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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fan's Recap Says Clay Is Getting Funnier at Every Show!

This recap is courtesy of AustenFan at The Clayboard. What a great recap! Clay is getting more and more into his role as Sir Robin. It only took him a week to begin to get comfortable and to throw in some of the Clay Aiken humor that we love so much. Read AustenFan's recap below...I know you'll love it!

I went to tonight's show and it was fantastic. I'll try to recap a
little though I need to get some rest.

All I can say is Clay is getting more hilarious if you can believe it.
He's getting laughs on every line. And finding more laughs each show.
Even some laughs that get into applause. He's getting laughs from
facial expressions alone. His Idol Of His Age Yodel was so good. When
he hit that super high, full note the audience applauded. The whole
audience applauded. Clay rocked the Bottle Dance.

There was a group of cool, hip twenty somethings sitting near me.
These were not the kind of folks who'd feel comfortable saying they
liked Clay. I have a feeling they didn't come in expecting or thinking
much of Clay. At the intermission one of the women mentioned Clay
Aiken and said she liked him better now. And he did a good job. The
she said doing this play is so much cooler than being on American
Idol. The group laughed and had a great time. And they roared during
the second act.

The orchestra looked pretty full and I saw people in the balcony and
mezzanine. One man near me said that when he got tickets at the ticket
booth the person had only a handful of tickets left. So they must have
sold very well. After the show he said they made the right decision
picking this one. I heard other people say how great it was. This was
an NJU (Not-Just-Us)crowd and the folks near me were pretty much NJU.

I met up with some fellow fans and we waited at the stage door. Clay
looked so handsome he blew me away. This guy asked if he could take a
picture with Clay and he said sure and did. And other people asked and
Clay said just have it ready. With the smaller weeknight crowd he
could do that. Clay looked so happy and relaxed. I get the feeling
things are going very well for Clay right now.

SPOILER RECAP - Peasant Winner Tells of Her Experience

Clayngel is one lucky fan! She was sitting in seat A101 and got to go onstage with the whole cast of Spamalot, including Clay!! Read about her experience below. Hmmmm, I can just hear the clammering for Seat A101 tickets, but be forewarned...I hear they change the seat numbers from night to night!

Here's Clayngel's recap;

From January 23 Peasant Winner:


I was the winning peasant tonight!!!!! !!!!!!
Ok I am still in such a daze so forgive me if this isn't the most coherent post ever!

I was at the show on opening night and I loved it Clay is just fantastic in every single way. So tonight I had A101 and I tried not to get too excited ahead of time because I knew it could be one of the other seats that night. Anyway when I gave my ticket to the usher, she said "Congratulations" when she sat me. So at that point I knew it was going to be me and my heart had already started beating a mile a minute!

I tried to focus on the show as much as I could and my seat was just great. Clay was right in front of me a bunch of times and I could see every adorable facial expression. He really has a natural gift for acting (and singing as we all know!). He just seems to be getting more and more comfortable in the role. The difference between tonight and Friday was unbelievable and thought he couldn't get any better than he was that night! Tonight he was ad libbing some movements and things when he was more in the background and seemed to be interacting more with the other actors during scenes. I'm so excited to see how he progresses the next few months!

****This next part contains some spoilers**** it's getting closer and closer to the peasant part my heart kept going faster and faster and I was so nervous. So when the time came and the character Patsy was supposed to bring me on stage I guess I was a little over-anxious because I ended up in front of him and the King said "Bring her up here Patsy" and he said "She's already half way up there!" I told the king my name and I won my little statuette (it's a big foot that says "Best Peasant in New York City" Monty Python's Spamalot) Then I was pulled in the middle of the group and Clay was kneeling to my right and I was trying so hard to stay composed! I was looking into those beautiful green eyes and he was singing to me! And singing my name on top of it!! Oh my goodness.... I was shaking so badly I thought I was going to *thud* right there on stage! Then they took my picture and went back to my seat and I was still shaking trying to wrap my mind around the whole thing. I was holding back tears I was soooo happy and excited, it was just amazing.
****Spoilers Done****

So I went out to the stage door and there weren't very many people there tonight at all. I was toward the start of the line and he came right over to my side first and when I gave him the picture to sign he looked at me and snarkily said "Oh didn't seem like you knew that was coming at all! It was so unexpected!" I was in such a dazed state that I was that close to him, getting his autograph and he was talking to me that I don't think I said anything. Well maybe I said something... I think there were a few jumbled "Oh, wow, um, thank you, thank you, ohmygosh.... *sigh*" I still can't believe it happened when I think about it and I'm still on such a high that maybe it will sink in eventually! EEEEEEE!!!! He is just gorgeous. Did I mention that??? Wow, gorgeous, talented and amazing. Tonight was one of the THE BEST nights of my life!!!
Great recap! I love knowing he is getting more comfortable and even ad libbing! Now I'm wanting to go back again to see the ever-evolving Sir Robin!!

