a spin. Here's how they stack up against the originals:

Ferrell has refashioned the stirring Third Reich anthem Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop as an earnest, New Agey ballad that sounds like a lost track from Clay Aiken's Christmas CD. It's one of the funniest things that he -- Ferrell, that is -- has ever done. There's also the spanking new There's Nothing Like a Show on Broadway, an end-title Lane-Broderick duet that's at once gratuitous and hilarious.

Mary, Did You Know mention.
Dreaming of a Greene Christmas

Macon native and Southern gospel great Buddy Greene is coming home for the holidays.

Or at least for one night, at the behest of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Greene is scheduled to perform Thursday at the Douglass Theatre.

Greene's harmonica stylings are widely known, as is his original Christmas song, "Mary, Did You Know." That little ditty has been recorded by the likes of Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd, Natalie Cole, Clay Aiken and Reba McEntire.

Big week coming up in Charlotte.

We say Week 15 is big. U2?

It's been a big week here already.
First, it was U2 and then it was those two ... uh, Dolly Parton.
Plus, "The Dukes of Hazzard" is finally out on DVD, so our friends in Pageland can do their Christmas shopping.
The Panthers, meanwhile, spilled some angst into the eggnog last Sunday when they played like Duke against Tampa Bay, throwing the whole postseason into question.
The dark fear is the only postseason game in Bank of America Stadium this season might be the Muffler Bowl featuring South Florida, which no one knew had a football team until its fan booked a room at the Marriott on New Year's Eve.
(Hint: He'll be the guy with the really good tan).
Now the Panthers are forced to Baton Rouge (which, by the way, is French for "Baton Rouge") where they face a must-win game against the New Orleans/San Antonio/Baton Rouge Saints.
They've already lost once this season to the Saints and, according to NFL rules, any team that loses twice in the same year to the Saints is required to bypass the playoffs and stand in the return line at Wal-Mart the day after Christmas.
So, as big as the past week has been, Week 15 is even bigger.
Clay Aiken's coming to town, you know.

Aiken's Solitaire Success Put Sedaka Hit on Charts For 6th Consecutive Decade

Another positive mention about Solitaire, which Clay released as a single last year. It has since sold nearly 500,000 copies and topped the Billboard charts for weeks, and astounding feat for a CD single. Neil Sedeka was a co-writer for the song. A similar article last month in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette also mentioned Clay.

Still a hit maker
Neil Sedaka continues to write new music after 53 years in the biz
By John Berger

With almost 50 years of hits to his credit, Neil Sedaka isn't ready to live off the past. In fact, he'll be playing more new music than usual this weekend, as he's back in Honolulu for two solo concerts at the Hawaii Theatre.

Sedaka sounded very much like the singer-songwriter who was a consistent hit maker in the late '50s to early '60s. Sedaka made his hit debut as a recording artist in 1958 with "The Diary," followed with a string of bigger pop hits that included "Oh! Carol," "Stairway to Heaven," "Calendar Girl," "Little Devil," and "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen" before hitting the top of the charts with "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" in '62.

Jump forward a decade to the mid-'70s and Sedaka was back on the charts, and he's never left since then. Sedaka celebrated a career milestone last March when Clay Aiken charted with "Solitaire." Aiken's success put a Sedaka composition on the Billboard charts for the sixth consecutive decade.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

AD: Pensacola, FL

Free Image Hosting at

Measure Of A Man Takes Giant Leap on

Measure Of A Man sure measured up today on For a while this morning, the disc was in the 800's range on's bestseller list. That is a huge jump from the 2000-3000's range just yesterday! Merry Christmas With Love has been hovering around the 200-400 range. You can check out all the stats at Clayscience's CDD Charts/Stats.

Christmas CD Continues to Move Up

Merry Christmas with Love continues to move up on Billboard's Holiday Albums Chart. This week, Clay landed at #11, up 4 spots from #15 last week. Congrats Clay on MCWL's success this season.

Clay, Kelly The Real Deal, Declares Hartford Courant

The Hartford Courant compliment's Clay's and Kelly's success saying season 4 winner and runner-up Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice are 'so, so forgettable'.

Just so, so forgettable from 2 Idols
December 15, 2005

Bo Bice

Carrie Underwood

It's a simple equation: If just a fraction of the 20 million people who watch "American Idol" every week buy albums by the winner or runner-up, the management and record companies make mind-boggling amounts of money.

As for quality, well, that's been an incidental concern for the masterminds behind the would-be karaoke pop stars. There hasn't been much of it so far: Only Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson have anything resembling a real career in music, a distinction unlikely to be eclipsed by Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice, this season's top two finishers.

Jay Leno Mentions Clay 12/14

Not a very nice mention on last night's Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Here's the transcript courtesy our affiliate, ClayReport.

how bad is it when it goes straight to cell phone? [ laughter ] how bad is that? we have ralph fiennes on the show tonight. [ cheers he's a terrific actor. he has a new movie called he white countess."" i think it's about clayaiken, if i'm not mistaken. [ laughter ] and the movie ""king kong"" opened today. it is supposed to be huge. it's about a giant gorilla who falls for this little blond woman. they're calling it a love story. i love this. that's the only way you can get guys to go see a love story, okay? make the leading man a giant ape that has to fight dinosaurs. then guys will go, ""okay."" and they're calling king kong an ape with a heart. which is also, i think, arnold's campaign. [ imitating schwarzenegger ] i'm the ape with the heart. vote for me, the ape with the heart. [ laughter and applause ]

Christmas Clay Aiken Styled

These Christmas carols have been adapted for Clayfans by the CB and Claydawg's OLMass. Fantastic job OL! If these don't get you into the holiday, 'you're the grinch', according to Clay.

Deck the Halls with Aiken's Raleigh
Deck the Halls with Aiken's Raleigh,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Not the city but the dawgie,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
On the road with Clay she's working,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Has the other dawgies flurking,
Fa la la la la, la la la la!

See what Raleigh does before us,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Doesn't want to make a floor mess
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Don we now the leash and collar,
Fa la la , la la la, la la la.
'Cause where Clay goes, Raleigh follers(?),
Fa la la la la, la la la la!

Do You Thud Like I Thud
Said the Claymate to the Studdard fan,
Do you thud like I thud
Deep down in your heart, Studdard fan,
Do you thud like I thud?
For Clay, for Clay, I'm thudding every day
With the gals there's no other way!
With the gals there's no other way.

Said the Claymate then to the critic man,
Do you see what I see
Up there on the stage, critic man,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, was born on AI2
He is loved by Christian and Jew.
He is loved by Christian and Jew.

Said the Claymate next to the DJ Ma'am,
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the hall, DJ Ma'am,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, filled with angel sound
From That Voice so big and profound,
From That Voice so big and profound.

