Friday, March 30, 2007

iTunes Podcasts...Six Degrees/The Bubel-Aiken Foundation

I can barely comprehend this, but I do believe the ClayNation is falling down on the job. We have just yesterday discovered interview podcasts that are dated...ummm...Dec 11, 2006. Now that is a little embarrassing. An excuse could be is that they are not that easy to find which really isn't a big surprise with anything to do with A Thousand Different Ways album promotion. The podcasts don't come up if you search Clay Aiken. They are listed under your Idols. Not surprising that they were not readily found. A good portion of the fandom has nothing to do with Idol anymore. As for as they are concerned, "Game Over, Idol Found". Still, finding primo clack almost four months after the date is not the norm for the "enthusiastic" fans of Clay Aiken.

The interview (in five parts) is quite good. Clay speaks on how he choose some of the songs on A Thousand Different Ways.

In part one, he discusses "Here You Come Again". Dolly Parton was a great favorite of his mom's, so he grew up with her songs. He wanted to sing on AI during country week, but Michael Orland and Debra Byrd talked him out of it because they felt it had too much of a Broadway vibe. Something Simon Cowell kept harping on with him. He tells of how the song came to be an the album, and how it got changed to more ballad-like.

In part two, he discusses "Broken Wings". His mother almost entered him for Star Search when he was eleven, and he was going to sing "Broken Wings". Seventeen years later, he finally gets to record it. Clay explains how he came up with the ethereal version on his album.

In part three, Clay talks about the original songs on his album and how he came to choose them. "Lonely More More" Jaymes Foster, his executive producer wanted on the album because Clay helped write it. "Eveything I Have" was a favorite of all the females in Clay's life, "A Thousand Days" was a song that considered for his original song album. "These Open Arms" is Clay's favorite perhaps due to these poignant lyrics

What if everything you ever took for granted, was gone?
And everything you ever thought was right, was wrong?
And what if everyone you ever loved was torn, from the pages of your life?
Would you reach out for tomorrow, or try to turn back time?

In part four, he talks about blending his singing career with his work with children with disabilites, and his passion for he cause of inclusion.

In part five, he talks about UNICEF, how he came to be an ambassador, and his work with the organization.

These interviews are well worth the download. They are free, but you do need iTunes. This link will take you to the iTunes store.
At the right you click on "Get Episode". Only download one at at time. It downloads quickly. After it downloads, you can find it in your iTunes Library under podcasts. It will most likely say Your Idols. Click on the little triangle to see all five parts. Click on each and they will play in the iTunes player.

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March 31st is the last day to donate for the Six Degrees project. Through the badge at the left on this blog, you can donate as little as $10 and keep The Bubel-Aiken Foundation in the Top Six badges for the matching $10,000 from Kevin Bacon's Six Degrees Project. TBAF has collected over $28,000 to date. Please donate to this worthy cause if you can.

More on The Bubel-Aiken Foundation

What We Do

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation -with your help- will address areas of the disability community traditionally under-served. Investing in the education community will give us a voice in the future. Providing services and financial assistance, creating awareness, and recognizing ‘Champions of Change’ will help us extend the boundaries of the human experience for all.

Providing Services and Financial Assistance
Our grant program will provide much needed funding to qualified programs serving families in need of funds to assist individuals in life skills and one-to-one social skills, but more importantly, to programs that provide social interaction with their peers. We will fund the development of curricula and the necessary training aimed at achieving full inclusion in the educational, employment, and recreational settings.

Our Mission

Creating communities where ALL children can learn, live, and play together.

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation will serve to bridge the gap that exists between young people with special needs and the world around them. We will support communities and programs in creating awareness and opportunities for full inclusion where barriers break and doors open. It is our goal to create an environment for children where inclusion is embraced.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Memories of AI2: Top 10-- "Someone Else's Star" and ours.

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March 23, 2003 Country Rock night on AI2 with Olivia Newton-John as guest host. Clay sang "Someone Else's Star" which is originally sung by Byran White. It's more love song than country song or country rock. I am a little surprised that Clay did not show off his country side a bit more. He did do a demo of country songs all of which sound much more country than "Someone Else's Star".

Someone Else's Star

Alone again tonight without someone to love.
The stars are shining bright so one more wish goes up.
Oh, I wish I may and I wish with all my might.
For the love I'm dreaming of and missing in my life.

You'd think that I could find a true love of my own.
It happens all the time to people that I know.
Their wishes all come true so I've got to believe.
There's still someone out there who is meant for only me.

