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hollywoodlife.com

‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Clay Aiken TakesJab At Trump Over GA Election Tapes: I Wanted To Find Votes Too

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‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Clay Aiken TakesJab At Trump Over GA Election Tapes: I Wanted To Find Votes Too

 
POLITICAL NEWS EDITOR

Clay Aiken got in an expert dig at Donald Trump on Twitter, telling the president he tried to get someone to find him ‘more votes’ on ‘American Idol’ back in the day.

If there’s something Clay Aiken has in common with Donald Trump, it’s knowing that he was once just a few thousand votes away from winning the biggest competition of his life. Clay, 42, mocked the president on Twitter after hearing his ill-fated phone call with the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he begged him to “find” him more votes. “I had pretty much the same call with ‘Idol’ back in 2003,” Clay tweeted. “‘I just want to find 11,780 votes!’ Didn’t work for me either. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ #TrumpTapes.”

 

Here’s the difference: Clay was just trying to beat Ruben Studdard to win season two of American Idol. Trump was attempting to fraudulently overturn the 2020 presidential election by berating and threatening an elected official for an hour over the phone. In a recording of the conversation obtained by The Washington Post, Trump tries to convince Raffensperger that he can just “recalculate” the election results to say that he actually won the electoral vote — not President-elect Joe Biden.

“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” Trump told Raffensperger and his counsel. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.” Raffensperger responded that the data Trump has is “wrong” and based in conspiracy theories. “So look,” Trump mused. “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state… So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.”

Clay Aiken Donald Trump
Clay Aiken, Donald Trump (AP)

Clay, who competed on season five of Celebrity Apprentice, once supported Trump. The singer defended Trump against accusations of racism in 2016, but withdrew his support the following year after the president blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Remember all those times I defended @realDonaldTrump and believed he was not actually racist?” Clay, who has run for office himself, tweeted. “Well…I am a f**king dumb—. #im sorry.”

 

 

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broadwaynews.comActors’ Equity seeks wages owed to Clay Aiken from Broadway Christmas show

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Actors’ Equity seeks wages owed to Clay Aiken from Broadway Christmas show

By
 Caitlin Huston
 -
rubenclay2.jpg
Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard and the cast of 'Ruben & Clay's Christmas Show.' (Photo: Carol Rosegg)
 

Actors’ Equity filed a complaint Wednesday against the producer of “Ruben & Clay’s Christmas Show” seeking wages owed to headliner Clay Aiken. 

In the complaint, Equity says that Aiken is still owed $60,000 for two weeks of performances of the Broadway show, which ran at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre in December 2018. Equity took producer Jeffrey Chrzczon to arbitration in 2019 over the matter and the arbitrator later ruled that the lost wages were owed to Aiken, as well as other payments on behalf of several performers involved in the show, according to court documents. 

The complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, seeks to enforce payment of the owed wages, as well as 401(k) contributions and Equity working dues, which total more than $75,000. The arbitration decision was reached in February 2020. 

Asked for comment on the complaint, Chrzczon told Broadway News that he has been working with Equity to create a payment plan. Earlier plans had been upended by the closure of theaters in March 2020, he said. 

“We are right now working out a payment agreement,” Chrzczon said.  

Brandon Lorenz, a spokesperson for Equity, said “the complaint speaks for itself” and that the union had no further comment. Attorneys for Equity did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“Ruben & Clay’s Christmas Show” ran on Broadway from Dec. 7, 2018 to Dec. 30, 2018. Chrzczon, who also produced the Broadway limited-run “Home for the Holidays,” signed on as producer after being approached by American Idol stars Aiken and Studdard, according to court documents. Five other actors joined as ensemble members. 

During its three-and-a-half week run, the show struggled at the box office, bringing in 11% to 12% of its gross potential and playing to about a third of the theater’s capacity. In its best-selling week, the production grossed $162,962 and played to a capacity of 39%. 

Per the negotiated agreement, Aiken was due to receive Equity minimum during rehearsals and then $25,000 per performance week in addition to a 20% payment per week to his agent and manager, for a total of $30,000.

However, Aiken was not paid for the two performance weeks ending Dec. 16 and Dec. 23, according to court documents. Aiken’s salary for the final week of the play was paid from a union bond, the documents state. Studdard was paid according to his contract. 

In the 2019 arbitration meeting, Chrzczon argued that he was not liable to pay Aiken for the weeks ended Dec. 16 and Dec. 23 due to a breach of contract. He argued that after the Broadway performance, Aiken refused to tour the show for at least two subsequent seasons, which Chrzczon said was a condition of their contract. However, Aiken countered that no written agreement was made to that effect and that touring would not be possible given the debts owed. 

