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Latest News From CDD

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tidbits 6/16

  • Lake County News Sun - article about some local singing/talent show - "It remains to be seen if there will be a surprise appearance by Clay Aiken or Sanjaya Malakar."
  • Monsters & Critics - uh...
    Jamie Foxx believes swallowing Al Pacino's saliva helped him win an Oscar.

    Jamie said: "When we did 'Any Given Sunday' I tasted him.

    "Not in a Ryan Seacrest/Clay Aiken sort of way.
  • Motor Trend experiments with cars in Photoshop... the result? "a computer-generated composite of Clay Aiken and Donald Rumsfeld" uh. OK.
  • USA Today Idol Chatter - history of the AI top 12's... just a listing of the top 12 for each year
  • The Yin Blog has a suggestion for Idol 7, which I personally think will never become reality:
    Here's my suggestion: copy "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" by having an "all stars" season with past winners and other memorable contestants. There have been six seasons of "American Idol" now, so you could have all six previous winners and runners-up make up a season of 12.

    I think this would be really neat! Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that Kelly Clarkson (season 1) and Carrie Underwood (season 4) were the strongest winners, and that Taylor Hicks (season 5) was the weakest one. But what would America think? Would Clay Aiken (season 2 runner-up) outlast Rueben Studdard (season 2 winner) this time? Would Katharine McPhee (season 5 runner-up) outlast Hicks this time?

    Fox, think about it!

  • Nothing here yet

Friday, June 15, 2007

Collective Thudding Heard Across Clay Nation with New GMA Photos

Get the thud mats out... these "new" photos from last September's Good Morning America appearance were posted on the official fanclub today by jmstoer.

Meet & Greet Opportunities for Fanclub Members

Fanclub members can now enter into a draw to meet Clay at one of the summer concerts coming up this July and August. The official fanclub says 6 lucky fanclub members will be chosen to meet Clay at each concert:

06/15/07 : Clay Aiken Meet and Greet Signups Are Here!
By Team Clay

Signups for Meet and Greet events are now available for upcoming "An Evening with Clay Aiken 2007" tour performances! Six lucky winners will be chosen at random for each meet and greet.

You must click on "Enter this Meet & Greet event" to be automatically entered onto the list for the meet and greet selection. Entrants must have tickets to the show to enter the meet and greet. Visit the TOURS page for more details.

If you are planning to attend an upcoming show, enter now so you don't miss out on an opportunity to meet Clay!

New Florida Tour Stop Added

Just as we thought the entire summer tour has been announced, Team Clay has added a new Fort Myers, FL stop to Clay's busy tour itinerary on the Tours page at the OFC.

Clay will be at Fort Myers, FL's Barbara B. Mann Center on August 16.

No ticketing information yet, but I have three words for our Floridian fans: "ticket stress (again)".

That brings our Florida concerts up to 4... in a row:

  • August 16 - Fort Myers, FL
  • August 17 - Tampa, FL
  • August 18 - West Palm Beach, FL
  • August 19 - Orlando, FL

Clay's AI2 Shirt Receives Top Bid with Five Hours Left To Go!

Clay's striped American Idol shirt is receiving the top bid at the Kimberley Locke & Idol Friends Clothes Off Our Back charity auction.

With five hours left, the shirt is receiving a top bid of a jaw dropping $4,000.

The second highest bid is for Jordin Sparks' blouse which is receiving a measly high bid of $550.


Update: bidding has come to an end, with the top bid being $4020! Wow!

Tidbits 6/15

  • Ottawa Citizen article about "Super-fans" -
    American Idol has inspired an international flock of "Fanjayas" (Sanjaya Malakar devotees), "Claymates" (Clay Aiken fans), "Care Bears" (Carrie Underwood enthusiasts) and "Blaker Girls" (Blake Lewis loyalists), among others.

    This side of the border, fans of Canadian Idol winner Kalan Porter have christened themselves "Kalanadians."
  • AOL Newsbloggers has a follow up to yesterday's Clay mention on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart which we mentioned in yesterday's tidbits post: "In addition for everybody's amusement a great analysis from good ol' Assif Mandvi, if only those translators didn't listen to Clay Aiken...if you know what I mean."
  • Rocky Mountain News - Kathy Griffin alert

  • Nothing here today

Thursday, June 14, 2007

2004 Solo Tour - A Walk Down YouTube Memory Road

We've been reading articles and critiques from Clay's 2004 Solo Tour for the last few days. Today I thought we'd enjoy some YouTube videos of a few of the songs that Clay sang on that tour.

First is "I Survived You" from his Charlotte concert.

Next, let's relive Clay singing "Kyrie" in Baltimore.

And last but definitely not least, Clay sings "You Were There" at the Spencer County Fair.

We'll relive a few more of Clay's 2004 Solor Tour songs in a later CDD article.

USA Today Article "The Traps of Shopping For Concert Tickets"

USA Today has a very interesting article with 2 Clay mentions about "The Traps of Shopping For Concert Tickets". I think we can all identify with the frustration of trying to buy tickets for Clay before the good seats all sell out, and then the frustration of trying to find a good seat at a reasonable price that hasn't been bought by a ticket broker already. After reading this article, I'm afraid it looks like the brokers are here to stay.

