Monday, January 29, 2007

Clay and UNICEF

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Yahoo UNICEF Profile

About me: Hi, my name is Clay Aiken. I believe that everyone deserves the best start in life and that education is essential to a child's development. Since becoming a UNICEF Ambassador in 2004, I have testified before Congress urging the government to allocate more funds for UNICEF so that its programs can reach all the children in need worldwide. I also traveled to Indonesia after the tsunami and Uganda to see the devastating conditions affecting millions of the world’s children first-hand—disease, malnutrition, and war, chief among them. You just cannot believe how some of these kids are forced to live. It’s truly heartbreaking, yet many people don’t even know these conditions exist. It is my hope that as a UNICEF Ambassador I can encourage people to join UNICEF's mission in support of child survival programs worldwide and to make education a reality for these children.
Find out more at


~Clay Aiken in Jakarta, Indonesia~

~Clay Aiken in Uganda with UNICEF~

~Clay Aiken in Indonesia~

~Clay Aiken in Indonesia~

Clay is also taking part in the Yahoo! Answers UNICEF Campaign

On the charitable side, Yahoo teamed with Unicef for a ten-day celebrity-studded awareness building campaign. Through Yahoo Answers, celebrities from film, TV, music and sports will ask questions of Yahoo's users to build awareness of children's issues throughout the world.

Actors Lucy Liu, Lawrence Fishburne, Alyssa Milano, Danny Glover, and Tea Leoni, musicians Clay Aiken and India Arie, NBA star Elton Brand, and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson have been listed as celebrity participants for the program, which runs from today through February 9th.

The opening question, "What can we do to get more Americans committed to supporting programs that help children?", comes from singer and Unicef Ambassador Clay Aiken. Nearly 2,000 answers have been posted in response already; they range from thoughtful to useless, with answers in the latter category being voted down by users in favor of exposing the better ones in the thread.

Quite a few responses made early on touched on a similar idea: increase awareness of Unicef and its mission. There are a number of worthy causes people can support. If they only know Unicef from the Trick Or Treat coin collecting done each Halloween, that means there is room for people to learn more.

The Yahoo Answers campaign should be a good start toward educating more people, since Yahoo draws so much online traffic, and its Answers service has become a popular stop for users ever since its debut in December 2005.

~Clay Aiken's question~

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Take Time to Tell Me: Happy Four Year Anniversary

Take time to tell me you really care
And we'll share tomorrow together
Ooh baby, I'll always love you forever
~~Clay Aiken, Lyrics to 'Always and Forever'

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~Blend by Fountaindawg~

Hard to believe that on January 28th, we are celebrating the four-year anniversary of the first time Clay graced our TV screens. The exchange went like this:

Simon: Why are you here?
Clay: I'm the American Idol.
Simon: Really? Did you see the first show?
Clay: I did.
Simon: And what were your thoughts?
Clay: had some good talent, but as far as the top 10, I could have been up there.
Clay: Yeah.
Simon: Okay, what are you going to sing?
Clay: Singing "Always and Forever".
Sings--knocking it out the park and thus the expression "He had me at Take" is born.
Simon:Okay, very good. You don't look like a pop star, but you've got a great voice.
Randy: Yeah, it's weird, it's wild.
Simon: So now what? Randy yes or no?
Randy: I say yes. I think you can work on your style. You've got a really good voice though. It's just really wild to hear that voice coming from this....
Clay: Little white boy, right.
Simon: Clayton-we'll see you in Hollywood. Congratulations!
Randy: Welcome to Hollywood.
Clay: Thank you very much.