Uh... Sometimes People Scare Us...

... and this is one of those times. Clay spotted in an arcade game in Ocean City, MD. Courtesy the CB's claysbuttercup99:

New Items Added To Store

New items have been added to the official fanclub online store. The 2007 Christmas tour hat, scarf, blanket and tour poster are now available for purchase online.

"Spamalot" Ticket Sales Continue to Soar

Clay is having a profound effect on "Spamalot" ticket sales, according to Variety:

NEW YORK -- After a rough post-holiday frame that saw receipts plummet, Broadway sales got a welcome uptick in Week 34 (Jan. 14-20). Grosses rose by about $700,000 to an estimated $17.5 million for 31 shows on the boards -- a tally that also compares favorably with the $14.7 million for 28 shows reported over the same week last year.

One of the largest week-to-week gains was seen by "Monty Python's Spamalot" ($797,390), which looks to have benefited from the debut Jan. 18 of "American Idol" alum Clay Aiken. Both "Spamalot" and "Legally Blonde" ($668,409), seemingly correcting a bit after steep dips the prior sesh, rose by $138,000 each.

Tidbits 1/26

The AP wire story is still making its circulation around ... this one appeared in yesterday's Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton, ON, Canada). Thanks to MonicaJuliet at the CB for the scan!

  • Entertainment Weekly - Clay is mentioned in an interview with Josh Groban -
    But they're a specific breed. You, Rascal Flatts, Clay Aiken — what is it about you that compels these people to be so overprotective?
    Um... I don't know. They've got my back for sure when it comes to that stuff. It certainly isn't on orders from me. They're very passionate about the music. Maybe it's the fact that it was kind of a slow climb from the beginning. This wasn't something that people wanted to pay much attention to, so my fans were very much grassroots. It spread because they were the ones getting someone else to listen, stomping the sidewalk, because I was never really a press darling. And slowly but surely, we've made our mark. And I wish I could kind of tell them, ''I'm okay now. I can take care of myself. I don't mind a little jab now and then.''
  • Winnipeg Free Press - random mention... Canadian football -
    Better if that one guy is football's version of Carrie Underwood. Or even, gulp, Clay Aiken. That would be B.C. Lions quarterback Buck Pierce, who was trolling the web one day a couple years back and found the Lions were holding a tryout camp nearby. Presto, the Lions found themselves a starting quarterback.
CDD Blogwatch
  • Clay - The Man welcomes international Claymates!
  • Carolina On My Mind - changes at official fanclub bring steep learning curve -
    Since Tuesday's unveiling of Clay Aiken's new fan club format, I have studied so many links, blogs, and tables trying to unlock the secrets of Textism lingo that the left side of my brain literally aches. Not that I have too much on that side -- after all, I am a musician.

    There has been some progress. Translation: several of us now know how to post images, clickables, links, photo links, and make minor bold/italic type adjustments. Nothing like the arsenal of HTML directives normally in hand.
  • There Was A Man - Clay Aiken gets to work on Broadway's Spamalot... AP interview
  • There Was A Man shares some fan comments from Spamalot -
    January 18th made his auspicious Broadway debut. The fandom held its collective breath while Clay sang, danced, yodeled, spoke with an English accent, and hit his comedic marks. After the show more than one bottle of bubbley--real and imaginary was uncorked.

    Some comments made by fans:

    "I knew Clay would be good, I never thought he would be THAT good -- the joy on his face (and his fellow castmates') at the curtain call lit up my heart!! Sir Galahad hugged his arm and patted him on the back (job well done) and the King gave a little special acknowledgment of Clay ... and that was so sweet .. it was a HUGE hope of mine that Clay would be accepted by the cast ... I think he has been ..."
  • Hobbies - Parade Magazine challenges us to raise money for TBAF (read more here at CDD)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Parade Magazine's "America's Giving Challenge" - DONATIONS ARE STILL NEEDED!!

On Monday, January 15, Clay's Daily Double told you about a wonderful opportunity for us to help The Bubel Aiken Foundation get $50,000 if we are one of the 4 U.S. Based charities that receives the most donations...NOT the highest dollar amount, but the most donations.

Right now, BAF is in 4th place with 815 donations. If we stay in 4th place we will be one of the groups that does win the $50,000 from Parade Magazine! But the groups in 5th and 6th place are adding donations left and right! They are doing their best to catch up with us and pass us! We need those of you who have not yet donated to make a donation. Without these donations, we may fall out of 4th place and not win the $50,000, which translates into 5 more Let's All Play Camps for children with disabilities. Donations only need to be $10, or $11 if you donate via Paypal so as to cover the fee plus donate the minimum $10.