Just a few highlights from the article:

"We have no problem getting tickets — we have a problem getting good tickets at a good price," says Linda Casey, 45, of Bayside, N.Y.

Casey bought tickets for Live Earth, Clay Aiken and the Goo Goo Dolls, but balked at paying $300-plus to see Bon Jovi open the Prudential Center in Newark in October — tickets that already are being offered for more than five times their face value on resale sites.
States like New York and Minnesota have rescinded anti-scalping laws, and online companies like StubHub, TicketsNow and RazorGator have taken the resale market national, transforming it into a multibillion-dollar industry built on convenience and fair market value. Want a pair of front-row seats for Jimmy Buffett at Madison Square Garden in September? They're still available from TicketsNow — for $2,000 apiece.
An estimated 700 ticket broker websites currently operate in North America, and business is booming. StubHub's gross sales have increased 3,000% over the past three years; TicketsNow's have grown 512% during the same period.

Estimates for the secondary ticket market for concerts, sports and other events range from a conservative $2.5 billion to a high of $10 billion annually, factoring in sidewalk Calpers.
"The super-fan doesn't care what it costs," says Waddell. "Price isn't the object, it's the seat location."
Ticket buyers gripe about the convenience fees that sellers often add, but for Carol Ellis of Hickory Hills, Ill., nothing's as convenient as being able to snag the seat she wants — and it's worth the extra price. Ellis, 58, recently paid $400 for a single ticket to an upcoming Clay Aiken show in North Carolina. She has grown annoyed with buying tickets by phone or online.

"You either can't get through, or you're told there are no tickets available," Ellis says. "You wait until you finally can get tickets, and the tickets are really far back.

"I'm at the point now where I'll try that once or twice, then I'll go to a broker and pay the big bucks."
The article is long but very interesting reading. It seems that it is not only Clay concert tickets that are being resold at triple and quadruple prices, but many other artists at well. Unfortunately, this is something that fans may have to live with for a long time.

Clay Blogs on The OFC Again on 6/14

Why that chatty guy! Once again Clay has blogged on the that three times within a week? I'm liking this!!

Can't say much about what he wrote, but I'll say this:

  • He LOVES doing nothing for a change
  • He's off on his world travels again soon
  • He's still looking for a producer
  • He's spending some quality Raleigh/Durham time with his doggies!!
I got there when only about 28 people had written back. By the time I got through writing my reply and posted it, it was up to over 50 people! Then I posted a "P.S." and it was up to over 70 people! WOW!!!! The word does travel fast around the Claynation!

What do yall think? Has he eaten in a McDonalds in every country he's been in recently? And how many would that make?

Hopefully there will be more blogs in the not too distant future!

I'd say that the excitement about this Clay blog is "much ado about nothing"!!! And I am loving nothing better!!

Jason Davis Band to Play With Clay in Frisco

The Jason Davis Band, a rock band apparently from the Ft. Worth area, will be playing with Clay and the local Frisco Symphony at the Freedom Fest in Frisco on July 4.

According to the Jason Davis Band My Space :

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jason, Jeremy, and CLAY AIKEN?!?!?!?

Yes, you read it right. Jeremy and Jason will be playing with Clay Aiken & the Philharmonic Orchestra on July 4th at the Frisco Freedom Fest (Frisco, TX). The schedule of events are as follows:

Frisco Freedom Fest activities at City Hall Plaza: 4 pm until Fireworks start
FC Dallas vs Chivas USA: 5:45 - 7:45 pm
Clay Aiken & the Philharmonic Orchestra concert: 8:15 - 9:45 pm
Largest firworks in the Metroplex organized by the famous Zambelli family start at 9:45 pm
You can read more about the Jason Davis Band at their MySpace page.

Now, this is my commentary, so don't take this as really happening, but I find it interesting that this band is from Ft. Worth, a local band near Frisco. Wouldn't it be something if a local band in all of the cities where Clay is performing will be joining him and the symphonies to play those up tempo songs he will be singing? Just a thought....only time will tell.

Fanclub Posts New Details About NBC Holiday Celebrations on Ice

The official fanclub has posted some new information, in the form of a press release, regarding the NBC Holiday Celebrations on Ice Christmas special Clay will star on this holiday season. The special airs on Christmas day on NBC and will be taped in Las Vegas in November.

Tickets to the event will be come available next month.

By Team Clay


LAS VEGAS, N.V. --- What better way to celebrate the winter holiday season than with cool music, Clay Aiken and world-class ice skating?

The Capital One Holiday Celebration on Ice, set for Nov. 6 at The Orleans in Las Vegas, will be a star-studded evening to remember. The show will be a live taping for a Christmas Day TV broadcast on NBC. Tickets for the show will go on sale in July.