I'm not sure he had me at take in the true sense of the phrase, but he definitely had me interested. I mean I didn't cry or anything when he didn't make it in the Top 32 Round, though I was really glad when he made it through as a Wildcard. Once he sang "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" there was no doubt that he would make it through to the Top 12. So January 28, 2003 was the start of the journey. A journey that is no where near its completion. It has been a wild ride from that incomprehensible day we call "The Anomaly" - to the delightful surprise of the shirt tug during "Invisible" at the AI Tour - to the awesome discovery of concert clack - to the giddiness when first week sales numbers of Measure of a Man were revealed. Those were the salad days. It was so much fun. Of course with the highest of highs there are the inevitable letdowns and disappointments. We had those also from the unbelievable tabloid trash - to Rippagate - to the mandated cover CD - to the disappointing promotion of that CD. I won't call the CD a disappointment since I love it, but an artist of Clay's previous sales and stature should have been able to put on a CD of originals. Instead of fun, we (the fandom) were left with cries of conspiracy theories and whatnot. It sort of sucked the joy out of everything. The ups and downs of the the last 4 years, did help me set more realistic expectations. I don't take things for granted anymore. I still think Clay will have a fulfilling and wonderful career as a musician and entertainer, but the really huge successes won't come as quickly as I once thought. I think in a way Clay is in the "paying his dues" cycle that seems so important to all the talking heads. One thing is for sure, we've all grown in the last four years. Clay just happens to wear his better. The cute boy grew into an amazing man.

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~Then and Now~
~Blend by Fountaindawg~

Then: Atlanta Audition

Now: Montage of pictures of the 2006 Christmas Tour

~Song: Seasons of Love, Montage by tbio2~

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

What are Past Idols doing?

With the new season of American Idol just starting, I thought I would revisit some of the past contestants and see what they are up to.

We all know of the most successful Idols accolades, Kelly's Grammy Awards and stellar sales of her sophomore album, and Carrie's CMA Awards and highest debut sales for a debut album with 4.7 million albums sold and still selling strongly. Of course, my favorite had quite a year. It was a year of ups and downs for Clay. Despite the nasty tabloid lies and inferior promotion for his Clive Davis-mandated cover CD, Clay still managed to have many shining moments as summarized with commentary, articles, pictures and videos at Please check it out.

Here's a look at the rest:

Season 1:

  • Christina Christian: Living in Florida with husband and son and working as a songwriter.She has received her real estate liscence and has a successful career selling real estate.
  • Elijah Day: Living in Georgia when he's not singing on cruise ships.
  • Justin Guarini: Living in the Hollywood Hills and recorded a jazz/soul/funk album, and is now recording an R&B album.
  • AJ Gil: Living in California and working on a R&B album.
  • Tamyra Gray: Recently married former Color Me Badd singer Sam Watters in Italy.
  • RJ Helton: Came out of the closet in October and enjoying life with boyfriend. Previously recorded a Christian album.
  • Nikki McKibbin: Bartending in Texas, planning her July wedding, and working on a rock CD.
  • Ryan Starr: Living in California and pitching a reality show about landing a record deal.
  • Jim Verraros: Living in Chicago with his partner Bill and working on his second pop album.

Season 2:

  • Ruben Studdard: Released his third album and is helping Alabama peel back the pounds with the Scale Back Alabama weight-loss campaign after his recent 100-lb weight loss.
  • Kimberly Caldwell: Working for TV Guide Channel in Los Angeles and planning a country album having dropped the rock album she has worked on for 3 years. The issue is it is being done in conjuction with Randy and Diane Warren and they have limited availablity to work on this prioject - they are now involved with other ex-idols.
  • Corey Clark: Working construction in Nashville and separated from his wife.
  • Julia Demato: Working as a cosmetologist and raising her new son as a single mom in Connecticut. She attended Clay's Hartford Christmas concert.
  • Josh Gracin: Living in Nashville ,after a successful debut country album, with wife and three kids and performing at shows (about 130 in 2006). He's at work on his next country album.
  • Charles Grigsby: Taking a break at his Ohio home after losing a cousin to diabetes.
  • Kimberly Locke: Living in New York City and working on a second pop album and Christmas album that are both due out in 2007.
  • Carmen Rasmusen: Living in Utah with her new husband and recording a country album.
  • Rickey Smith: Bartending in Oklahoma and recording a R&B album. Rickey just graduated from college in June where he studied music ( specifically opera).
  • Trenyce: Living in Los Angeles and getting ready to appear in the musical "Love In The Nick of Tyme" in a 17-city tour.
  • Vanessa Olivarez: Living in Atlanta and singing country with South 70.