Said the people all to the Idol King,
Do you know what we know
In your ivory tower, Idol King,
Do you know what we know?
A man, a man, starting as a nerd
Is the voice that now must be heard!
Is the voice that now must be heard.
The man, the man, singing in the night
He's the star that's shining so bright,
He's the star that's shining so bright!

The Twelve Days of Christmas
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
12 Clay Aikens dancing,
11 Claymates thudding,
10 ladies fainting,
9 panty throwings,
8 claymates panting,
7 songs Clay's singing,
6 concerts seeing,
4 red glow sticks,
3 Aiken shirt tugs,
2 aiken winks,
( all together now...)

Clayton, the Red-Haired Aiken (Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
Clayton, the red-haired Aiken,
Had a voice like no one heard.
And when first time you saw him,
Bet you thought he was a nerd.

All of the Idol judges,
Wondered was he right for fame.
They chose Kim Locke and Ruben,
Tossed him from the Idol game!

Then one wondrous Wild Card Eve,
Voters called to say,
Clayton with your voice so right,
Won't you sing for us tonight?

Then how the people loved him,
And they shouted out with glee,
Clayton, the red-haired Aiken,
You'll make music history.
You'll make music hi...sto...ry!!!

These are a Few of My Clay Aiken Things
(These are Few of My (Wife's) Favorite Things)
Guys who are nerdy and wear funny glasses,
Then become sexy and turn on the lasses,
Shirt tugs and knee bends and angels that sing,
These are a few of my Clay Aiken things.

Randy and Paula but no one named Simon,
Those who see mountains and then start a climbin'
Guys who teach children with love on their wings,
These are a few of my Clay Aiken things.

When the boss bites, when the news stings, when I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my Clay Aiken things and then I don't feel so bad!

Clayton Aikenland (Winter Wonderland)
Clayton sings, are you listening?
Hum along or start whistling
To the beautiful sound, the one that we found,
Singing in a Clayton Aikenland.

Gone away are the old tunes,
Here to stay are ones he croons.
You know that I'm right 'cause 'This is the Night,'
Singing in a Clayton Aikenland.

In the morning when I am arising,
I start to sing a Clayton Aiken song,
And in the evening when I am reclining,
To Clayton's music I still sing alo-o-ng.

Later on, I'm still listening,
In my dreams, I'm still whistling
To the beautiful sound, the one that we found,
Singing in a Clayton Aikenland.
Singing in a Clayton Aikenland.

G-d Rest Ye Weary Clay Aiken
G-d rest ye weary Clay Aiken, how tired you must be,
Been on the go since AI2, it's time for AI3,
When Randy, Paula, Simon's power will pick a choice, but see,

O, no one is quite as good as Clay, better than Clay,
O, no one is quite as good as Clay,

On AI2 in old L.A., a brand new star was born,
He said his name was Clay Aiken, he took the world by storm,
And now the sun shines brighter on the music world's morn,

O, no one is quite as good as Clay, better than Clay,
O, no one is quite as good as Clay.

From G-d, our heavenly Father, he blessed Clay with that voice,
And though the votes did not show it, he is the people's choice,
Now let me say it loud and clear, CLAY IS THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE,

O, no one is quite as good as Clay, better than Clay,
O, no one is quite as good as Clay.

Christmas Songs' Spins Increasing

It's 10 days to Christmas and Clay's airplay has been increasing. Mediabase's Mainstream AC chart reports that O Holy Night and Mary Did You Know, from last year's Merry Christmas With Love CD have been picking up spins. MDYK is ranked #11 this week and has been spun 437 times, while OHN has been spun 345 times and is ranked #21 this week. Click here to see the chart. OHN was also listed on the JUMP chart, with an increase of 26 spins this week. See the JUMP charts.

Clay Expected To Hold Runner-Up Record

Clay's record of 613,000 copies sold in the first week for an American Idol runner-up's debut album will stand, it looks. Season 4 runner up Bo Bice released his album, The Real Thing this past Tuesday and it is on track to sell about 180-200,000 copies in its opening week, less than 1/3 of what Clay moved in that same week. This report was posted onto the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's American Idol blog.

12/15: Early Bo sales report
By Rodney Ho Thursday, December 15, 2005, 01:52 AM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bo Bice's first album "The Real Thing" looks to debut in the 180,000 to 200,000 sales range, based on first-day sales. Check out the story at That is better than my pre-release prediction of 150,000 and far exceeds runner ups Justin Guarini and Diana DeGarmo but is not even a third of what Clay Aiken did. It would be the sixth biggest debut by an "Idol" contestant following the four winners and Clay.

As the above blog cited, HDD posted an article that mentioned (and even had a picture of Clay) too.
The Clay Aiken factor is once again in effect.
December 14, 2005

Looks like American Idol has launched yet another career, and, like Clay Aiken before him, long-haired rocker Bo Bice (RCA/RMG) seems to have gotten a lot of mileage out of the underdog status of being the runner up in the 2005 edition of the show. From the early data pouring in from retail, Bice may have enough fans to give Idol winner Carrie Underwood a run for her money, career-wise, as he boogaloos to a first-week total of 180k-200k on his debut album. Not only that, but our boy currently has the inside track to the #1 position next week. That said, he’s competing in a particularly crowded field of bona-fide hits as we hit the home stretch of the holiday gift-giving season.

Hilarious Spoof

Hilarious Clay-Kelly spoof we found on a blog. It'll take you a while to read though!