The arbitrator sided with Aiken and Equity and ordered Chrzczon to pay what was owed, per a decision dated Feb. 3, 2020. 

Additional owed payments include $2,136 in wages to cast member Julian Diaz-Granados, more than $7,300 in Equity working dues, three performers’ 401(k) deferral contributions and agent commission deductions for four performers.

 

 

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toofab.com

Why Amanda Seyfried's First Magazine Cover Has Celeb Friends Going Wild

 

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Why Amanda Seyfried's First Magazine Cover Has Celeb Friends Going Wild

 

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broadwayworld.com

DPAC Presents Triangle Rising Stars Virtual Showcase and Awards Show

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DPAC Presents Triangle Rising Stars Virtual Showcase and Awards Show

Students may now fill out a Triangle Rising Stars Application Form to be considered for Best Actor or Best Actress.

by BWW News Desk Mar. 24, 2021        

DPAC will invite high school students from across Central and Eastern North Carolina to participate in the first ever Triangle Rising Stars Virtual Showcase and Awards Show. A qualifying competition for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA), this exceptional regional event will take place virtually May 20, 2020.

Students may now fill out a Triangle Rising Stars Application Form to be considered for Best Actor or Best Actress. All details regarding the application process can be found here. DPAC encourages all local students who are interested to apply. This year's virtual ceremony makes participation more accessible to a wider range of schools and their students. The deadline to submit an application form is Monday, April 5th, 2021.

Triangle Rising Stars is open to public and private high schools students in the Triangle and surrounding areas. To be eligible for the 2021 virtual ceremony, all students must choose a role from a musical on a list of qualified productions provided by The Broadway League. The current qualifying lead roles can be found at nhsmta.com or by clicking here.

Triangle Rising Stars recognizes the outstanding achievements of area high school students and their musical theatre productions. The top-20 finalists will perform select songs for a chance to be named the Triangle Rising Stars - Best Actor and Best Actress.

Triangle native and singer/actor, Clay Aiken will once again return as guest host. With years of experience stretching from the world's concert stages to Broadway, Aiken brings a diverse repertoire of skills and knowledge to this host role, further enhancing the experience for each participant and guest.

Triangle Rising Stars is made possible with support from our community partners, which include McGregor Hall, Root Media, and Honest Pint Theatre Co.

"I am excited by the incredible inclusiveness that a virtual Triangle Rising Stars will offer our community," says Megan Rindoks, Community Engagement Manager at DPAC. "This year, students who might not have a theater program at their schools will be able to apply, and students will not be limited by the musical production that their school selects. I cannot wait to meet these talented theater students this spring and watch them shine!"

As the official Central and Eastern North Carolina qualifying event for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA), Triangle Rising Stars Best Actor and Actress winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and are invited to compete in the virtual national competition in late June/early July of 2021.

 

The article says this will be held in 2020, but it should be 2021.

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futoncritic.com

Season Five of "The $100,000 Pyramid" Premieres Wednesday, May 26 on ABC

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[05/12/21 - 10:16 AM]
Season Five of "The $100,000 Pyramid" Premieres Wednesday, May 26, on ABC
Rosie O'Donnell, Nate Berkus, Michael Kosta and Roy Wood Jr. are among the 52 celebrities on tap for the new season.

[via press release from ABC]

AND THE CATEGORY IS ...

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MICHAEL STRAHAN AND THE HOTTEST A-LIST STARS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS

Season Five of 'The $100,000 Pyramid' Premieres Wednesday, May 26, on ABC

Michael Strahan returns as host of "The $100,000 Pyramid" and he's bringing the hottest names in film, TV, sports, entertainment and comedy with him to ABC Wednesday nights beginning with Rosie O'Donnell, Nate Berkus, Michael Kosta and Roy Wood Jr. Season five premieres WEDNESDAY, MAY 26 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.

"The $100,000 Pyramid" features celebrities pairing up with contestants from around the country to square off in highly anticipated games of word association all with hopes of making it to the winner's circle and the ultimate prize of $100,000.