I guess I must be wishing on someone else's star.
It seems like someone else keeps gettin what I'm wishing for.
Why can't I be as lucky as those other people are?
I guess I must be wishing, on someone else's star.

I sit here in the dark and stare up at the sky,
But I can't give my heart one good reason why.
Everywhere I look it's lovers that I see.
It seems like everyone's in love with everyone but me.

The performances of the night were:

1. Joshua Gracin- "Ain't Going Down Until the Sun Comes Up (Garth Brooks)
2. Trenyce- "I Need You" (LeeAnn Rimes)
3. Kimberley Locke- "I Can't Make You Love Me" (Bonnie Raitt)
4. Corey Clark- "Drift Away" (Dobie Gray)
5. Carmen Rasmussen-"Wild Angels (Martina McBride)
6. Ricky Smith- "I've Done Enough Dyin' Today" (Larry Gaitling)
7. Kimberly Caldwell- "Anymore" (Travis Tritt)
8. Ruben Studdard- "Sweet Home Alabama" (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
9. Julia D'Amato- "Breathe" (Faith Hill)
10. Clay Aiken- "Someone Else's Star" (Bryan White)

Clay's Performance of "Someone Else's Star"

Judges' Comments:

Time seemed to be running short for Clay who was the last performer. Sometimes short is sweet.

Ryan: Randy, Paula, Olivia, all seem to agree with a standing ovation, Simon Cowell?

Simon: Well I hope I can sum up, it was very sweet, but it sounded identical to last week, had nothing to do with the show, identical to last week, coulda swapped songs. Very good.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Memories of AI2: Top 11-- "Somewhere Out There" Wishing On Our Bright Star

Somewhere out there
Beneath the pale moonlight
Someone's thinking of me
And loving me tonight

Somewhere out there
Someone's saying a prayer
That we'll find one another
In that big somewhere out there

And even though I know
How very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing
On the same bright star

And when the night wind
Starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping
Underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there
If love can see us through
Then we'll be together
Somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

And even though I know
How very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing
on the same bright star

And when the night wind
Starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping
Underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there
If love can see us through
Then we'll be together
Somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true...

~Lyrics to "Somewhere Out There" from An American Tale~

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March 18th is the 4-year anniversary of American Idol 2 Top 11.The theme was movie songs and Gladys Knight was guest judge. Clay sang "Somewhere Out There" showing off his range. Even if he warbled a little on that last note, he was far and above his competiton. Gladys called Clay a mystery, I call it magic.

Performances of the Top 11:
1. Corey Clark- "Against All Odds"
2. Ruben Studdard- "A Whole New World" (Aladdin)
3. Trenyce- "I've Got Nothing" (The Bodyguard)
4. Clay Aiken-"Somewhere Out There" (An American Tale)
5. Kimberly Caldwell-"Shoop Shoop" (Mermaids)
6. Joshua Gracin- "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (Armageddon)
7. Carmen Rasmussen- "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (Grease)
8. Charles Grigsby- "You Can't Win" (The Wiz)
9. Ricky Smith- "It Might Be You" (Tootsie)
10. Julia D'Amato- "What a Feeling" (Flashdance)
11. Kimberley Locke-"Home" (The Wiz)

Watch the Clay's performance:

Judges' Comments:
Randy: How does that feel man, does that feel good?
Clay: It's amazing.
Randy: Amazing right? Dude, I'm still sayin', man, where does that voice come from?? Dude, the power, the range, I mean every week, I er, I go, wow, man! This is a good show guys!
Paula: it's a great show.
Randy: This is good, you did your thing, baby.
Paula: Another one... you know, Clay, you are effortless, you are effortless with your voice, and you are so natural... this season, truly, it's amazing to be sitting right here in my chair, as we all are sitting here, it's amazing to watch you guys, it really is. Congratulations!
Gladys: You're... you're a mystery... you have your own look... there's something very magical about your look...
Paula: Sexy!!!
Gladys: And your voice is so pure... I don't know in the contemporary world, what's gonna happen with you, but something exceptional is gonna happen for you somewhere along the way because you are pure...
Simon: I just love songs about mice... actually, I'm kidding, it was, I think after this performance tonight, you're the one they've gotta beat...I really do.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Memories of AI2: Top 12-- Our Very Own Sugar Pie Honey Bunch

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On March 11 and 12th, 2003 American Idol 2 aired it's Top 12 with a Motown theme. Lamont Dozier was a guest judge. Clay brought magic to American Idol that has not been there since. His voice and his personality melded to together for a Tour de Force to be reckoned with. The whole show had an innocence. A bunch of kids trying out for their dream. These days it's seasoned professional looking for their last chance break. Whatever happened on AI2, the manipulation and unfairness that went on, I will never regret the show that gave us Clay.