Tapped as the exclusive musical guest for the Capital One Holiday Celebration on Ice, singing sensation Clay Aiken will lend his powerful voice to some of the most loved and classic holiday songs of all time. Since 2003, Clay Aiken has garnered a number of different titles. Multi-platinum recording artist, television personality, Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF (visiting children in war torn Afghanistan, Uganda and tsunami stricken Indonesia), best selling author & advocate for individuals with disabilities through his Bubel/Aiken Foundation.

Headlining the event on the ice is the ever-elegant Sasha Cohen, a U.S. skating champion and the 2006 Olympic silver medalist. Cohen’s skating is a treat in itself, with her mesmerizing style and grace.

Joining Cohen for this special holiday celebration are six-time U.S. champion and world champion Todd Eldredge, two-time Olympic medalist Philippe Candeloro, world champion Yuka Sato, world bronze medalist Caryn Kadavy, world ice dancing champion Shae-Lynn Bourne, eight-time British champion Steven Cousins, three-time U.S. pairs champions Jenni Meno and Todd Sand and reigning world ice dancing champions Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.

Comcast-Spectacor entered into a partnership with Disson Skating in January of 2006, to take figure skating to a whole new level and has quickly become the leading producers of televised ice skating shows in the United States and Canada. A major component of this partnership is the production of 10 two-hour original ice skating specials on NBC, including “Capital One Holiday Celebration on Ice’’ which will be broadcast on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2007, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

Comcast-Spectacor ( is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL), the two arenas in which their teams play, the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum, four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. In addition, Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field with more than 50 facilities throughout the United States and Canada; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage service provider; New Era Tickets, a ticketing and marketing company for public assembly facilities; Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company; and 3601 Creative Group, a full-service in-house advertising agency. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Bowie Baysox, the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Frederick Keys baseball teams, all affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles.

Airdate: Tuesday, December 25, 2007 (2:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST) on NBC

Tidbits 6/14

A dozen Claymates in Japan are flying over to the U.S. this summer to see Clay in tour. Two members from Generation Clay are also flying over from New Zealand. Thanks to for the photo.
  • Happy Birthday To Chamberlin! He's one year old now. Seems like yesterday that he was born. If you want to leave birthday wishes, you can go to the Chamberlin Clayboard thread.
  • Clay drops to #13 on the Lycos50.
  • Raleigh News & Observer comments on some of the amazing talent and achievers that have come out of NC:
    "But think of all the amazing people who have come from this state," he said.

    There are the obvious superstars: Jesse Helms, Billy Graham, Michael Jordan and Clay Aiken. (Just kidding!)
  • The Raw Story - Clay mentioned on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart:
    Stewart turned for commentary on the plan to "senior Iraq correspondent" Aasif Mandvi, who exclaimed, "Love it. Very smart," and said he'd witnessed a meeting where Americans gave guns to an Iraqi insurgent. "But Aasif, he gave them his word?" asked Stewart. "Well, a word, "Mandvi replied. "Some words. Well, between you and me, none of us speak Arabic. The army had a translator, but he got canned. Spent a little too much time listening to Clay Aiken, if you know what I mean."
  • - Ruben Studdard article ... "Since his 2003 win, Studdard has had to deal with constant album-sales comparison to his close runner-up, Clay Aiken."
  • TV Squad asks why some unwatched TV programs such as the Tony Awards are even on TV. Someone comments: "Maybe CBS should get rid of those Kennedy Center awards if they don't start putting people like Adam Sandler and Bruce Willis and Clay Aiken in there. Jeesh."
  • Tour mentions:
  • Mentions of Clay's Oct. 2006 Martha Stewart Show appearance which was repeated today:

  • New blog from - Carolina on My Mind ... thoughts on the summer tour, Christmas special and other happenings in the Clay nation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Camera All Clack Collectors Wish We Could Have! - Now here's a little camera that every Clay fan would want to have. Unfortunately the "AGFA Clack Weekender" was a little ahead of its time. The Clack was produced from 1954-1965, only 13 years before Mr. Clack himself, Clay Aiken, was born. However, one thing that no Clack collector would have been satisfied with is that it only took 8 pictures from one roll of film. Now how many rolls do you think your average Clay fan would have needed for just one concert, let alone six or eight!

Now let's talk about some of the great features of this camera that, with an adjustment here and there, would be perfect for most Clack gatherers:

Eye-level viewfinder - Great for when you are trying to get your camera level with those gorgous green eyes

Three aperture/lens choices:
Sunny - To catch all those pictures of that sunny smiling Clay
Cloudy - Takes crystal clear pictures even when the Clay fan's is a little cloudy
from taking in those Clay Aiken moves
Close-up - Is there any other setting for a Clack gatherer?

Lightweight and quirky - Kind of like our Mr. Aiken himself!

There was a very similar 6x6 camera made by Kodak Ltd. London about the same time (1955-58) called the Cresta...All things being equal, the Clack is at least more handsome than the Cresta - I think we could agree that there is nothing more handsome than our very own Clack!