Eeyore's Not So Glommy Place
Nicedonkey Blog

*sigh* Teacher!Clay! is all kindsa hawt. He can school me anytime.
In fact, he already has.
Because the great thing about Teacher!Clay! is that he's so much more than that. He's also an ambassador, a playwright, and a sexy singer man. He teaches while he's singing, he teaches while he's writing, he even teaches while he's sleeping (before you get all excited at that thought, I just meant that he usually gets a nap in while Gregory is studying pre-algebra). It's all about finding those teachable moments. For instance, even though this is the fifteenth skit I've written (yes, I counted), I still have some room to learn, and am definitely open for instruction. I watched, I listened, and I learned a lot about skit-writing by studying Clay's carefully crafted debut. So I've decided to make some changes, starting right now.
Number one: Limit the number of speaking characters to two. (Hear that, Clay?) Trying to keep track of all the different characters' motivations and voices can be extremely taxing on the playwright, especially when they combine with all the other voices that already live in a typical playwright's head. If it's important to hear someone else's point of view, it's easiest to start several of the speaking character's lines with something like, "My mom always says...," "My mom said...." or even the simpler "Mom says...." The possibilities are endless.
Number two: If you ever need to move things along or change direction suddenly, it's best to have a sort of guardian angel character. It's way easier than trying to tie things together logically. I know that the circular logic I've employed in the past can get a little confusing for my readers, but NO MORE! I've decided to cast Raleigh in this role for all my future skits, so if you notice her scratching herself or licking herself, and then the other characters getting grossed out by that, so much so that they forget what they were talking about and move on to something completely unrelated, or if she maybe eats the ticket with the winning lotto numbers on it so that Clay is forced to enter the local talent competition and win in order to save his job and Christmas spirit, now you know why.
Number three: Hammer it home! Okay, I'll admit that I've employed this strategy in the past, but purely for sexual purposes. I normally prefer that my jokes and references be of the more subtle, innuendo-laden variety. I want my readers to be in a constant state of slight "Did she say what I think she said?" confusion. Clay's definition of "subtle"appears to be different than mine. He seems to think it's better to repeat the same basic punchline four different ways, in his quest to for the audience to get his joke. And when it comes to delivering the more important central message, he's taught me to use a multi-pronged approach. Leave no stone unturned! First, have the characters deliver the message, not once, but twice. It's not enough to have them deliver it indirectly through their actions, which requires the audience to use their own, possibly faulty, interpretive skills, so be sure they deliver the message orally as well, in very clear language. Then use a voice-over, which always carries more authority. Then have the voice-over guy come out and deliver the message again more conversationally to the audience (I know this breaks rule number one, but rules can be broken if the voice-over guy is really super-cute in his handsome black suit). Finally, make sure you hire a really effective executive producer and artistic consultant to spread the message through your official fan club, because Clay's message is so new and confusing and different from the messages of most Christmas stories already out there, but besides being new and different, the message is also very important, not just to Clay, but to the world at large, so his fans really need to understand it, and Nick lost the camera so it's not like there's anybody to take a picture or draw a diagram or anything, so maybe it's best to stop thinking about it and just embrace it already, flaws and all, because a hug really is warmer when you're in it.
*sigh* I'm not gonna do that.
Nope. I'm just gonna write some stuff, which is based only slightly in reality, and if you're lucky enough to get a message from it (beyond "that's one crazy bitch”), please be kind enough to share with the rest of us. I'll give my other standard disclaimers, which are: I have no real knowledge of Clay or any of his friends and co-workers; I bear none of them any ill-will whatsoever, but will simply use them for my own benefit, to make a joke funnier or move the plot in a different direction when Raleigh is sleeping; I simply adore Clay Aiken and wouldn't take as much time and effort to do this if he weren't a part of my every waking thoughts. Please enjoy my Christmas gift to you:

A Christmas Clelly
December 26, 2005
Clay: (on his cell phone) C'mon, pick up, pick up, pick up.
Kelly: Hello?
Clay: Oh, Kelly, thank goodness you're home.
Kelly: Clay?
Clay: Yes, it's Clay, or whatever's left of him.
Kelly: Merry Christmas, Goober. What's wrong?
Clay: Merry Christmas to you too. What's wrong is that I decided it would be fun to stay at my Mom's house instead of a hotel. Big mistake.
Kelly: What's so bad about being at your Mom's house? Don't you love your mama? (laughs)
Clay: Of course I do. But there are ten people staying here! I feel like I'm back at camp.
Kelly: Ten people!? Who all is there?
Clay: Me, my mom, my brother, three of his marine buddies, and then Nolan, Adam, Patricia, and Jaymes.
Kelly: Oh my god.
Clay: Tell me about it.
Kelly: (laughs) Who made the sleeping arrangements?
Clay: Well, of course my mom did, since it's her house and all, (quieter) even though I paid for it.
Kelly: (gasps a little) Cla-ay! Well, at least you didn't have to decide whether you'd rather sleep with Jaymes or Patricia. (laughs)
Clay: Kelly! Are you digging for dirt again? Don't you know some things are better left to the imagination? Anyway, Mom put them together in the shrin..., er, extra room over the garage. I don't even want to know what they're doing in there. It sounds like they're either wrestling or moving furniture or something most of the day. Lots of grunting and moaning.
Kelly: Okay. I don't need to hear anymore. Do you have to share your room with anybody?
Clay: Oh my god, you won't believe this. First of all, it's not even my room anymore. Mom converted it.
Kelly: Converted it? Into like a sewing room or office or something?
Clay: Nope. A massage room. Crap. I never should've given her that idea.
Kelly: Serves you right! Who's sleeping on the massage table?
Clay: Nolan.
Kelly: Oh my god, I was just kidding!
Clay: Adam and I are on blow-up mattresses on the floor. Man. Can you believe it? And they don't mind at all, since they're used to such cramped quarters on their tour bus. Well, I'm sorry, I'm used to having my own master suite, even on the tour bus. And the worst part is that in the middle of the night, instead of just sleeping like normal people, they're discussing their charades strategy.
Kelly: Charades strategy?
Clay: Yes, they're trying to figure out a way to beat Brett and his friends. It seems they learned a thing or two about secret codes in the military, and they're virtually unbeatable.
Kelly: Then why don't you just split them into different teams?
Clay: Kelly. Dancers and Marines don't mix. I mean, we tried putting Patricia on their team, and that was just a debacle. It didn't matter what clue they were trying to mime, they always found an excuse to pick her up and twisted her around like a pretzel. (under breath) She's very bendy. I thought she was going to storm out of the house on Christmas Eve, but then she saw Jaymes at the top of the stairs with tears in her eyes, and decided to stick it out. The two of them have really bonded.
Kelly: Or something. Okay, I can understand the Kents and Nolan being there, but why is Jaymes staying with you? Doesn't she have her own husband or family or anything?
Clay: I thought so, but I'm not really sure anymore. I mean, I know she's a total workaholic and totally devoted to my new CD....I've never thought anyone would be more dedicated than me in delaying its release, but wow. She's amazing. It's just so different than when Measure of a Man was released. We only delayed that CD two months from its initial August release date! I can't believe how amateurish that seems now.
Kelly: Okay, Clay, I get it, but focus. Why is Jaymes there? I wouldn't think she'd have to help you with your CD or its delay over the holidays.
Clay: Oh no, we're not going to start delaying it again until January, when I think about getting back in the studio. It seems I have to re-record some stuff, since Jaymes "accidentally"lost some master tracks when she used the production engineer's laptop to play solitaire. It seems he was logged in to the site where all password protected sound files are stored before they're mixed, and when she tried to peek under one of her cards, some files were corrupted. (Raleigh starts licking herself at his feet) Stop it, Raleigh, that's disgusting.
Kelly: Where are you calling from anyway?
Clay: The bathroom.
Kelly: Gross! You're not on the toilet, are you?
Clay: Well, I'm sitting on it, but don't worry; the lid is down. It's the only place I get any privacy right now. Raleigh, cut it out! Okay, you were asking about Jaymes, weren't you? I told her that Patricia and her brother were coming for Christmas, and she felt really bad that Patricia would be the only girl here. I reminded her that my mom was a girl, and she said, "Not good enough,"and hopped on the next plane. Now she and Patricia are practically connected at the hip.
Kelly: Well, that's not too creepy. Anyway....don't you have something to say to me?
Clay: What? I wished you a Merry Christmas.
Kelly: Yes, and it was quite festive of you. No, Goober, I'm talking about the Grammy awards.
Clay: Oh that's right! Congratulations on your nomination.
Kelly: Thank you.
Clay: You're welcome. I really hope you win, too. (sighs) I'm so glad I don't have the stress of worrying about nominations. It's so much easier when you don't release any new material.
Kelly: Well, you'll have that stress next year, so get ready for it.
Clay: Who says I'll have that stress? Didn't you hear me say that Jaymes was an amazing executive producer? This album may not be out in 2006 or even 2007 the way things are going. The other executive producers I've worked with just afforded me a handshake and a half-hour meeting. Jaymes has spent months upon months just getting to see what makes me tick.
Kelly: So did you show her?
Clay: What?
Kelly: What makes you tick. Your "special clock.”
Clay: Don't be disgusting, Kelly. No, she's trying to help me find my musical direction. But now that I've grown so much as an artist, we have to start all over in a different direction. It's like we're stuck in that maze from The Shining, and we may never find our way out.
Kelly: Well, you'd better do it soon, or your fans are going to come after you with chainsaws.
Clay: Kelly. How many times do I have to tell you that I can handle my fans just fine? I just have to blog or sing every few weeks and they're happy. Didn't you hear me sing on The Today Show? How was that for eight o'clock in the morning?
Kelly: Of course I heard you. You programmed my Tivo to record all your performances, remember? (sighs) Yes, you sounded nice.
Clay: And did you catch my performance on Good Morning America?
Kelly: Yes, I did, you big meanie. Thanks for stealing my song, by the way.
Clay: Ooooh. Kelly doesn't like the competition.
Kelly: I thought that was your line.
Clay: Only in public. Pretty good for not warming up though, ain't it? still warming up your voice before all your performances? How's that working for you?
Kelly: Shut up.
Clay: I'm just saying....
Kelly: Well stop it. I'll keep warming up and winning awards and hearing my songs on the radio, and you can keep NOT warming up and whatever else it is that you do.
Clay: Sing like an angel. (he pauses and then both break out laughing)
Kelly: You are the biggest dork ever! I miss you, y'know.
Clay: And I miss you too. Hey, did you get my Christmas presents?
Kelly: I sure did. I really like how you stacked up the three round boxes like some kind of squashed, demented snowman. Very clever. Of course I had to open the big one at the bottom first.
Clay: Did you like it?
Kelly: The round ottoman? I loved it! If I didn't know any better, I'd swear it's the same ottoman from your old house. Oh man! It brings back such good memories of Karoake Fight Nights at Casa Aiken.
Clay: Kelly!!! You forgot the first rule of Karoake Fight Club.
Kelly: (gasps) Oh that's right.
Both in unison: Don't talk about Karoke Fight Club.
Kelly: Wasn't it funny how we'd stand on the ottoman and push each other around, and then make Nick stand on the outside stair railing and try to aim the chandelier toward us like a spotlight? Oh my god. He musta fallen off that railing three or four times altogether.
Clay: Yeah, that was a lot of fun. But not as much fun as Spin the Pop Star.
Kelly: Oh my god! I remember the first time we tried to spin you, and you couldn't find your balance point, because your stupid big feet seem to add way more weight to your bottom half than any of the other guys, and then you spun your head right into the piano leg! Hahaha!
Clay: And the irony is that I was aiming for Angela's leg, which would have been a much softer landing. (rubs forehead at the memory) So how about my other two gifts? Did you like 'em?
Kelly: Are you actually counting those seven Clay Aiken thongs as a real gift? I thought they were a joke.
Clay: Oh, it's no joke, Kelly. A thong for every day of the week. You should be wearing one right now.
Kelly: You're the biggest goober ever! Why does my crotch need to heart Clay Aiken anyway?
Clay: (sighs) Your crotch doesn't heart Clay Aiken. Clay Aiken hearts your crotch, er, not your crotch per se, but Clay Aiken hearts whichever lovely lady owns the crotch. Ugh. That doesn't sound right. Clay Aiken hearts the ladies.
Kelly: Clay Aiken is a total slut.
Clay: Don't I know it.
Kelly: I'll give you one thing; you don't discriminate. One size fits all.
Clay: Yessiree. I love all the ladies equally. So, what d'ya say, Kel? Gonna run out and put on one of my thongs right now?
Kelly: Clay. You know I don't wear underwear.
Clay: Kelly, the entire world knows you don't wear underwear. Don't you love God, Kelly?
Kelly: Of course I do! What does that have to do with anything?
Clay: Well, I was recently talking to some lame reporter, and I don't remember much of what we talked about, but I do remember having a revelation: People who love God wear underwear.
Kelly: Oh yeah? You love God, and yet it wasn't too long ago that you didn't wear underwear either.
Clay: I have always worn underwear!
Kelly: You have not, you big liar! Ruben told me you almost never did on the American Idol tour and I know for a fact that you did not wear underwear every day on our Independent Tour.