Season Five Celebrity Guest Lineup:

Rosie O'Donnell (actress and comedian) vs. Nate Berkus (author, celebrity interior designer)

Michael Kosta ("Detroit. NY. LA") vs. Roy Wood Jr. ("Job Fair," "The Daily Show")

Rachel Dratch (actress and comedian) vs. Chris Redd ("Saturday Night Live")

Dr. Mehmet Oz ("The Dr. Oz Show") vs. Daphne Oz (author, TV personality)

Alex Moffat ("Saturday Night Live") vs. Michelle Collins ("The Michelle Collins Show")

Dominique Jackson ("Pose") vs. Indya Moore ("Pose")

Ali Wentworth (actress and comedian) vs. Sara Haines (ABC's "The View" and "The Chase")

Kal Penn ("Clarise") vs. Michelle Buteau ("Welcome to Buteaupia")

Lorraine Bracco ("The Sopranos") vs. Ralph Macchio ("Cobra Kai")

Rosie O'Donnell (actress and comedian) vs. Paige Davis ("Trading Spaces")

Joe Gatto ("Impractical Jokers") vs. Sal Vulcano ("Impractical Jokers")

Desi Lydic ("The Daily Show") vs. Mikel Welch (celebrity interior designer)

Bridget Everett ("Somebody Somewhere") vs. Dulcé Sloan ("The Daily Show," "The Great North")

Kathy Najimy (actress and comedian) vs. Mario Cantone (actor and comedian)

Ana Gasteyer ("American Auto") vs. Rachel Dratch (actress and comedian)

Joe Gatto ("Impractical Jokers") vs. James Murray ("Impractical Jokers")

Ryan Eggold ("New Amsterdam") vs. Elizabeth Marvel ("Manifest")

Joe Tessitore (ABC's "Holey Moley") vs. Tiki Barber (NFL legend and media personality)

Ginger Zee (ABC's "Good Morning America") vs. Dascha Polanco ("In the Heights" and "Samaritan")

Dorinda Medley ("The Real Housewives of New York", author of "Make It Nice") vs. Sonja Morgan ("The Real Housewives of New York" and Sonja by Sonja Morgan)

Ana Gasteyer ("American Auto") vs. Luke Kirby ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel")

Ashanti (singer, songwriter, producer) vs. Clay Aiken (actor and singer)

Kal Penn ("Clarice") vs. Kathy Najimy (actress and comedian)

Neil Degrasse Tyson (celebrity astrophysicist) vs. Gilbert Godfried ("Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast")

Mario Cantone (actor and comedian) vs. Laura Benanti ("Younger")

Joe Tessitore (ABC's "Holey Moley") vs. Bridget Everett ("Somebody Somewhere")

"The $100,000 Pyramid" is produced by SMAC Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television. "The $100,000 Pyramid" is executive produced by Michael Strahan, Constance Schwartz and Vin Rubino.

 

 

 

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wral.com

Clay Aiken to host DPAC's virtual showcase, awards show for local teens

 

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Clay Aiken to host DPAC's virtual showcase, awards show for local teens

Posted May 17, 2021 7:13 p.m. EDT

 
Photo Courtesy of zimmytws/Shutterstock.com
By Sarah Lindenfeld Hall, Go Ask Mom editor

Some really talented teenagers will be on a virtual stage as part of the Triangle Rising Stars Virtual Showcase and Awards Show via the Durham Performing Arts Center this week.

Singer and actor Clay Aiken, a Triangle native, will host the event, which takes place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 20. The 20 finalists will be featured in a group performance as well as a medley of individual performances where each student will showcase their own solos, according to a press release. The 2019 Triangle Rising Stars Best Actor Ben Eble and Best Actress Haven Bowers will also perform a special duet. The virtual presentation can be watched here online.

“This unique year for Triangle Rising Stars has shown us that there are some true benefits to offering a virtual experience, including that the program is now more inclusive than ever,” said Megan Rindoks, community engagement manager at DPAC, in the release. “We are seeing many new faces of students who have not previously been eligible to participate because their schools do not produce musicals each year, and it has been a pleasure seeing the wide scope of their talent. We cannot wait to watch our finalists shine virtually.”

The Triangle Rising Stars Virtual Showcase and Awards Show will feature 20 student finalists from high schools in the Triangle and surrounding area competing to earn the title of Triangle Rising Stars Best Actor and Best Actress, according to the release. As the official Central and Eastern North Carolina qualifying event for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, the Triangle Rising Stars Best Actor and Best Actress recipients will each receive a $1,000 scholarship and be invited to attend the virtual National High School Musical Theatre Awards this summer.

A panel of guest judges with extensive Broadway experience will judge the contestants. They are Lisa Jolley, Dirk Lumbard, Yolanda Rabun and Aiken. They've appeared in Broadway shows such as Hairspray, The Music Man, On Your Toes, Barnum, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and now work to support arts education and inspire the next generation of theater professionals, according to the release.

More than 100 students from three dozen high schools submitted applications. The top 20 finalists represent schools including Heritage High School, Millbrook High School, Apex Friendship High School, Enloe High School, Cary Academy, Holly Springs High School, St. David's School, Durham School of the Arts, Raleigh Charter High School and Athens Drive High School.

To learn more, head over to DPAC's website.