My only disappointment was this one:

Alfred as usual has all you ever wanted to know and more about the Clack on his wonderful camera page...Ralph's Clack page has some truly outstanding samples. Wow!
I checked the sites out and there wasn't one bit of clack there for me to enjoy! Maybe if you take your own camera to any or all of Clay's upcoming concerts, you can create your own Clack page with Clack for every Clay fan to cherish!

Clay's 2004 Solo Tour - Great Review by Connecticut Newspaper

Today is Day 3 in our series of articles/reviews from Clay's Summer of 2004 Solo Tour. This review, from "The Day" - A New London Connecticut newspaper, is full to overflowing with great comments and compliments for Clay.

Clay Aiken Shows Stage Maturity Beyond His Years

General Assignment Reporter/Columnist
Published on 7/31/2004

A colleague of my generation, more attuned to the spectacular rise of
pop star Clay Aiken than I, assured me as I headed with my niece to
the Fox Theater for Aiken's Thursday night concert that the young
man "has pipes."

I may not be the best one to make predictions, but it looks to me
like he has legs, too.

The gangly "American Idol" runner up, with spiked hair, sonorous
voice and soothing style attracted a mostly female audience at
Foxwoods. They ranged from toddlers and school girls to the
ubiquitous "Claymates," a burgeoning sorority of women clad in Clay t-
shirts, name tags and — I'll bet — sooner or later the red thong Clay
underwear that was selling briskly in the lobby.

One woman, age 55 and accompanied by her equally star-struck 28-year-
old daughter, told me after the show that she had tickets for his
next four concerts, occurring within the week. I wish I'd had time to
ask if this was her first trip as a groupie.

With his signature "Measure of A Man," "Invisible," "Run to
Me," "Perfect Day," "I Survived You," and my personal favorite, "I
Will Carry You," Aiken earned every deafening shriek of approval from
the capacity crowd.

What struck me most, besides the beautiful voice, was the boyish
Aiken's relaxed assurance as a performer. His is such a young career,
yet he manages the stage like someone long past trying to prove
himself, and he does it without any hint of arrogance.

If Thursday's audience tended to the older side, it might be because
of the casino venue and the ticket prices, $85-$110. But it was a
real advantage to be in the relatively small Fox Theater.

"This is one of the most intimate crowds we've had," said Aiken, and
he used the space to his advantage, especially during a James Taylor
medley with his superb back-up singers that had me singing along.

As he is wont to do, Aiken connected directly with fans, dancing with
a 9-year-old and popping into the audience to pull a 14-year-old on
stage for a — blessedly — brief duet.

He also performed a wonderful full-length duet with Cherie, his
opening act. If these two don't make it as longtime pop stars, they
certainly have a career waiting in the wings on Broadway.

Can a guy this nice, who wears a "W.W.J.D." wristband, raises money
for disabled kids and dedicated one of his numbers to Jesus, endure
as a pop idol in America? It's far too soon to say. At least he'll
always have something to fall back on.

He can sing.

This is the opinion of Bethe Dufresne.

Great Clay Mentions on Jericho Message Board

As you know, Clay's favorite show, Jericho, was renewed recently, thanks to thousands of Jericho fans, including some of Clay's fans who chipped in and worked to save the show for Clay.

A great Clay mention, actually several comments, were found at a Jericho fan site (which I have not been able to track down) and were posted at Clayversity. One of Clay's fans wanted the Jericho fans to know of Clay's interest in the show and of Clay's fan's support. So she posted this info at their fansite. Below is her comment and the great responses from the Jericho message board:

Clay Fan:

I don't know if this has been mentioned here by anyone or not, but I
wanted to post, just to make sure, because I think it's pretty darn
cool! I am a huge fan of a celebrity who has been begging his fans
to help save this show! His name is Clay Aiken. He's been blogging
to his fans for the last couple of months or so, asking us to please
watch Jericho, and promote it to anyone we know. He's hopelessly
addicted. So, a whole bunch of the Claymates (lots, and lots, and
lots) have turned into Jericho fans, watching rabidly every week,
and telling their friends about the show too.

He was crushed to hear it had been canceled, and nearly exploded
when he heard the show was coming back, for at least a little while

So, Jericho fans, be happy, y'all have got the Claymates behind you,
and the Claymates are a powerful bunch of people! LOL! We may not
go "nuts", but we will watch the show VERY aggressively. ;-)

Jericho Fan's Responses:

Thats cool to hear hes a fan!!

Thank you to Clay for his support in our campaign. Thank you to all
the Claymates who have become part of the Jericho family. We are
grateful to you and all the other people viewing this site. We are
all "Jericho." Jericho is a mindset - the human qualities utilized
in life adversity but bringing the best and worst out of people so
we all look in the mirror. Very appreciative of all your help and
Clay Aiken's help. He is a gifted singer. And we are here on earth
to share our gifts with others. LONG LIVE JERICHO.

Tell Clay thanks!! and welcome Claymates!!

Awesome! The more publicity we can get and the broader our fan base
becomes the better! Thanks for posting.

That's awesome! I know there's been a lot of American Idol bashing
around here so it's kind of funny to hear that, in an indirect way,
it's actually helping Jericho. Add me to the list of people thanking
him for his efforts. If all you Claymates keep watching the show
(and getting your friends to watch), there will hopefully be no
reason for any of us to go nuts in the future.