Clay: But that was only because I didn't have anybody I could trust to wash it, and I didn't always get a clean stash back from Mom on time.
Kelly: You could've washed your own, y'know. (pauses and then both break out laughing)
Clay: It doesn't matter anymore, because I've got Nick and Mary on the road with me now. Yup. I'm a God-lovin', clean undies-wearin' man.
Kelly: Well, you can just call me Commando Clarkson.
Clay: But Kelly, what happens if you split the back of your pants? Don't tell anyone, but when I was at the Early Show a couple weeks ago, I tried to sneak a peek into the green room to see what Giselle was eating, so I could bring her that same thing later, and she'd be all impressed that I knew what she liked, and then I totally split my jeans from bending back too quickly when Rene walked by, and then I had to do my interview and songs sitting on a stool the whole time while everyone else was standing. I felt so stupid. The worst part was that Giselle didn't actually even eat anything. She just leaned over the table and smelled everything in one sweeping motion. It was kinda nice to watch though.
Kelly: You are such a dork. I'll tell you what. I promise not to go ogling any super models, and my pants will stay in one piece. (pause) What's that noise?
Clay: That's Raleigh licking herself again. (sighs) At least I can say I tried with the underwear. Anyway, what did you think of the middle gift? My fans are kinda ticked that I sent it in that big round box. I only had two of them to begin with, and I used them both for Christmas presents. Man, malls are so stingy these days. Since when do you have to pay extra for a giftbox?
Kelly: Tell me about it. That's why I only use bags now.
Clay: I prefer boxes. What did you think of the present?
Kelly: Clay. You know I love you even though I don't always understand you, right?
Clay: Of course. Everybody does.
Kelly: (sighs) I'm sorry to say I didn't get the point of that gift at all, even if you meant it as a joke.
Clay: What? It was the classiest and most traditional gift of all three of them!
Kelly: A mangled saxophone is classy and traditional? It looks like it was run over by your tour bus or something – there are tire marks all over it. On top of that, the gift box smelled like pee!
Clay: What?!? I'm so going to kill Nick.
Kelly: Why?
Clay: Oh my god, Kelly, somehow Nick sent you the wrong gift. Nuts, I knew I should've used different boxes, but it's not like Raleigh peed in both of them so he couldn't tell them apart. I'm so sorry, Kelly. If you want your real present, which was a very nice cashmere sweater with matching accessories – don't worry; Quiana and Angela picked it out – it's somewhere in Fresno.
Kelly: The box said "A timeless classic to keep you warm."It looked like your handwriting.
Clay: I wrote that on both boxes. The sentiment seemed to fit.
Kelly: You are such a goober. Did you get my present? I sent it to your mom's house, since your new place wasn't ready. Hee! I just hope you're able to move it when the time comes.
Clay: Don't worry; my friends were able to move two overloaded SUVs in the sand last summer; they can certainly move a swing set.
Kelly: Especially when it's all in boxes. Ohmigod. You haven't set it up at your Mom's house, have you?
Clay: Of course I have! Well, I should say that I got Mary to do it before she went home for Christmas. But I need my relaxation, since Mom won't let me use the massage room for its intended purpose. Kelly, that swing set it the best present ever. I especially love the fort addition. We've been using it quite a bit since Brett and his Marine friends are here. HA! You should see some of Adam's and Nolan's escape maneuvers over the top bar!
Kelly: I can picture it. Man, it must be fun having a lot of guys around the house, especially when you can boss them all around like a big brother.
Clay: Don't I wish! Nope, I can't even boss my real little brother around anymore. Every time I try to get him to bring me a sandwich or a clean towel or something and he refuses, I mention how I bought him that car, and then he just mentions that he served his country for six months and could've died at any time, so I end up bringing HIM something instead. I have never made so many sandwiches.
Kelly: So quit bossing him around already!
Clay: It's a hard habit to break, Kel.
Kelly: Well, at least you can make yourself that sandwich while you're making one for Brett.
Clay: Nope. Too much work.
Kelly: Have I told you lately that you're the biggest dork I ever met?
Clay: Once or twice today.
Kelly: Why don't you just get Patricia or Jaymes to make you sandwiches and bring you towels?
Clay: Can't. Well, that's not totally true. I did ask them, and well, you know how I like to eat my sandwiches in bed, and then BOTH of them made me these supposedly fantastic sandwiches with all kinds of ingredients, when I really don't like more than two at a time, and then they were both trying to get me to say that their sandwich was the best and could they get me anything to drink to go along with it, and why don't you let me straighten out your pillows while I'm here, and oh my Lord and Taylor, I'm not even going to talk about what happened when I asked for a clean face towel while I was shaving....
Kelly: Good, because I don't want to hear it.
Clay: Now, they've got something special planned for Boxing Day. Oh god, Kelly, do you have any idea what that is?
Kelly: None at all, but I hope for your sake that it isn't boxing in a ring.
Clay: What? You don't think I could take 'em? (pause and then they both break out laughing) Boxing Day, hmmm. It must have something to do with boxes.
Kelly: Well, that should be good for you, since you did say you were a box kind of guy.
Clay: No, I've said I'm a boxers kind of guy, although Mary finally told me why I'm better off wearing briefs when I'm on stage.
Kelly: Clay! In this very phone call, you said you preferred gift boxes to bags!
Clay: Duh, Kelly, of course I do. Bags let things jiggle around too much and sometimes your junk just flies all over the place. (pauses) Oh god. You don't think they're supposed to put me in a box, do you? They did look kinda mischievous when they saw those big discarded boxes that the swing set came in, but then one of Brett's friends crafted them into a second fort, complete with supply room and sleeping quarters.
Kelly: (sighs and laughs) I hope you're getting lots of video. This has to be one of the most memorable Parker Family Christmases in a looooong time.
Clay: Kelly!!! What am I going to do if they gang up and try to put me into a box? I don't want to go into some nasty old box!
Kelly: Clay! Calm down already! Geesh. (pause) I know! Do you have any of those thongs lying around?
Clay: Clay Aiken thongs? Of course I do. I always carry a few extras in my pockets, just in case.
Kelly: Just in case....? Never mind. Well, maybe you don't know this, but from personal experience, I can tell you they make awesome slingshots. My boyfriend, my brother and I had a pretty hard-core battle last night, and even after they ganged up on me and thought they'd disarmed me, I was able to whip out that seventh thong and shoot my way to victory! Woo-hoo!
Clay: That's a great idea, Kelly! What do I use for ammunition?
Kelly: Just about anything that fits in your hand will work, but those blinking heart-shaped lights your fans handed out at our Independent Tour seem to work particularly well.
Clay: Thanks, Kel. I'm ready for action. Oh god, my mom is looking for me. I can hear her coming up the stairs. Yes, yes, I hear you, Mom, and yes, my laundry will sit in that pile until either Nick or Mary stops by to pick it up and wash it. On second thought, I'd better go move it before it gets abducted for some weird Boxing Day ritual. Little do Jaymes and Patricia know, I've figured out their plan and will use their strengths against them. Don't you just love the holidays?
Kelly: Oh yes! It's always a time of thoughtful reflection. Merry Christmas, Goober.
Clay: Merry Christmas, Kelly.
Kelly: And wish everyone at Camp Parker a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me, especially your Mom and brother.
Clay: Done! And the same to your family from me!
Kelly: Thanks! And it sounds like you'll be more ready than ever to deal with your fans when you're back on the road.
Clay: Plus we have a couple of new games to play the next time we get together.
Kelly: I can't wait! Thanks for calling, Clay.
Clay: Thanks for listening, Kelly. Love you!
Kelly: I love you too. Bye!
Clay: Bye!
After snapping his cellphone shut, Clay loads a spare roll of toilet paper into a Clay Aiken thong, shushes Raleigh at his feet, then quietly opens the bathroom door, as he prepares to make his way to the pile of dirty laundry in the massage room, slingshot at the ready....and promptly gets hit by nine pairs of tighty whities flung from every direction, rubber-band style. He automatically brings up his arms to protect his face, and the roll of toilet paper falls limply at his feet, providing some much-needed entertainment (and a snack!) for Raleigh.
He looks up when the barrage has ended to see the rest of the household laughing and smiling, "Happy Boxing Day!"Clay straightens himself to his full height and makes eye contact with all nine of his housemates in turn as he slowly speaks:
Clay: *Ahem* I hope you're all happy with yourselves. People who love God wear underwear; they do not fling it. (He kicks up a pair with his foot.) Second, I'm not going to pick these up, and if that means that I go without clean underwear for the rest of the tour, so be it. Finally, I have a question for all of you. (He dramatically stoops to pick up the roll of toilet paper, but has to wrestle it from Raleigh a little more than he would have liked, then finally gets it back into his slingshot thong, which he again aims toward his friends and family.) What are you doing New Year's Eve?
And with that, new holiday traditions were born, traditions which have nothing to do with the true origins of Christmas or Boxing Day or New Years, but everything to do with family and friends getting together for any length of time in a limited amount of space...and isn't that what the holidays are really all about?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hoodied Clay