IMPORTANT: In order to donate, you must click on the word "DONATE" on the BAF badge. This will take you to the information you need to fill out to make your donation. If you do not first click on the badge, your donation will not count. ALSO, if you donate more than once, only your first donation counts.

Please spread the news to friends, family, fellow employees, teachers, anyone and everyone! Let's win this $50,000 for The Bubel Aiken Foundation. We only have until January 31. We can do it!!


IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION: The Clayboard has list of people who are willing to be "donation sponsors" where someone who can't afford to donate will be reimbursed for their donation. For a list of those who are willing to reimburse you for your donation, go to this link: The Clayboard Donation Sponsors. A list of people along with a link to PM them is available at this site. All you have to do is make the donation and one of these people will reimburse you the $10.

Clay as Sir Robin Featured in People Magazine

A picture of Clay as Sir Robin in Spamalot is featured in the February 4 issue of People Magazine with Heath Ledger on the cover. The picture is in the "Star Tracks" section of the magazine. The caption under the picture says:

Ham a Lot
New York City, January 18
Clay Aiken makes his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot
Thanks to Clay Sugar and Pinkpollyanna for posting pictures of the magazine at The Clayboard. You can buy People Magazine at your local grocery store, Walmart or Target, or bookstore. What great PR for Clay and for Spamalot!

Our sincere sympathy goes out to the family, friends, and fans of Heath Ledger.

And Even More Media Coverage of Spamalot!!

Will it ever end??? We hope not. In fact, we think the media coverage is just beginning. Here's a few more to tell you about:

The Houston Chronicle had an article back on January 14 that I just discovered. Its the same Associated Press article that has been in countless other media articles. Though not all comments concerning the article were good, here's one I think you'll like:

MaddyOne wrote:
How lucky I was to see Spamalot last weekend. Aiken is a natural. Who knew? BTW, the man has a teaching degree from UNC Charlotte.
1/25/2008 2:45 PM CST
Love Aiken at The Clayboard tells us:
This same article and a picture of Clay with the skyscaper in the background is in the Gusto/Entertainment section of the Buffalo, NY News!! I'm loving the publicity!! In this article, it does add on that he went to see the show later and realized it was silly and funny, just like he is and that the role is good for him. The Clay/Spamalot publicist is AWESOME!!
Angels0604 also tells us at the same Clayboard link that an article AND a picture of Clay was in her local newspaper:
Here is a partial scan of the AP article and photo that was in my local paper today, the Register-Citizen of Northwest Connecticut. Was I ever excited to see it! The size of the paper was too big for my scanner.
Take the link to the Clayboard if you'd like to see a bigger picture of the newspaper article.

At AOL's "Pop Scene" section, January 25, 2008, is the following picture of Sir Robin and the caption:

The caption reads:
Singer/Actor Clay Aiken bows at the curtain call of the Opening Night for Clay Aiken in "Monty Python's Spamalot" on Broadway at The Shubert Theater on January 18, 2008 in New York City. Photo by Bruce Glikas, FilmMagic.
Bubbles1904 at The Clayboard tells us:
The Feb 4th In Touch with of course Brittney on the cover(I'm not Crazy) also has a Spamalot picture but the one where he's holding the chicken. Page 10 with the picture it says "Broadway Baby" and the write-up says "Is Clay chicken? He didn't choke on American Idol! (Definitely a play on the picture) Clay Aiken, Idol's season 2 runner-up made his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in the silly smash hit Monty Python's Spamalot on January 18 --- and Claymates are achin' to see him!
We'll keep you informed of all the media coverage in the days and weeks to come.

More Media Coverage of Spamalot!

AOL Music asks: "Are These Stars Better Off Blond?"

Spamalot is getting even more coverage around the media as a result of that new article and photos from the Associated Press. These Spamalot media coverage reports are off the various message boards:
  • MSN TV - Clay's interview with AP was on MSN's homepage yesterday. Although it has been removed, the fantastic interview is still at MSN TV.
  • Syracuse Post Standard ... via the CB's snarkystripes -
    On the front banner of the CNY (Lifestyle) section they put that most GORGEOUS new AP interview picture of Clay in the upper corner and it says:

    "American Idol" finalist Clay Aiken has enjoyed success from his CDs and tours since coming in second to Ruben Studdard. Now, he's making his debut on Broadway as Sir Robin in the Tony Award-winning musical "Monty Python's Spamalot." (Story D 4)