Aw, I think I fell in love with Clay a little after reading that.

Thanks for letting us know and THANK YOU CLAY!!!!

Thanks Claymates we are glad to have you!!!

That's nice to hear - if you talk to Clay tell him thanks and to
come join us here on the board sometime.

Welcome Claymates! Join the party. Maybe Clay can perform at the
Jericho convention?

welcome Claymates!!!!!!!!!! this is so cool

Very cool... having an American Idol as a fan... excellent! Now get
the other channel to keep A.I. out of our way! ;-)

Thank you to all Claymates and Clay himself!

After reading this, I think CLAY IS DA BOMB!!!

Thanks for the news, I have heard you Claymates are a determined
bunch! Jericho can use all the die hards it can get! I'm not
surprised to hear Clay is a fan, he seems so down to earth, kind of
like the people from Jericho, Ks. Happy to here you all are with us!

Welcome to you and the Claymates! The more viewers, the better!

*grin* tell him if he wants on the show to get his cute backside
over here. We have an in LOL

Aw, the irony, since Idol took away some of the viewers of Jericho
to begin with, LOL! Seriously though, I had stumbled upon a site
that mentioned Clay was a fan at one point (not the official one
with the actual Clay blog). That's really cool! He does have alot of
fans of his own and the fact that he's turned so many of his fans
into fans of Jericho is just pretty fantastic! (sorry, I'm really
tired and punchy!) I think it's wonderful!

I always knew there was something I liked about that boy. And he's
the only Idol's CD I ever bought.

Tidbits 6/13

  • Clay's appearance on the Martha Stewart Show last fall is repeating tomorrow if you did not catch it the first time around, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Suffolk News Herald on American Idol turning 5 years old -
    Kelly, Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie, Taylor and Jordin have an anniversary to celebrate this month. For that matter, so do Justin, Clay, Diana, Bo, Katharine and Blake.

    By the time finalists Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken faced off in the finale, 38 million people were watching to see who would be the next Idol. After Studdard, came Fantasia Barrino, then Carrie Underwood, then Taylor Hicks, before Jordin Sparks took the American Idol title over just three weeks ago.
  • Denver Post - article about singer John Mayer mentions Clay:
    "If [Mayer] did things to appeal to the largely young, white-male rock critics he might lose his audience," Wallach said. "He knows which side his bread his buttered on, and would never do anything to alienate his core."

    Of course, this assumes that pop stars like Clay Aiken or Rob Thomas need to appeal to rock critics. In many cases it would have no effect on their careers. And who says critics would even care?
  • MovieWeb - random Clay mention in this article about a new horror movie ... "No Clay Aiken. There are no American Idols in this. And the movie is insane."
  • Poker News on some billionaire becoming a blogger... "Joining the likes of fellow billionaire Mark Cuban and a lot of frighteningly histrionic Clay Aiken fans, Ayre is now a blogger."
  • Tour mentions:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Atlantic City News Article From Clay's 2004 Solo Tour

Here is the second in a series of articles that were published during Clay's 2004 Solo Tour. This one is right before his appearance in Atlantic City.

The Latest Feat of Clay
'Idol's' Aiken makes nightclub debut
By David J. Spatz

Chalk up another first for the guy who came in second on "American Idol."

When Clay Aiken steps onto the stage of the Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars Atlantic City next weekend, it will mark his nightclub debut.

"All of the dates we've done so far have been in, like, 4,000- or 6,000-seat venues," Aiken says. "I've never played a nightclub before."

Or such a small room. At 1,200 seats, the showroom at Caesars is considerably smaller than any place Aiken has played since he began touring after finishing second to Ruben Studdard on the 2003 edition of the TV talent competition.

But Aiken, 25, won't change his music or how he presents himself for his new surroundings. Casino or not, the skinny kid with a massive voice from North Carolina feels his is a family show that will play to all generations.

"We've got a good and very wide audience base," he says during an exclusive Daily News interview. "We have preteens and teens and an older generation coming to the shows, and we try to do a little something for everyone."

The song "Invisible," he adds, plays well to younger fans. "Solitaire," his breakout hit, appeals to the folks who were glued to their televisions while he made his "American Idol" run.

In addition to songs from his debut triple-platinum album, he also performs covers of songs that cater to folks who came of age musically in the 1970s and '80s.

"We've got a very eclectic mix of music," he says.

What he's really looking forward to, though, is unpacking his suitcase. Since launching his tour earlier this month, Aiken has been doing nothing but one-nighters, waking up in one city and going to sleep in another. The two-night stand at Caesars will be the first and only multi-night gig on the tour, which ends in late September.

"That'll be a treat," he says with a big laugh.

Aiken, who'll warm up for his Boardwalk debut by working Foxwoods casino in Connecticut the night before, says he had some preconceived notions about casinos that are turning out to be completely unfounded.

Until last September, he had never set foot in a casino, not because of any big moral objection, but simply because -- growing up in Raleigh -- he never had the opportunity.