Season 3:

  • Fanatasia: Released her second album and starred in the successful life-time movie based on her life.
  • Jennifer Hudson: A Cinderella story. Jennifer appears to accolades in Dreamgirls with strong Best Supporting Actress buzz. She recently signed a record deal with Clive Davis and J Records.
  • Amy Adams: Living in California with her husband and son after touring with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
  • Diana Degarmo: Living in New York City and performing in Broadway's Hairspray.
  • Leah LaBelle: Studying at Boston's Berklee College of Music.
  • Jon Peter Lewis: Living in Los Angeles and promoting his recently released his debut album.
  • La Toya London: Living in Oakland and starring in stage version of The Color Purple in Chicago.
  • Matt Rogers: Living in California with wife and son and hosting the Discovery Channel's upcoming Really Big Things series.
  • John Stevens: Attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
  • Jasmine Trias: Moving to Los Angeles and working on an album and auditioning for movies.
  • Camile Velasco: Living in Los Angeles and recording an urban R&B album.

Season 4:

  • Bo Bice: Promoting his "The Real Thing" debut album and recovering from intestinal surgery. Bo is doing selected appearanes and is searching for music for his sophomore CD.
  • Lindsey Cardinale: Working on a country album and living in Louisiana.
  • Matt Rogers: Co-host “Idol Extra,” a behind-the-scenes look at the reality show.
  • Mikalah Gordon: Lead correspondent for “The Tyra Banks Show” , co-host of Idol Extra, and singing in a Randy Jackson-produced girl group.
  • Anthony Fedorov: Recording his debut album, and dealing with losing his 28-year-old brother to a rare form of cancer. Appeared on Fear Factor.
  • Constantine Maroulis: Performing in Broadway and off-Broadway productions after his ABC sitcom project fell through. Recording an album.
  • Anwar Robinson: Living in New Jersey and is working on an R&B CD.
  • Jessica Sierra: Living in Nashville and recovering from terrifying stalker experience.
  • Scott Savol: Recording an R&B CD in Nashville, spending time with his wife, son and stepdaughter.
  • Nikko Smith: Living in St. Louis and talking to some record labels.
  • Vonzell Solomon: Living in Florida, finishing an R&B album and breaking into acting.
  • Nadia Turner: Living in Miami and working on her album and clothing line and caring for her 7-year-old daughter. She recently co-hosted The View.
  • John Stevens: Released a jazz album with Maverick and is now studying at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
  • Mario Vazquez: Promoting his debut album which had less than stellar sales, and rebuilding his relationship with his estranged father.

Season 5:

  • Paris Bennett: Wrapping up her "Princess P" debut album that's due out in January.
  • Kevin Covais: Planning to "give movies and TV a go" after graduating high school.
  • Bucky Covington: Living in Nashville with his wife and putting the finishing touches on his country album.
  • Chris Daughtry: Promoting his debut album and enjoying a new $690,000 North Carolina home with his wife and kids.
  • Mandisa: Finishing her Christian album that's due out in April and penning an Idol book that comes out in June.
  • Melissa McGhee: Working on a southern-rock CD and living in Land O'Lakes, Florida.
  • Kellie Pickler: Promoting her "Small Town Girl" debut album and working on her Fox sitcom project.
  • Lisa Tucker: Graduated from high school and planning to attend college
  • Elliott Yamin: Dating model Jamie Paetz and recording a soul album in Los Angeles.
  • Ace Young: Living in Los Angeles and working a debut album that he plans to release in 2007.
  • Kevin Corvais: Working with the American Diabetes Association to educate young people about diabetes.

    ~~Thanks to additional information from Reality TV World and playbiller at the Clack House.

~~Though many past Idols are recording CD's, few are signed to major labels. Some are them are signed to independent labels with quite a few without a record deal at all. They record first and then shop it around.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Funny Guy

Clay gave his fans a nice surprise during his Christmas tour---lots of banter. We already knew that he was funny, but I don't think we knew quite how funny and quick-witted he is (nor quite so bawdy). It was like a whole new talent was revealed during the tour. Clay played off his audience extremely well. Here is a sampling of the funny from our singing comedian.