    Then I turn to page D -4 and OMG!!! They show that pic of him sitting with his hands clasped (3.5 x 4"). The headline reads "Clay Aiken takes a walk on odd side with 'Spamalot' " Subtitle: The former "American Idol " contestant has made his Broadway debut.
  • Boston Globe ... via fancynails4:
    On Page B10- The 'NAMES' page (all things for celebrity news updates)- going across the very bottom is a large red arrow with the words (snarkily) "Quite an endorsement" - then this: 'It was, in my opinion, the stupidest thing ever produced. There's no plot.' Clay Aiken, who now stars in "Spamalot" on Broadway, describing his reaction the first time he saw the musical'. Then a small head shot of Clay from the AP interview.
  • 24 Hours Toronto ... via Khrystah:
    It's the same AP article from yesterday, with a whole LOT snipped out. So that you can read EXACTLY what is in the article (and so that I don't have to squint to try to see and type up all that text...I'm partially blind so it's difficult for me to type up printed articles), I have copied the exact text that was taken from the article which was posted on Yahoo news yesterday and used to create this article. I've also added the headline that the 24 Hours paper used.
  • Metro Toronto ... mention of the Newsweek interview via the CB's Khrystah -
    Hubby brings me the free 24 Hours and Metro papers everyday when he gets home from work. Well imagine my surprise when I got to page 24 of the Metro paper and saw Mr. Gorgeous looking hawt as heck and smiling right back at me. image

    It's a tiny article about the Newsweek interview complete with a BEAUTIFUL fairly recent headshot of him standing in front of the UNICEF backdrop wearing his dark blue suit and the sexiest smile ever while an errant lock of his gorgeous brown hair falls over his forehead.
  • CTV Toronto News - via the CB's Khrystah -
    I usually watch the local 11:30pm news every night but since Clay debuted in Spamalot, I've been spending all my late nights here reading the fan recaps of he performance. Because of that, I missed the news last night. Fortunately, the same boradcast repeats at 6am the following morning.

    So I was up WAAAAY late, couldn't get to sleep this morning (lying on the couch) so I started surfing channels and landed on the local CTV channel here in Toronto. The broadcast had just returned from it's FINAL commercial break and was closing with it's usual "super short" story for the last 30-45 secs of the show. As soon as she said "Well he may have finished 2nd on American Idol" my head whipped up and my eyebrows shot to the top of my head! I KNEW before she said another word that she was about to talk about Clay and his Spamalot debut! image

    She then continued with (paraphrasing here) "but now Clay Aiken is aiming to be another kind of Idol". This is when I shot up and squeed so loudly I scared the living daylights out of my poor cat who was sleeping on top of me! image

    Basically she talked about how he has taken on the role of Sir Robin on Broadway...pretty much the same stuff that was mentioned in the AP article the other day. It was a super short mention as I said, but it was really nice. While she was talking about it, they showed the pic of him holding the rubber chicken, as well as a few other fairly current ones (sorry I can't remember which ones), one of him in a dark suit and one or two others. Looked like ones that had been taken in the last year or so. They also showed one pic of him from when he was on Idol really belting out a song. image

Tidbits 1/25

MSNBC/Today Show - American Idol finalists & where they are now
  • Gothamist - Clay Aiken on Broadway - "Broadway stage directions are driving Clay Aiken even more crazy than before."
  • Columbus Dispatch - bad tattoos?
    They laugh at photographs of bad tattoos (Clay Aiken's face on someone's back?) blown up on two projection screens at either end of the room, part of a lesson about decisions you can't take back.
  • Cincinnati Enquirer - Winter Jam tour returns -
    NewSong vocalist/percussionist Eddie Carswell, says the tour - which hosted "Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken several years ago - hooked up with Mandisa through mutual friends in Christian group TobyMac and the addition made perfect sense
  • American Idol... more buzz about the "black Clay Aiken" Idol found in Charleston, SC on Wednesday -
    • After Elton -
      He claimed people told him he sounded like Clay Aiken and he did ... if Clay Aiken was reincarnated as Nell Carter and she liked to skin cats with her teeth. Raysgarde did not advance to the Hollywood round but he had me rollin' so he won a special place in my heart and that's the next best thing to Tinseltown.
    • WCSC TV -
      Highman got another chance to try out, but the judges thought he was too warbly. Other people who were sent home included the guy who called himself ``the black Clay Aiken,'' the angry waitress from Kellie Pickler's hometown, the woman named after Aretha Franklin and the couple who met on the ``Idol'' message boards.
    • Buddy TV -
      Best of the Worst #1 – Raysharde Henderson

      This guy had a very good voice, but was just way, way too over the top. His afro was incredible and I died laughing when he dubbed himself “the black Clay Aiken” as if such a thing were humanly possible. Clay Aiken is a vacuum of black-ness. I thought he should have got a chance in Hollywood.
  • SOVO - "This would be next to the Clay Aiken Christmas record in terms of what to get your cheesy, slightly depressing aunt for her birthday."
  • Just Jared - Clay Aiken on Spamalot -
    Clay Aiken stops by the CW11 Morning Show on Thursday to promote Monty Python’s Spamalot.