Clay wore a hoodie last night while singing a few songs at the Washington D.C. concert. Apparently, a dry cleaner had wrecked one of his outfits :0.

More Joyful Noise coverage at our JNT2005 blog.

Clay Mentions on the Internet 12/14

A really random mention about Clay sketches in shopping malls...

Mall walkways become money-making promenades
By Wire and Staff reports

FRISCO, TEXAS | They are one of the most lucrative sectors in the retail industry, generating billions of dollars in sales, and arguably are the most underpublicized: the kiosks and carts that dot the aisles of big shopping malls, selling everything from candles to computers.

These freestanding merchants are tremendously popular -- Tillie Martinez said she sometimes has customers lining up 10 and 12 deep to buy her personalized Christmas ornaments at Stonebriar Centre mall north of Dallas.

At other kiosks lined up along the stretch between mall anchors Elder-Beerman, J.C. Penney, Sears and Macy's, shoppers can get a sketch made of a loved one (or buy pre-made sketches of Clay Aiken or Bob Marley), have their hair straightened or buy three types of calendars featuring Pugs.

Raleigh News & Observer Clay Coverage

The Raleigh News & Observer is geared up for a week of Clay. Raleigh native Clay will be featured in two editions of the newspaper next week according the the CB's LuvClayinCA.

The Raleigh News & Observer has an upcoming article relating to Clay's homecoming which will appear in its Sunday, December 18, 2005 edition. It will be located in the Arts & Entertaniment portion of the paper. Also, there will be a Clay pull-out poster in the Thursday, December 22, 2005 edition. The manager we spoke with encouraged us to post this information on the message boards.

Management is working on making these papers available for purchase online as well. We don't have any further details. Keep checking the N&O website at for ordering information as it becomes available.

Steve Martin Refers to Clay on Leno's Tonight Show

Clay was indirectly mention on last night's Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC).

From the CB's Vincent:

Steve Martin was the first guest on Leno last night, and made an issue of the mugs on Jay's desk which are labeled "Guest 1; Guest 2, etc.! Who remembers the Clay appearance when he called attention to the mugs and a whole routine ensued. Clay made issue of the fact that he was given the "Guest 2" mug, and Jay said something to the effect that it didn't actually mean "Guest 2"' but "Guest, TOO"! Well, when Steve started with nearly the same schtick, Jay commented that someone else was on the show and had a similar reaction to the mugs! He didn't identify the guest, but WE know who he was, don't we? I find it amazing that Clay has a way of slipping into a conversation even wheb he isn't actually there!!

Clay Aiken E-Card Now Available

The long awaited Clay Aiken 'WOW Christmas' CD (Clay's MDYK appears on the CD - now available) e-card is finally online thanks to the CD's vendor, Word Press. The card was supposed to be up last month, but due to technical and workload issues, the card was pushed back. The card is now Available here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Clay Mention on Inside Edition

Clay was mentioned on yesterday's Inside Edition, a show similar to ET and The Insider.

From the CB's admire99:

Did anybody watch today's episode of Inside Edition? It was a segment on the hottest Holiday Music out there. My ears kind of perked up when I heard that, and lo and behold they mention Clay's Cd and showed a couple clips of Clay singing from his Christmas Special. It was such a nice surprise to see him on there.

From Inside Edition's website:
From Ashanti, Regis and Clay, to old standards such as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra -- Inside Edition has a look at the some of the artists that are releasing holiday classics this season.

Washington Examiner Article

Music - Aiken for the holidays
By Brian Truitt
Examiner Staff Writer
Published: Monday, December 12, 2005 9:58 PM EST

"American Idol" Clay Aiken appears at DAR Constitution Hall with his new holiday show tonight. RCA Records photo
During the past year and a half, Clay Aiken has turned Christmas into an ongoing holiday season that keeps on giving. Good thing the Southern "American Idol" runner-up likes the season so much.

To wit: Aiken began recording "Merry Christmas with Love," the best-selling holiday album of last year, in May 2004. Five months later, the North Carolina native was recording a Christmas TV special and rehearsing for his holiday tour, which lasted through the end of the year. In January 2005, Aiken hatched the idea for his current seasonal tour, rounding up actors, singers and dancers over the next few months and waiting until October to start rehearsals.

"This was a late start to Christmas really, if you think about it, for me," Aiken says. "But it's the thing that I look forward to all year. I get really excited about the Christmas tour. It's my favorite part of the year.

"How many people say they love Christmas so much they wish they could have it all year? And I actually did it."

Last year's traditional orchestra tour inspired this year's new-fangled one. The first half of the 2004 shows featured secular Christmas music while during the second act, he would sing the sacred songs ("The First Noel," "O Holy Night," etc.) with each followed by a reading from the Christmas story by a local child from the area.

Aiken liked that aspect so much, being able to bring all of the songs together, he wondered if he could do the same with the secular tunes. He sat down, outlined some text to go in-between the songs, and a simple storyline turned into a full-on scripted play with touring actors and dancers, with the company using community theater groups where they play.

"It's turned into quite the big theatrical production, which works really well to try and convey that whole Christmas spirit to you," Aiken says.

He and the other two singers don't have speaking roles but they play guardian angels for the main character, a woman who's lost the Christmas spirit. To help her get it back, Aiken and company provide her with opportunities to allow her to flash back to past moments a la "A Christmas Carol," pausing action as well as moving it along.

"We really are the soundtrack to the show," says Aiken, who's finishing work on his second CD next month for a spring release. "As she talks about remembering something, we'll push her offstage and bring the flashback up and sing to it and whatnot."

He's been thinking a lot about doling out the yuletide cheer, but he's also smart when planning it. The tour stops in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C, on Dec. 22, where he'll have four days off to spend with his family.