"The only vacations we took were ones where we could drive there," he says. "Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, the mountains of North Carolina."

"I'd never even been to Atlanta before I went there to audition for '[American] Idol.'"

Everything he knew about casino life came from TV and movies. "My vision of a casino was that it was a lot of desperate people...and five people in a lounge listening to Don Ho with a martini glass," he recalls. "That's what you see in movies."

He's also looking forward to venturing out of his hotel suite to do a little Boardwalk exploring. But he admits it isn't easy trying to blend in with the crowds.

Owing to the enormous popularity of "American Idol" -- and a massive publicity blitz -- Aiken is instantly recognized the moment he steps into public view. Even with a hat and sunglasses, fans see through the disguise and mob him for pictures and autographs.

"I don't do incognito that well," he says. "It's easier if I'm in Los Angeles, where people expect to see [celebrities]. But if I'm in Portsmouth, Va., or Grand Forks, N.D., people don't expect to see me and it becomes a big deal."

And, yes, he admits that signing autographs, shaking hands and posing for pictures get a little tiring when all he wants to do is run to a mall and do a little shopping. But whenever Aiken feels he's a prisoner of his own success, he remembers one very salient point.

"All those people asking for autographs are the ones who helped put me here," he says.

Clay Mention (Sort of) on "Stump The Schwab"

If you are like me, you are probably saying, "What is 'Stump The Schwab?'" Then again, maybe most of you are more into sports than I am. I found out today that there was a Clay Aiken mention of sorts on the show "Stump The Schwab", a sports trivia show. For those of you who are as clueless as I was, here is what "Stump The Schwab" is, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Stump the Schwab is an American game show that airs on ESPN Classic (originally ESPN 2). The show premiered in 2004, and features three contestants trying to stump Howie Schwab, who is the first and only statistician ESPN has ever had. Stuart Scott is the show's host. The show also appears on Canada's The Score channel.

Each episode of the show has three rounds, "Leading Off," a second round that features a different game each time, and "The Schwab Showdown." After each of the first two rounds, the contestant with the lowest score is eliminated.
On Monday's version of "Stump the Schwab" one of the four final categories, was "Clay Achin'"! It had nothing to do with Clay, but was about tennis matches on clay courts. The announcer mentioned that the category wasn't about the singer Clay Aiken, but about tennis. But from what I heard, it was pretty funny to hear the contestants saying, "I'll take Clay Achin' for two points" or "I'll take Clay Achin' for three points." Hey, we'll take a Clay mention any way we can get it!

Tidbits 6/12

Clay in Canada 2007

  • Toronto Star - article about Clay's recent trip to Canada, where he and David Foster discovered a rare talent at a Vancouver restaurant -
    If Andrea Greenway had won a reality TV show, her whirlwind week might have made sense.

    As it is, the 26-year-old Vancouver waitress and student had a week straight out of weirdsville, courtesy of 14-time Grammy-winning producer David Foster. She was squired from city to city, staying at luxury hotels, all expenses paid, occasionally performing. It began when the classically trained singer sang for Foster, whose table she served at a Vancouver restaurant. Even before she'd sung for the L.A.-based mega-producer – seated with American Idol alumnus Clay Aiken – she'd caught his attention.

  • Southern Girl on why she started blogging -
    Okay, y'all are gonna think this is strange, but Clay Aiken got me started. No, really. See, last year was a particularly bad time for scum-sucking bottom-feeders who had so little to do in their lives that they were able to spend a freakish amount of time blogging gossip, disgusting lies, and even thinly veiled threats about Clay Aiken, who happens to have a stunning voice, a wicked sense of humor, a heart for humanitarian work, a charismatic personality (on and off stage), and looks really good in a pair of jeans. Clearly you can see why someone like that would deserve scorn and slander, right?

    No, me either. And neither did other fans, and it bothered us that when one searched for Clay's name on Google or elsewhere, these horrible blogs were the first ones to pop up, so quite a few of us decided if we couldn't beat 'em, we'd join them, only we'd be armed with the truth and positive posts about Clay's successes, his performances, and his amazing work for children with disabilities (especially autism).

    While most of the other fans limited their blogs to just Clay Aiken, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write about other things in addition to him -- life in the South, food, my weight loss journey, all manner of pop culture, and my faith. So I dove right into Blogger and haven't looked back. :)

berkleylovesclay Addresses Clay & The Media

There's no denying that Clay's been subject to some cruel and unfair media coverage, especially in the tabloids, the past 18 months. With this in mind, we strongly encourage you to head on over to The ConCLAYve where you can read a beautiful essay called "Let them call me names. It doesn't make it true" by one of the Clay nation's best writers, berkleylovesclay.

Here's a snippet of the wonderfully written 3147 word essay:

Four years ago, when he first arrived in the public eye, Clay was parodied as a country bumpkin, bible-touting, straight laced conservative momma’s boy. The evidence is a bit different: he is a Southerner, but from Raleigh, a major metropolitan area, not from the country; a devout Christian who’s done his own soul-searching (briefly attending the Moravian Church) and a man who lives with an attitude of loving acceptance across the lines of race, gender, age and orientation; a lifelong registered Democrat who self-describes as “progressive,” and a strong, independent man --- who is a proud momma’s boy. What do you know: he doesn’t mind expressing love for the woman who raised him.