    The American Idol alum plays the role of Sir Robin on the Broadway show until May 4th.

    “I’m having to learn a whole new language,” Clay said about nailing the stage lingo for his Broadway debut. “Upstage, downstage. I’m like, ‘Upstage? What’s that mean? Behind? Oh, got it. Why didn’t you just say behind? …’ It makes me crazier than I already am.”
CDD Blogwatch

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Short Interview with "Mike & Juliet"

Clay barely got 5 minutes, but it was a great "Spamalot" interview on The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet today. Caps are up at ClackUnlimited.

Clay Interviewed by CW11-WPIX TV

WPIX, the CW network affiliate in New York City, interviewed Clay this morning about Spamalot. The CB's pearlgjr recaps:
Wow...what a surprise!

He came on at 8:46 am....wearing a dark (black?) jacket and a blue button down shirt, no tie...same hair as the View but a lot more movement.

He was on for three minutes with the entertainment reporter, charming and funny...talking Spamalot (why he chose to do it, how the dancing is killing him, etc...)

But he confirmed that he is working on a new album, -the idea is he will be recording during the day, performing in Spamalot at night with the goal of it being out in May just after Spamalot is done.
The video is available at CW11's website, or you can download it at ClackUnlimited.

Clay Interviewed by ABC News

Clay's been doing too many interviews to count this week! Another one, with ABC News Radio, is posted at

Quick recap via the CH:

The record label has been extremely supportive
The first time we've done an album with one producer
All the music is going to be original
Common theme reflective of the past 5 years for me and the process that's been from 2003 to 2008.

Trying to make a body of work not just great songs, but great songs that mean something.

Tidbits 1/24

Theater Mania - Clay joins cast of Spamalot -

Meanwhile, on January 18, former American Idol finalist Clay Aiken (right, with Christopher Sieber) joined the Broadway cast of Monty Python's Spamalot.
  • Spamalot recap today:
    • Associated Press - the AP article about Clay on Spamalot is spreading quickly:
      Clay Aiken, who burst to fame during the second season of American Idol, has made his Broadway debut in Monty Python's Spamalot - in creator Eric Idle's old role.

      "There's a lot of pressure," Aiken says. "To think about how many people dream of doing something like this and to have the opportunity is pretty humbling."
    • - Clay Aiken helps bring up Spamalot ticket sales -
      And now for something completely different. Clay Aiken, known to millions as an “American Idol” contestant in its second season and now a recording star, debuted in his first Broadway role as Sir Robin in the Tony Award winning musical Spamalot at the Shubert Theatre on Jan. 18. He will continue in the role through May 4. It appears to have been a boost to recent ticket sales.
    • San Francisco Gate -
      "I'm having to learn a whole new language. Upstage, downstage. I'm like, 'Upstage? What's that mean? Behind? Oh, got it. Why didn't you just say behind? ...' It makes me crazier than I already am." — Clay Aiken, on nailing the stage lingo for his Broadway debut in "Monty Python's Spamalot."
    • IFMagazine -
      Next up, was Clay "freakin'" Aiken, who appeared on THE VIEW to tout his new Broadway production, SPAMALOT. Aiken appearing on THE VIEW, OK good for promotional bits, but bad for news items.