Aiken has never missed a Christmas with his loved ones, and the first holiday he's ever not been with them was this past Thanksgiving, when Aiken couldn't change the tour itinerary in time.

"I've gotten used to not being home very much, whether it be a holiday or not," he says, laughing. "You get used to that. But at the same time, you have a really great group of people on the road - some of them have been with us for two years - and we kinda have become family with them.

"We know each other so well and we've become a family and that's how we spent Thanksgiving this year: We were in Louisville, Kentucky, we had a Thanksgiving dinner catered at the hotel and we all stayed together and ate together. It was almost as good as your family. In some ways just as, because there's less bickering."

Wal-Mart Artist Of The Month

Clay has been made Artist of the Month by Wal-Mart in the US, reports the CB's HappyClayDay:

I went to my local Wal Mart this morning and Clay's Christmas CD was front and center and he is Artist of the Month this month. Don't know how Wal Mart does this - if it's the same at all stores or if this is for my local Wal Mart only but it was so great to see his Christmas CD immediately walking into that department. They had probably 30 copies. I also checked - they had 2 MOAM's and 1 Solitaire/The Way. Manager: Clay Aiken 2005 Calendar Was A Bestseller manager Hillel Levin tells the Sacromento Bee that Clay's 2005 Calendar was a bestseller. Now... I don't know what other proof Team Clay needs to get out a 2006 Calendar! Hurry up already!

It's a date
Sports to swimsuits, crafts to pets - there's a 2006 theme calendar for nearly everyone
By Allen O. Pierleoni -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Monday, December 12, 2005
Story appeared in Scene section, Page E1

The shopping/gift-giving season is in full swing and, as usual, you're running out of time.
Consider this: One timely present from you to them is a wall or desk calendar (or both). A calendar is a present that lasts a full year, can serve as a piece of art in the home or office, requires no maintenance and is virtually break-proof. However, is anything more useless than a calendar come Dec. 31? Unless you're making a collage, that is.

Hillel Levin certainly knows something about calendars. He is the Chicago- based general manager of, a virtual "calendar store" with warehouses and offices in Austin, Texas.

So, what's Levin's projection for the best-selling calendar of 2006? "For 2005 it was Clay Aiken," he said. "For us this year, it's (Placerville-raised artist) Thomas Kinkade."

Clay Mentions 12/13

A roundup of mentions of Clay on the internet that do not deserve their own post.

Um... not sure what this is. Maybe a reference to a Winston-Salem Journal article that said Clay is a registered Democrat? Clay is stopping by in Washington today for the JN 2005 tour

Gossip Roundup: The Twins in 'Fancy Tops'
Reliable Source: Advisors to Kathleen Babineaux Blanco had their own concerns about the Louisiana governor's wardrobe during the Katrina aftermath. . . Bush twins spotted "in fancy tops and jeans, dining on sushi, scallops and sea bass at Oya with eight other gals" on Friday night. . . Clay Aiken checked into the Madison Hotel under the name Jimmy Carter. . . Dr. Phil seen at Georgetown Haagen-Dazs. [WP]
The name Clay has become less popular. Clay mention.
Celebrities' names hit, miss
Gannett News Service

Drop into any preschool in a few years and you're likely to see a lot of backpacks marked with names like Paris and Mariah. But don't expect to find any mini-Madonnas or Clays; some names just don't fit with the times.

The celebrity influence on baby names has been with us since the Bible, but now you can track it online: The Social Security Administration Web site ( has a searchable database that shows the rankings of popular names by year, going back as far as 1880.

Clay had been losing steam since 1995, and when Clay Aiken appeared on American Idol in 2003, it spiraled further, Satran says.
Clay Aiken Christmas CD mention:
Christmas movies fail test of time
By Bill Everhart

Sunday, December 11
Where are the new Christmas movie classics? It's always fun at this time of year to dig your favorite version or versions of Dickens "A Christmas Carol" out of the VHS or DVD rack, but why don't they make Christmas movies like they used to?
(The same can be said of Christmas music — a Bing Crosby Christmas album has it all over one offered by Lindsay Lohan or Clay Aiken — but that's not my department.)
Article about Bo Bice and Canadian Idol 3 runner-up Rex Goudie.
New Releases: One Idol Runner-Up To Another
Monday December 12, 2005 @ 06:30 PM
By: Staff

There's a funny thing about CD release cycles: Record companies put all their great albums out between the beginning of October and the end of November so you're well aware of them when it's time to buy that music fan in your life something for Christmas. Those golden days have sadly passed and now we're solidly in the dregs. Not complaining or anything, just warning you in advance for a slightly abbreviated New Releases column.

The big battle this week is between two former first runners-up from the Idol shows.

Our first contestant is Canadian Idol heartthrob, Rex Goudie. Under The Lights, the debut album from the Newfoundlander ("Sexy Rex" to his fans) comes hot on the heels of the first CD from recent Idol winner Melissa O'Neil. Clearly this will be an epic battle between a teenager singing adult contemporary material and a 20-something doing exactly the same. Who will win? Does anyone care? Find out in Top Of The Charts next week.

Of course, neither Goudie nor O'Neil are going to outsell insanely popular American Idol runner-up Bo Bice (or Bob Ice, as it's more fun to refer to him as). The long-haired "rocker" releases his The Real Thing debut on Tuesday. You may recall that Bice lost to country-tinged Carrie Underwood. Or you may not.

It's really hard to tell with these Idols. Remember Justin Guarini? Well, you wouldn't if he hadn't starred in one of the worst movies in history (From Justin To Kelly). It remains to be seen whether Bice will be a Clay Aiken or a Ruben Studdard, and whether Goudie will be a Ryan Malcolm or a Kalan Porter. But the holiday shopping masses will sort some of that out.
Review of Bo Bice's new album
Bo Bice, "The Real Thing" (RCA)
"American Idol" season four runner-up Bo Bice is touting the fact that, unlike many of those who came before him on the Fox reality TV show, he helped write and produce this record and plays on it, as well. But, will it stand out? Musically, yes, because it's not the dance pop or Top 40 of Kelly Clarkson, and it's not the feel-good saccharine of Clay Aiken or the sugary R&B of Ruben Studdard. But aesthetically, the record is the same as his predecessors' debuts - sweet-sounding, easy and OK.
Article about Kelly Clarkson
Since you been on
The biggest 'Idol' breaks out of her box and visits Fresno.
By Mike Osegueda / The Fresno Bee
(Updated Sunday, December 11, 2005, 9:45 AM)

Maybe it's too soon to tell.

In 10 years, when someone mentions the name Kelly Clarkson, will "American Idol" still be the first thing that comes to mind?