Clay, despite his faults and failings, is a pretty admirable human being. From his UNICEF Ambassadorship to his own Bubel/Aiken Foundation to his service on the President’s Committee for People With Intellectual Disabilities, from supporting the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon to Ronald McDonald House Charities to U.S. Marines Toys for Tots to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF in support of survivors of the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, Clay is dedicated to service to such an extent that even some of his fans voice concern that he spends too much time with charitable endeavors and not enough time on his career.

I have learned to pick my battles. I don’t waste my energy doing battle with a speck. I don’t mistake a snarky joke or a minor diss for a monumental affront. And I’ve tried to learn when the right thing to do is to take action, in lessons learned not from a pop singer but from Jesus and Gandhi and King, though I think Clay has learned those lessons, too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fanclub Confirms Clay's Participation in 2007 NBC Christmas Special

The Official Fanclub is confirming the date we heard earlier this week for the taping and airing of an NBC Christmas special in which Clay will star on.

Tickets for the show go on sale next month.

06/11/07 : NBC Holiday Skating Special Starring Clay Aiken
By Team Clay

CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY IN 2007! Hold on to your Santa hats!!! Clay Aiken has just been confirmed to be the exclusive musical guest on “Capital One Holiday Celebration on Ice”. The show will feature World and National Champion ice skaters Sasha Cohen, Yuka Sato and many more! Tickets for the November 6th, 2007 taping will go on sale in July. The exact date will be announced soon.

Capital One Holiday Celebration on Ice

Live Show Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2007 (LIVE Taping) @ 7:30pm
ON SALE: Tickets go on sale in JULY, exact date TBA
Venue: The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Airdate: Tuesday, December 25, 2007 (2:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST)

Clay Takes Part in 2007 "Face Behind the Mask"

Clay was among the 100 celebrities who took part in the 2007 "Face Behind the Mask" silent and charity auction held last week to benefit the Hospice of Michigan's Maggie Allesee Center for Quality of Life.

A photo of Clay's mask is shown above... you can see the exact same thing on page 4 of this PDF file (warning: it's quite big)

"New" Photos from September 2006 Leno Appearance has posted some never before seen photos of Clay appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 15, 2006. Love the stubble - THUD!

Click the thumbnails to enlarge

Another Walk Down Memory Lane - Reviews and News Articles From Clay's 2004 Solo Tour

With Clay's summer tour starting in less than a month in my home state of Texas (oh yeah!!), I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the reviews and articles written during Clay's first solo tour back in 2004. So I dug through my computer files and found several I thought I'd share with you.

This article is from July 11, 2004. I'm not sure which newspaper published it unfortunately, although I do have the name of the reporter.

These articles should bring back great memories and help get you even more excited for what's still to come...another awesome solo tour by Clay Aiken!

Posted on Sun, Jul. 11, 2004


Not just an idol anymore
Popular runner-up wants to go beyond the show

By Walter Tunis

On the eve of a national tour that brings him to Lexington for a Monday concert at Rupp Arena, singer Clay Aiken is poised for life beyond American Idol. First comes the acknowledgement that singing on an arena stage differs a bit from performing before a trio of TV judges and roomful of hysterical fans with cell phones.

"There are plenty of differences," Aiken said by phone last week. "One of them, of course, is no one is there insulting you when you sing on tour. You don't have (American Idol judge) Simon Cowell in front of your face every night.

"The odd thing, though, is that people think the American Idol studio held thousands of people. It looks so big on camera. But it actually holds only 200 people or so. So when you sing in front of a concert audience of 6,000 or 7,000, you're going to feel the energy more. It's much bigger. You feed off the crowd all the time. The bigger, the more excited and the more hyper the crowd is, the more you give a performance."

But Aiken's tour is more than an excuse to build his already secure fan base. A runner-up in last year's competition on the wildly popular TV talent show, Aiken is ready to shake the notion that he is just a manufactured celebrity.

"Do you call American Idol an introduction? Or is it still the form by which people remember me? That's become a difficult complication for (American Idol winners) Kelly (Clarkson), Ruben (Studdard) and myself. How much do we still want to be connected to the show? I know I never would have made it here if it weren't for that show. But am I truly American Idol? I don't think so. But I guarantee you won't be able to write your article without using those two words.

"American Idol was a great entertainment boot camp. It's where I got my education, not just in how to perform live, but in how to deal with cameras and how to deal with interviews. But I'm not defined by the show, nor is that show defined by me."

Aiken's debut album, Measure of a Man, however, was undeniably created with the popularity of the show in mind. In fact, such prestigious music industry executives as Clive Davis, the producer mastermind behind Whitney Houston's stardom and Santana's commercial rebirth, among many other triumphs, and Steve Ferrera had the 12 songs chosen for the album before Aiken concluded last year's American Idol competition. The album was in stores within five months of the program's season finale.