  • Desert News interviews Carmen Rasmusen, AI2 finalist - "Clay Aiken and I text every once in a while"
  • American Idol finds a "black Clay Aiken" in South Carolina -
    • - "Rasharde Henderson, the “black Clay Aiken” had a very strong voice as well."
    • MTV - "Raysharde Henderson sounded remarkably like Clay Aiken and looked remarkably like a cryogenically frozen long-lost member of the Jackson Five."
    • Reality TV Calendar -
      Our first auditioner is 27 year old Raysharde Henderson from Atlanta, Georgia. He loves his afro and is always smiling. He claims people call him "the black Clay Aiken." I have a feeling this isn't going to go over very well. He auditions with Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" and he's good for about the first two seconds. Then it's just cheesy and over-the-top. Randy says it was over-the-top and the judges pass on Raysharde.
    • TV Fodder -
      I would probably vote for Raysharde Henderson based solely on his beautiful afro. That takes talent right there! He compared himself to the black Clay Aiken, but I think he actually resembles another celebrity almost to a tee.
    • Blend Television - "Raysharde claims to be the “black Clay Aiken,” which are three words that should never be next to each other."
    • -
      First up was a guy who couldn't make his audition, because he wife who was 37 weeks pregnant just had her water break. He decided the baby was more important. So we went to Raysharde Henderson then who called himself a complete nut before comparing himself to Clay Aiken, just black. Simon Cowell thought he did remind him of Clay. Randy Jackson thought it was a bit over the top. Paula Abdul agreed it was theatrical. He didn't make it through.
    • Reality TV Magazine -
      Twenty-seven year old Raysharde Henderson from Atlanta, Georgia told the judges that people said he sounded like Clay Aiken from American Idol 2. Raysharde kicked things off with “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Even though Simon Cowell said Raysharde did remind him of Clay Aiken, the judges did not put him through to Hollywood.
    • Baltimore Sun -
      Raysharde Henderson is from Atlanta and says he is called "the black Clay Aiken." He sings "I Can't Make You Love Me" with more histrionics than you can imagine. Randy calls it a little over the top, and Simon says, "I wouldn't have been surprised if you had done a magic trick in the middle of that." It's a no.
    • Charleston City Paper -
      Richard (pronounced Rish-Ard) Henderson is unemployed. Says he sounds like Clay Aiken — only he seems more comfortable in his sexuality. Paula even says no. That’s when you know it’s bad.
    • New York Daily News - "8:03 p.m. Raysharde says he sounds like Clay Aiken, which I don't think would be something to tell people to impress them but different strokes. He gets three nos."
    • BuddyTV - "Raysharde Henderson is unemployed and from Atlanta. He calls himself a complete nut. He says people call him "the black Clay Aiken." Umm, isn't that a paradox?"
    • Newsday - AI blog -
      Anyway, he says he sounds like Clay Aiken - I have a feeling he's mistaken, but let's keep an open mind and unpause the TiVo. Well, to be honest, I don't think his voice is bad at all - definitely no Clay Aiken, but really not that bad.
    • MSNBC -
      “They call me the black Clay Aiken,” Raysharde Henderson confidently told the cameras. Whether “they” meant it as a compliment or not wasn’t revealed, but at any rate the judges didn’t swoon when he belted out Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” “A little bit over the top,” Randy said, before amending it to “very over the top” and sending him home.
    • FOX News -
      Also consider Richard — stage name "Raysharde" — a cheerful guy with an enormous afro who was inexplicably convinced that he sounded like "the black Clay Aiken" — and Aretha, who protested furiously when the judges criticized her.
    • Houston Chronicle -
      After some crowd shots and a still-tiresome Black Eyed Peas tune, we're introduced to unemployed afro-man Raysharde Henderson -- also known (to himself) as "the black Clay Aiken."
  • Canoe Network - William Josephs ready to release new CD -
    Joseph's 2004 debut Within and a gig opening for Josh Groban that year, followed in 2005 by opening for Clay Aiken, kicked off Joseph's career as a major performer
  • Broadway World - Quiana Parler to perform at "Tammy Faye Sings" concert in NYC - "Quiana Parler (Clay Aiken Tour, Dreamgirls)"
  • 15 Rounds - random Clay mention ... boxing article
  • TV listings mentions Clay's appearance today on "Mike & Juliet" -
  • AP via Yahoo - quotation from Clay -
    - "They scare me every once in a while. We had a lady throw her panties in the middle of 'Silent Night.'- Pop singer Clay Aiken on his rabid fans, IN TOUCH
CDD Blogwatch
  • Carolina On My Mind - Clay Aiken on Spamalot still has everyone buzzing -
    As Clay Aiken begins his first full week of "Spamalot" performances, fans are still sharing opening weekend experiences and enjoying watching the singer-actor promote the Broadway musical on two popular TV shows, "The View" Tuesday and "The Morning Show with Mike and Juliette" on Thursday.
  • Clay - The Man ... being proud of Clay Aiken
  • The ConCLAYVe - Clay getting used to the pace of "Spamalot" ... AP story
  • The True Measure of a Man - "Clay Aiken Surprisingly Fearless as Sir Robin in Spamalot"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Blades On Ice Magazine To Include Clay Photo

We have good news from Hippoga at The Clayboard. One of her friends has a subscription to the Blades On Ice magazine and just received her January-February issue, and guess who is in that issue! Hippoga tells us the following:

Heads up! If you are in a major bookstore in the next few weeks, look for the Jan-Feb issue of Blades on Ice Vol. 18 #3. French skater Brian Joubert is on the cover. I don't get this magazine but one of my friends who does just received her copy in the mail. There is a nice review of the Holiday on Ice show and a picture of Clay on skates with Sasha and Shae-Lynn. Clay is mentioned frequently in the review and the fact that most fans come to see him is noted! I love this quote "The Aiken fans reacted with triple-axle-type cheers when the singer powerfully reached a particularly high note in one of the song climaxes." All is Well!
Check out your local Barnes and Noble or Borders in the next couple of weeks to see if they carry it. Or go to Blades on Ice Online to find a bookstore near you that carries it. Their website also says that "current issues can also be ordered through our office as a back issue, call TOLL FREE 888-525-8605 with your visa/mastercard order."

New AP Photo Session with Clay

The Associated Press posted 4 new photos of Clay, taken at a recent AP interview with Clay in New York City. Give 'em some hits at Yahoo News!