When she won the show's first season, it gave her a music career and skyrocketed her to fame.

She's one of only four artists to have an album debut in the top 20 and stay there for a year. It hasn't happened for five years.

Yes, it's been a good year for Kelly. Beyond all the numbers, though, "Breakaway" did something else for Clarkson, 22. It helped her break away from the "Idol" stigma. It helped her stand on her own, without having to be associated with Simon or Randy or Paula.

After this year, there's no question that she's the biggest star to come from "American Idol."

For a while, it seemed like she and Clay Aiken were neck-to-neck in the fight for that honor.

That's a start.

Wrapping For Inclusion Gets Big Donation

We thought this was a great story about this year's BAF Wrapping For Inclusion campaign (Claymates wrapping gifts in local stores to raise funds for the BAF).

Some news about Wrapping for Inclusion
The other day my daughter and myself were wrapping in a tiny bookstore. They made us sit outside and bring our own paper etc. We had Lyndsays great WFI sign and a tip jar and that was about it.

They only gave us 2 hours. We had NO customers. Just before our shift was over a lady came up and began asking about TBAF. I told her just about everything there was to tell. Then she said in case I was wondering why she was asking so many questions was because she was a writer for the Arizona Republic. And get this, She writes a weekly article on Charities. She wanted to do a piece on Wrapping for Inclusion and BAF. So I contacted Kristy and got everything cleared and there will be an article in the paper on Dec. 19th. YIPPPPEEEEEE

She is so nice and she seemed very impressed with the foundation. She came to my sons highschool with me and watched the Best Buddies group wrap presents for their teachers. She took lots of pictures. As we were leaving I gave her a MCWL. She said " Oh, no that's ok, you don't have to give me anything" and I said with a little smile, " Oh, it's ok, it's what we do." She wrote to me that night and told me that she and her children had listened to it all afternoon. She said she had never heard him sing before. and she absolutely LOVED the cd. She said he had an amazing voice and she had no idea how good he was till now. YIPPPPPEEEEEEE AGAIN.

She also told me that I had no idea how fortunate I was. I said "why?" and she said , there are over 20,000 nonprofit organizations in the Phx area alone that have been waiting for YEARS to get an article written about their group, esp. around the holidays. She said they would kill to get a story about them in the paper. I had no idea. Then I proceded to tell her my story about the tip.

I was wrapping with my other daughter and just before our shift was over a man came up with 16 DVDs paired with 16 Christmas Cd's, Frank, Bing, etc. I teased him and said " What , no Clay?" He said he heard he was good but had never heard him. I found out he was playing Secret Santa to his employees. I also found out where he worked.

So we wrapped the gifts and he hands me a tip. It was a $100.00 BILL. OMG

I got all teary eyed. Then he left. The Borders employee came over and said I should put that in my pocket for safe keeping so it wasn't sitting in the tip jar. So I did. 15min. later we left and stopped at Subway for a sandwich and took it home.

At home I was talking to my other daughter and said "you won't believe what happened while we were wrapping" I reached into my pocket and the $100.00 was GONE. I was so upset. I figured when we went to Subway it must have fallen out of my pocket when I went to pay. So I called them and of course they hadn't seen it.

Even though it had been over 30 min. I decided to drive over there. I pulled into a parking spot and opened the door and put my foot on the ground. The $100.00 was laying 2 inches from my foot. The reporter from the Az Republic said it sounded like I had a guardian angel. I am beginning to think so too. I am going to drop off a MCWL where the man works and put a tag on it that says "Secret Santa" He'll know who it is. LOL

Now for the big news.



You guys should all be very proud. Every dollar counts, The day Shawna and I met the reporter from the newspaper we only made ONE dollar, but everything put together has added up to this much. Thank you all .

-- Renee

Cay Takes a Tumble on Pollstar

Clay took a fall this week on concert website's top 50. Clay dropped to 32 from 15 last week. Keep searching for Clay at Pollstar to make sure Clay goes up, not down on the list.

Pensacola News Journal Article

New, funny interview/article with/by the Pensacola News Journal. Clay plays the Pensacola Civic Center later this week.

It's easy to get into a Southern drawl-fest with Clay Aiken
Rebecca Ross

I hesitate to write this column because the mere mention of a certain singer's name is enough to flood my inbox with e-mail -- and as I'm sure to get some detail wrong, like his fabric softener preference or the way he takes his latte, not all of that e-mail will be, shall we say ... of a positive nature.

Aw, heck. I'm all about living dangerously, so here goes.

I interviewed Clay Aiken last weekend.

Let me say this: He seemed like a very nice young man.

I got the chance to talk to Aiken for a few minutes by crackly cell phone about his Joyful Noise tour, which is making a stop Sunday at the Pensacola Civic Center.

I had about 10 interesting questions to ask Aiken. But when it came time for the interview, I was told I would have a whopping 10 minutes to talk to him.

OK, so I had ... five questions to ask him. Five searching, thought-provoking questions sure to evoke equally thoughtful responses.

Instead, Clay (we're on a first name basis now) and I spent the first three or so of our precious minutes discussing our Southern accents.

There's some old joke about getting two Irishmen together and hearing their accents get thicker as the evening goes along. Well, the same can be true for two chatty Southerners. It was as if Aiken's charming drawl triggered my genetic Alabama accent.

"Where are you from, Rebecca?" Aiken asked. "I know you're in the Panhandle, but WHERE are you FROM, girl?"

And out of my mouth, one of my cousins said, "Ah'm from raht here!"

Well, we twanged away in a mutual drawl-fest until his publicist broke in to remind me that time was a'wasting.

So, here are some of the Clay'pinions Aiken shared:

On his tour: "This Christmas tour is a lot more work. This year, I opted to change it from an orchestral show with just me singing, to theatrical vignettes with actors. At first, I sat down and wrote an outline from song to song for the vignettes and was going to have someone else finish it, but I'm too cheap and too much of a control freak, so I wrote it all. And it turned out pretty good!"

On singing live: "I don't get tired of singing Christmas songs on the tour because they are different than any other songs. When I sing a song about someone being scorned in love, a certain percentage of the audience can connect. But everyone knows what the Christmas season is about and can get into the spirit. There are certain songs I sing that people always want to clap along to, but what the audience doesn't realize is that there's a delay in the sound, so, I hear their clapping a beat behind the actual music! That used to really throw me off."

On charity: "Giving to charity is a great gift alternative. I wish that my fans, instead of spending money to bring me a little gift at a show, would take that $10 or $15 and donate it to charity instead. That would be wonderful."

So, there you have it.

The nice young man with the easy laugh and infectious accent is performing 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $39 and $49 at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Details: 434-7444,

CDD supports:

Bubel Aiken Foundation GoodSearch for TBAF UNICEF