1. Kimberley Locke- "Heatwave"
2. Josh Gracin- "Baby I Need your Lovin' "
3. Charles Grisby- "How Sweet It Is"
4. Kimberly Caldwell- "No Where to Run"
5. Ricky Smith- "1-2-3"
6. Julia DeMato- "Where Did Our Love Go?"
7. Clay Aiken- "I Can't Help Myself"
8. Vanessa Olivarez- "Keep Me Hanging On"
9. Corey Clark- "This Old Heart of Mine"
10. Carmen Rasmussen- "You Can't Hurry Love"
11. Trenyce- "Come See About Me"
12. Ruben Studdard- "Baby I Need Your Lovin' "

Contestants each had a profile before their performance. Clay segment gave us the first insight into his humanitarianism with his words, "It's important that I make a difference in some way. If it's performing and touching someone that way, that's great; if it's being a teacher and helping some kid understand something, that's even better ... it's not necessarily how I make a difference, but I want to make sure that I do."

~Performance of "I Can't Help Myself"~

It's obvious from the beginning that Simon does not really get Clay. The Broadway comments start this night.

Transcript of the judges' comments:
Randy: Clay, Clay, Clay, what's up dawg? what is up, Clay... what's up, man...
Clay: I have no idea...
Randy: Let me tell you how I felt about that - you get the standin O, dawg, brilliant, baby, brilliant man.
Paula: What's so much fun to watch about you, Clay, is you have this confidence about you, that you're just goin, I can't believe, the second he walks out here, you're just like, "yeah just another day and I'm on American Idol, it's no big deal...
Clay: (laughing, shaking head) A whoa...!
Paula: ...I'm just gonna sing and I'm gonna sing the best I can
and it's no big deal"
Randy: brilliant, dawg...
Paula: It's amazing! It really is!
Clay: Thank you so much.
Paula: Thank you!
Clay: Noooo, thank you!!
Lamont Dozier: Clay, you look like you've already arrived, you look like a professional,
Clay: Aww, thank you so much...
Lamont: look like you've been doin it for years, and that's the look of a star.
Clay: Thank you so much, thank you very much, Mr. Dozier.
Simon: Prepare to duck... I thought you sounded very good, but if I'm being honest, I thought that performance was Motown the musical.
Randy: Naw, come on, baby, don't even go with it, Clay, he don't know what he's talkin about...
Paula: Boooooooo
Randy: Booooooooo

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

OMG He Blogged!!!!!!!!!

After over a month of no blog from Clay at the Official Clay Aiken Fan Club , he finally blogs on the eve of DST. I totally missed the excitement of the words "HE BLOGGED" on the message boards, and the subsequent EEEEEEEEing that always ensues. Even though I missed the initial excitement there is nothing like waking up to a Clay Aiken blog. This blog was filled with a lot of information as well as a feeling of Clay was talking to a bunch of his friends.

Here are a few paraphrased points:

  • Clay was sick with a sore throat and stuffy nose.
  • He spent a week in Brazil.
  • He's not fond of 98 degrees with 98% humidity.
  • He's a pasty white boy (who knew *g*)
  • He did not get a sunburn.
  • He loves the Brazilian drink of guaraná, a sort of naturally-caffeinated soda.
  • He went to a party in NYC for outgoing UNICEF head Chip Lyons.
  • At the party he met the President's daughter, Barbara who he thinks is sweet and beautiful.
  • He feels cool because he now "totally" knows Barbara.
  • Taking a UNICEF trip in early summer which includes his HS social studies teacher.
  • Working diligently on concert dates which includes areas like the west coast and Texas.
  • He has a hankerin' for a Stetson and surfboard. Not necessarily at the same time. *g*
  • He still loves his fans and is looking forward to seeing more of us.
  • His fingers hurt after all that typing (so do mine)
  • Exciting things are in development (YAY)

The cutest thing was that in his excitement, Clay started his first thread with his first post at OFC announcing that he blogged complete with dancing fruit emoticons. He is totally snarking on the fans, but we love him anyway. What a tease.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

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Four years ago, we first heard Clay Aiken sing a fantastic rendition of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" in the wildcard round of American Idol 2. In fact it was so good that everyone else competing in the wildcard round came off as a complete amateur. (totally unbiased opinion of course *g*)He looked really beautiful too.
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Here is the performance:

~~Wildcard Night March 4, 2003~~

Transcript of the Judges' Comments:

Paula: Clay, this is what this competition is about, this is what the wild card is about... big fan, I love your hair, you changed your hair...
Clay: a little...
Paula: you raised the bar, we talk about raising the bar ... you've surpassed the bar, you're a star and you've got this confidence about you that is quiet and subtle, that's not intimidating and you welcome everybody in - great job!
Clay: Thank you
Simon: Did you like him?
Paula: You know what - what I'm trying to say -- yeah, I liked ya, a lot.
Randy: Did you really like him, Paula?
Paula: I really did.
Simon: Get off the fence, here, Paula I wasn't sure about that...
Paula: Come back to me on that one...
Simon: OK.... undecided....
Randy: Clay, man, you're lookin fly, you got your look together, you went away, worked, did whatever you did... it was really, really, good, I gotta give you your props, I gotta stand up for ya man... right song for the right guy, did your thing, came back, did your homework, I love that!
Clay: Thank you very much.
Randy: That's what this is about, we hope people will come back and do the work, and I still say, where is that voice coming from?
Paula: It's unbelievable
Randy: God, dude!
Simon: Clay.
Randy: Simon Cowell over here...
Paula: He's in a good mood!
Randy: Cowell, what's up baby.
Simon: Wow. Wow. I was really impressed. And you know what's interesting is... I mean that was a fantastic performance, really, really, fantastic,
Clay: Thank you.
Simon: I think the fact that you don't look like the conventional pop star actually in a way is probably a good thing because you are so memorable, and you're sort of looking better each week....
Randy: Yeah, man...
Simon: it was great,
Clay: Thank you very much.
Simon: really, really, great,
Clay: Thank you very much.
Simon: well done.
Randy: Yeah, yeah, good job, man

The other performances of the night were:

1. Kim Caldwell- "I Feel the Earth Move"
2. Clay Aiken- "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
3. Nasheka- "Wind Beneath My Wings"
4. Carmen Rasmussen- "Can't fight the moonlight "
5. Olivia Mojica- "Because You Loved Me"
6. Janine Falsone- "We Belong"
7. Chip Days- "Rock With You"
8. Aliceyn Cooney- "Angel"
9. Trenyce- "Let's Stay Together"

Honestly, I don't remember a single one of the other performances. Once Clay sang, it was pretty much over. Nigel Lythgoe did say in an interview once that Clay received 80% of American's vote. I'm not quite sure what was up with the other 20%. *g*

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Summer Nights

Summer lovin', had me a blast
Summer lovin', happened so fast
Met a girl crazy for me
Met a boy cute as can be
Summer days drifting away
To, uh oh, those summer nights
~~From the song "Summer Nights" from Grease~~

Official word from the Clay Aiken Fan Club:

Clay Aiken summer 2007 touring plans are close to being confirmed with dates that start in July all across the U.S. Keep your eyes peeled to for show announcements in the coming days, along with on sale and fan club presale information. Get your oil changed, and calculate those frequent flier miles...the summer tour will be here before you know it!

The ClayNation can rejoice. There will be a tour. There will be good music. There will be a fantastic voice. There will be snark. There will be a beautiful man. There will be ticket buying bloodbaths. There will be road travel. There will comaradarie. There will be clack. There will be fun. Good times ahead!!!

Two venues announced early:

Friday July 20 Chautauqua Institute Amph., Chautauqua NY 8:15pm edt (Tickets on sale April 2)

The Chautauqua site:

He came to fame in 2003 as the second-place winner on American Idol. Since then he has released three albums, sold millions of albums and performed around the world. He will make his debut at Chautauqua with a 42-piece orchestra.

Thursday Aug 2 Embarcadero Marina, San Diego CA 7:30pm PDT (Tickets on sale April 2)

From the
San Diego Symphony site:

The San Diego Symphony is crazy excited to announce an additional Summer Pops concert: America's favorite geek-turned-American Idol-superstar, Clay Aiken. The prodigiously talented song-stylist recently released his most successful album yet, and you have a chance to seem him one night only: Thursday, August 2nd. Single tickets for the concert will go on sale Monday, April 2nd, but all new and renewing subscribers to Summer Pops 2007 have their choice right now of the best seats for what is sure to be the most talked-about concert of the summer!

To get us in the mood, here is a cute little montage of "Sleigh Ride" made by spotlightlover from performances at the Christmas 2006 Tour

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