AOL Names Clay "American Idol"'s Biggest Loser

--- and no, it's not bad at all! Clay has been named AOL Television's Bestselling American Idol "loser" -

1. Clay Aiken
SEASON 2 (runner-up)

WHO HE LOST TO Ruben Studdard
WHY HE'S STILL A WINNER Aiken's passionate fan base (the Claymates, benevolent hijackers of message boards everywhere) are so rabid in their devotion that, in addition to nearly 5 million albums, they snatch up things like a "Snuggle Up With Clay" embroidered fleece blanket from Aiken's official site.

AOL Television: Vote for Clay's Appearance on The View

Clay's The View appearance on Tuesday has been nominated in AOL TV's daily poll of the best moments on TV. Head to AOL Television to cast your vote for Clay & The View!

Aiken's Got Moves
'The View'
(Weekdays, ABC Daytime)

Claymaniacs rejoice! Clay Aiken gets all the 'View' ladies down on their knees.

New Spamalot Blog Post from Clay

Clay has added a short blog to his official Spamalot blog.

1.21.08: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to get a laugh out of your friends?
I don’t know that I really have done anything intentionally. I think they laugh at me when I don’t necessarily invite it!

Clay Aiken Brings Increased Box Office Revenue for "Spamalot"

Clay is being credited for Spamalot's rise in ticket sales. Variety reports:

One of the largest week-to-week gains was seen by "Monty Python's Spamalot" ($797,390), which looks to have benefited from the debut Jan. 18 of "American Idol" alum Clay Aiken. Both "Spamalot" and "Legally Blonde" ($668,409), seemingly correcting a bit after steep dips the prior sesh, rose by $138,000 each.

New Associated Press Interview

The Associated Press has posted a very detailed interview with Clay, as he gets comfortable with his new starring role on Broadway's Spamalot. Happy reading!

Clay Aiken tries to make it on Broadway
Despite having no acting experience, the former 'American Idol' runner-up is starring in 'Spamalot.'

By MARK KENNEDY, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

(01-23) 10:34 PST NEW YORK, (AP) --

Clay Aiken is trying to become the next American Idle.

The singer, who burst to fame during the second season of "American Idol," has made his Broadway debut in "Monty Python's Spamalot" — in creator Eric Idle's old role.

"There's a lot of pressure," Aiken says. "To think about how many people dream of doing something like this and to have the opportunity is pretty humbling."


This also is different territory for Aiken, who hasn't really acted much and was even cut from his high school's production of "Guys and Dolls." Just nailing the stage lingo has him rattled.

"I'm having to learn a whole new language. Upstage, downstage. I'm like, 'Upstage? What's that mean? Behind? Oh, got it. Why didn't you just say behind? ...' It makes me crazier than I already am."


"Probably more preparation has gone into this than anything I've ever done," he says. "It's not just learning music and lines and even steps. It's mentally preparing yourself to do all of it at once."

Associate director Peter Lawrence says Aiken has been no idle diva; the singer asked to be treated like any other company member and has been surprisingly fearless.

"Clay really surprised me. When you meet him, he's this sweet kid from North Carolina with an accent. And you think there's no way he can do Cambridge material. And then he does," says Lawrence.

"It's been a total delight and a surprise for me and everyone in the company to work with Clay because he can do things you'd never imagine he could do."


"I'm anticipating and expecting some sort of fallout. I think it's a little bit different when someone who's never done Broadway before, who may be more well known in the pop world, comes in to Broadway," he says.

"There's always this skepticism that they've been brought in for the wrong reasons or they didn't play their dues or they're not going to do their part well," he says.

"So I even told the choreographer and the director ahead of time, 'I don't want you to go easy on me. I want to do everything that everybody else does. Don't change things and make them easier for me,'" he adds, laughing. "I've since changed my mind."

Aiken, who got a degree in special education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, was teaching grade school kids with autism before he tried out for "Idol" in Atlanta. He was a former member of the Raleigh Boys Choir, and occasionally sang at weddings and at church.

"There's not really a market in North Carolina to sing for a living. There's not that career path for people. So I never really assumed or had any dreams or aspirations to sing," he says.


After finishing second to Ruben Studdard on "Idol," Aiken went on to release his debut CD "Measure of a Man," which went double platinum in 2003. His other albums are "Merry Christmas With Love" and "A Thousand Different Ways." He's currently working on his fourth CD, due possibly by May.

Tidbits 1/23

  • New York Daily News - fans flock to see Aiken in Spamalot:
    Giants fans weren't the only ones willing to freeze their butts off to cheer for their idols.

    On Sunday night, when the temperature was a bone-rattling 19 degrees, Clay Aiken aficionados clamored outside the Shubert Theatre to get up close and personal with the new star of "Monty Python's Spamalot."