  • You messed up her hairdo (after an audience member grabbed someone in front of her by the head)
  • You can all say you slept with Clay Aiken (after he suggested the audience go to sleep because he was tired)
  • Unfortunately, I'm not, I'm not (comeback to a guess of "scoring on the tour" for the word of the day Scordatura)
  • Elmer, I would be careful about wearing so much white, if I were you
  • Git er done
  • playing with wood (word of the day reference)
  • your stealin' mah show!! (to someone on the other end of a cellcert)
  • And how old is Frankie (Clay looking for a hookup after learning Frankie is from Raleigh.)
  • Frankie, I'm going to have to let you go (talking to cellcerter on the phone )
  • I'll sing this for you, and so Sharon can get a closer look at mah um..... (making fun of the binoculars from the front row)
  • Eyes up here
  • Look at his crotch!
  • We've going to need you keep the eye level up here.
  • and this first line"-----Chestnuts roasting on an open fire"
  • Are you looking up my nose? (reference to binoculars up close)
  • She can see the birds in Delaware with these things. (checking out the binoculars)
  • There is so much talent in my family
  • It took me 20 minutes to squeeze into this sweater.
  • She's gonna be on the message boards, "He was suckin' in all night!"
  • My button is screaming at me. (reference to his suit jacket is too tight as he unbuttons it)
  • I'm an enigma whose put on weight.
  • That's rude! (reference to Ripagate)
  • I'd do it again (reference to Ripagate)
  • Wassup with you??
  • Whatevah!
  • You're hot though.
  • It certainly wasn't for being the quietest! (guessing a contest a loud audience member won)
  • Oh my God, I'm funny!
  • Do you think it was rude ? Well, it was intended to be rude.(reference to Ripagate)
  • It needed to be done. (reference to Ripagate)
  • Cover your ears, Linda.......
  • It's a little less sweet now and a little more suspect. (reference to a story from an audience member)
  • You cussed on MAH show!
  • They're a special breed. They're a different folk, as you can tell. (talking about his fans who have been to numerous shows)
  • If you were in my classroom, you'd be out in the hall!
  • They may even teach your children!!!!! (talking about his fans who have been to numerous shows)
  • Ah'm the King of Controversy!
  • Apparently I have a "love child" (reference to new tabloid rumor)
  • Apparently, there's a little red headed baby boy out there in the world.
  • Apparently, this girl did to. ( response to I love you Clay)
  • You don't have to buy the smut. We just give it to you right here.
  • You learn something new everyday.
  • In the last 3 weeks, I've had mah lips done, fathered an illegitimate child, and caused a national controversy with one move of mah hand.
  • I figure as long as I get the words, Jesus, Christmas, and snowbells in there somewhere you'll get it. (making fun of his forgetting the lyrics to his songs)
  • Please welcome the executive producer of one of the worst albums of 2006 (introducing Jaymes Foster and making fun of being on the EW list)
  • you're pissed off about that, aren't you?
  • You go ahead and play whatever you want sir. If I know the words, I'll sing along.
  • Gentleman, the fact that you're here is good and it'll help when you get home .
  • Sometimes things come out of my mouth that don't even go through my brain!
  • Whoooooooooo! (In response to the woman winning a contest for tickets and filling out a form.)
  • "Ma'am Im actually making fun of you and you continue to do that"
  • Can you what? Can you see my socks?
  • That woman just thumped him in the head! You can't do that! That's like putting your hand over someone'smouth!
  • Cindy just put her hand over your man's mouth!
  • Oh, I knew it wasn't a word! I knew he made it up! I was just playing along!
  • Someone is going to jump you in a moment.
  • I need to have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with her. (in response to a shouting fan)
  • I would not pay $100 to see myself. ( after finding out what someone paid for their ticket)
  • You don't have to be so mean about it. (after someone tells him to cut his hair)
  • I got your book now, whatcha gonna do. (quizzing an audience member after taking a dictionary from them during the word of the day segment)
  • What was I saying. I'm so flustered.
  • You've been to the Clay Aiken before.
  • I'm easily entertained.
  • I used to have an accent but I've gotten rid of it.
  • Are you selling peanuts or something?
  • Do you want us to wait while you finish the call? Go ahead and finish up, we'll wait. (talking to someone holding a cellphone)
  • You're stealing my show.

Montage of One-Liners by Sorkid78
A collection of one liners of Clay Aiken's Joyful Not a Tour series.

Banter from Waukegan, IL

~~Video by spotlightlover~~

Banter from Merrillville, IN

~~Video by Scarlett~~

Banter from Hartford, CT

~~video from jojoct~~

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