"It was definitely put together quickly," Aiken said. "But I liked the songs. They come from amazing writers and were produced well. But I don't know if the product necessarily defined me. A lot of the songs are about heartbreak. And, let's face it, some are downers. I don't consider myself too much of a downer. While I love to sing the ballads, I'd like to have a little more happiness on the next one."

A follow-up recording, though, is down the line. For now, Aiken's hit version of Neil Sedaka's Solitaire and an upcoming Christmas album serve as his primary recorded output outside of Measure of a Man. Still, the album will make up the bulk of the repertoire at the Rupp show. "That's the one we want people to buy," he said.
Aiken is also promising a tribute to "one of the singers I've always admired" during the Rupp performance, but "you'll have to wait ... to find out who that is."

Most of all, Aiken hopes his tour will complement his American Idol star status and establish a sense of independence from the program.

"I am my own person," he said. "Instead of 'American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken' or 'American Idol alumnus Clay Aiken,' I'd just like to be introduced once or twice in a newspaper story just as singer Clay Aiken."

Tidbits 6/11

  • Washington Post - kids love Clay Aiken... the Washington Post asked kids at Oak Hill Elementary School who their favorite singers were... and he are the results
    Favorite musical performer: What wide-ranging musical tastes this group has. They said they like James Galway, Mozart, Eminem, the Beach Boys, Black-Eyed Peas, All-American Rejects and Clay Aiken.
  • New York Daily News - In article about summer camps, Clay is mentioned as follows:
    If you're on a tight budget, don't expect frills like air-conditioned bunks or visits from celebrities like "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken, who kicked off color war at a pricey private summer camp in Pennsylvania.
    This is in reference to Camp Timberlake that Clay went to in 2003. You can check it out at Camp Timberlake's website or see a video from Clack Unlimited.
  • Reality TV World - Kelly Clarkson doesn't care if she's a star or not -
    The idea of being a role model to other young women makes Clarkson "nervous," however Idol second-season runner-up Clay Aiken says he can't think of anybody better to fill that void.
  • Wall Street Journal - random Clay mention... tennis article.
  • There are a few articles out there declaring it's "civil war" in the Clay nation due to last last week's closing of the fanclub message board. I probably don't need to tell you that this is simply not true because this incident involved the small 1% of the Clay nation. If you want to read some of yellow journalism, I encourage you to find these articles on own... CDD will not link or tolerate gossip sites that do not check their sources half the time and spin the story the other half of the time. The OFC Message Boards are now back up and running.

Official Fan Club Message Board is Now Back Up

Clay told us in his blog that he would get with the powers-that-be and get the Official Fan Club message board back up. And he wasted no time in doing just that. As of early Monday afternoon, the message board is back up and going! The note is still on the home page saying it is down, but I'm sure they will change that soon as well.

Thanks, Clay, for getting it back up so soon. Now, let's do our best to make it a great place to visit and chat with other Clay fans!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tidbits 6/10

Certainly looks like someone over at the Raleigh Chronicle has been converted. Take a look at this article about Taylor Hicks canceling his Cary, NC concert. Even though this is supposed to be about Hicks, Clay's photo is front and center on the page - "However, Raleigh's native son Clay Aiken will still be performing at the Booth Amphitheatre on Friday August 10th at 8:30pm."

  • Rival Fish - celebrity logo look alikes... does this logo (from St. Louis University) look like Clay in this AI2 shot?
  • LBFCA has a cute post about Clay & "Jericho"

Clay Finds Himself in Mexico, Discusses OFC Message Board Issues in New Blog

Looks like Clay found himself, a day too late, in Mexico for his manager, Simon Renshaw's birthday party. Still, it looks like he had a good time down in Mexico after a whirlwind adventure through Canada (and we mean coast to coast) and Paris, France.

Here's a synopsis of what Clay said in his blog from last night:

  • Clay blogged from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico where he was invited for a surprise birthday party. He arrives in Mexico only to find out he is one day too late for his manager, Simon Renshaw's birthday... this is just too funny!
  • He jokingly refers to the summer tour as: "Soft Rock and a Hard Place" tour and "A Soft Rock gathers no moss" tour.
  • Clay's really PUMPED and excited to see some of the songs on ATDW come to life with an orchestra. Clay teases us saying that during each concert, they will take a trip down "memory lane" ... not sure what it is, but sounds like a cool idea.
  • Clay confirms that many of the concerts have already sold out their covered seating, but he notes lawn seating is still available... He has 2 words for you: "Bug Spray"
  • Clay apologizes for not being totally informed about the issue with the fanclub message board. He says the original intention was for it to be temporarily shut down and restored. He now realizes that this may not have been the best idea.
  • Clay has requested to "the powers that be" to restore the message boards by Monday morning.
  • Clay encourages us to participate in active discussions. He cautions that we should ignore trolls, bullies and that small 1% of members who ruin it for us all.

CDD supports:

Bubel Aiken Foundation GoodSearch for TBAF UNICEF