    Alyssa Benedetto, 19, a student at the University of Delaware who lives on Long Island, was among an estimated crowd of 100 people.

    Benedetto had seen the Sunday matinee of "Spamalot," but missed seeing Aiken afterward and was determined to get her picture snapped alongside the pop singer. She arrived at the stage door 20 minutes before the final curtain Sunday night. "I thought Clay was great," she said between shivers. "His English accent was really good."

    Rachel Plummer and Erika Brown, graduate students in their mid-20s, agreed with her. The two friends had flown in from Detroit and Chicago to see Aiken play Sir Robin in the musical spoof. The airline tickets cost them about $150 apiece, but both said the experience was worth every penny. "I don't know why," Brown said, "I just love Clay."
  • TV Grapevine hands out some advice to Idol wannabes-
    Listen to the American Idol judges comments because they can help you down the line. Many times, they will advance people but give you some things to work on. Look at Clay Aiken. Simon said he had a good voice but the look. When Clay came to Hollywood, he had taken the advice to heart and ended up second. While not a winner, he did win the hearts of the Claymates!
  • Broadway World - The Apprentice to feature Spamalot on this week's episode, airing Thursday on NBC -
    On tomorrow night's episode of "The Apprentice: Celebrity Edition" the two teams compete to sell tickets to some of Broadway's hottest shows, including Monty Python's Spamalot. Piers Morgan will be wearing a King Arthur costume and there are rumors of an argument with Stephen Baldwin.

    Tony Award winning Best Musical Monty Python's Spamalot plays at Broadway's Shubert Theatre; Clay Aiken joined the company last weekend, making his Broadway debut in the role of Sir Robin.
  • PRNewsWire release from Lycos50 - Clay #6 most searched for item on Lycos.
  • Dallas Forth Worth Star Telegram - notable TV tonight ...
    American Idol: To steal a line from one of my favorite VH1 time-killers, is South Carolina having the best week ever? Presidential primaries from both sides -- and tonight's Idol audition episode, from Charleston. But Clay Aiken still belongs to North Carolina. 7 p.m., KDFW/Channel 4
  • The Monitor - it is truly sad when an article must be written about a TV glitch that cut off "American Idol" for a few minutes on one FOX affiliate last night -
    The local Fox television affiliate experienced technical difficulties for a few minutes Tuesday night during the popular American Idol program.

    A spokeswoman for XHRIO said the station briefly lost power during the 7 p.m. broadcast, causing the show to be disrupted for a few minutes.

    American Idol has helped to launch such musical stars as Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Rueben Studdard. Its panel of sometimes scathing judges includes Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and former musical sensation Paula Abdul.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spamalot and Clay Online Articles APlenty:;,

It seems that Spamalot and their newest cast member, Clay Aiken, can be found in articles and pictures all over the web. Here is a sampling of what is out there: - This is the second Spamalot photo of Clay that has been in The first can be found in the January 17 issue of People.

This week's photo and mention is as follows:

Making his Broadway debut, former American Idol star Clay Aiken adds some razzle-dazzle to the cast of Monty Python's Spamalot at the Shubert Theatre in Manhattan, on Friday. - Labeled as the "Hottest News Blog", along with a photo of Clay as Sir Robin, the article mentions Clay's fans:
Had you any idea he had so many fans?

On January 18th, Clay Aiken joined the Broadway cast of "Spamalot," the musical that dubs itself as "lovingly ripped off from the motion picture 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail.'" "Spamalot" turns into a Broadway musical the 1975 fictional comedy film of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and their quest for the Holy Grail.

The play is going on at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. Clay debuted to a crowd of screaming - and we mean screaming - fans on opening night. The video below doesn't even show what a sea of Claymates there were! Apparently the Season 2 "American Idol" runnerup has some very...erm...dedicated fans.
In addition, there is a video taken by a fan of Clay signing autographs by the stage door and the entire segment of Clay on The View. - An article in Variety by Gordon Cox entitled "Broadway box office bounces back: 'Spamalot' surges in post-holiday upswing", Clay is given credit for benefiting Spamalot's increase in sales:
After a rough post-holiday frame that saw receipts plummet, Broadway sales got a welcome uptick last week. Grosses rose by about $700,000 to an estimated $17.5 million for 31 shows on the boards -- a tally that also compares favorably with the $14.7 million for 28 shows reported over the same week last year.

One of the largest week-to-week gains was seen by "Monty Python's Spamalot" ($797,390), which looks to have benefited from the debut Jan. 18 of "American Idol" alum Clay Aiken. Both "Spamalot" and "Legally Blonde" ($668,409), seemingly correcting a bit after steep dips the prior sesh, rose by $138,000 each.
We will keep you posted as more articles are posted online.

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