 

 

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deadline.com

‘NewsBeat’: Drag Queens Nina West, Bianca Del Rio & More Unite For News Show From Politicon, EP Clay Aiken

 

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‘NewsBeat’: Drag Queens Nina West, Bianca Del Rio & More Unite For News Show From Politicon, EP Clay Aiken

NewsBeat
Politicon

EXCLUSIVE: Notable drag queens including RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Nina West and Bianca Del Rio will spill the latest tea on top news stories for NewsBeat, from Polition and executive producer Clay Aiken.

NewsBeat, which will also feature Lady Bunny, Lyle and Delta Work as correspondents, seeks to provide a serious daily news show for the next generation of viewers. The program will center around hard news headline, political analysis presented by West and Del Rio.

Each episode will highlight two or three top news stories of the day. A guest panel of political pundits will join the anchors via satellite to discuss the biggest stories. Each episode will also feature a pre-taped field package with one of the correspondents interviewing a major newsmaker or politician. The pilot episode will feature interviews with James Carville, Touré and Scottie Nell-Hughes.

 

“Staying informed and knowing what’s actually going on in the country and the world is really important, but I, and so many people I know,  finally just turned off the news over this past year. So we wanted to find a way to keep people really informed — give them important news and objective information — and still keep it entertaining and engaging,” Aiken said. “We wanted to make the news appointment TV again without needing to sensationalize it or scare or depress folks. NewsBeat is really about facts first, but it is also about making the news interesting again.”

 

 

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screenrant.com

 American Idol: Clay Aiken To Produce New Drag Queen-Led Daily News Show

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American Idol: Clay Aiken To Produce New Drag Queen-Led Daily News Show

Clay Aiken is coming out with NewsBeat, a daily news show featuring Bianca Del Rio and more RuPaul's Drag Race alum as anchors and correspondents.

BY MAGGIE MEAD

PUBLISHED 14 HOURS AGO

In the wake of COVID-19, it seems there are many new and unique shows in production, including a daily news show produced by American Idol alum Clay Aiken. The memorable season two contestant is tapping into the RuPaul’s Drag Race fandom for his new show by featuring drag queen commentators and correspondents. Aiken is seeking to get more people engaged in current events by creating a news show as entertaining as it is informative. Based on the lineup of drag queens involved in the project, he has achieved his goal.

Aiken was a contestant on the early days of American Idol on one of the show’s best seasons. Though he came in second to winner Ruben Studdard, Aiken’s popularity was undeniable. He has had a successful recording and Broadway career, but in recent years has become an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and political activism. Aiken has even gotten involved in politics personally and ran for the House of Representatives in 2014, though he lost to his Republican opponent. But Aiken isn’t done with the entertainment world yet, and his new show sounds like a hit in the making.

According to Deadline, Aiken is an executive producer on the new show NewsBeat. The show will feature RPDR season six winner Bianca Del Rio and RPDR alum Nina West as anchors and political analysts tackling news topics and issues of the day. Drag queens Lady Bunny, Delta Work, and Lyle will also serve as correspondents who will interview politicians and newsmakers in pre-taped segments. Deadline reports the pilot episode will include interviews with James Carville, Touré, and Scottie Nell-Hughes.

Aiken commented that it was important for him to find a way to make politics and current events something that captivated viewers while also presenting a serious news show. “We wanted to find a way to keep people really informed—give them important news and objective information—and still keep it entertaining and engaging. We wanted to make the news appointment TV again without needing to sensationalize it or scare or depress folks. NewsBeat is really about facts first, but it is also about making the news interesting again.”

The American Idol alum’s new project certainly sounds like something viewers would take a shine to, and with the help of a few talented drag queens, NewsBeat is shaping up to be a news show that’s as enjoyable as it is informative. Many RuPaul’s Drag Race queens have been branching out with their own shows, and Aiken’s news show looks like a novel way to keep drag fans up-to-date on current events. Aiken has come a long way from the singing sensation he was on season two, and his show is his most recent in a long line of hits.

 

 

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tmz.com

ROCK, MCCONAUGHEY WILL BE HATED ...Political Fallout is Real!!!

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ROCK, MCCONAUGHEY WILL BE HATED ...Political Fallout is Real!!!

EXCLUSIVE

6/2/2021 12:05 PM PT

Clay Aiken knows what it's like to go from beloved celeb to despised politician -- by half of the public, at least -- and he's not sure The Rock or Matthew McConaughey are up for it ... so he's sharing his experience with political haters.

As you may know ... the former "American Idol" sensation ran for a North Carolina Congressional seat in 2014, and though he won the Democratic primary, he got beat pretty soundly in the general election by the Republican incumbent.

Clay joined "TMZ Live" Wednesday to share just a slice of what the experience was like, and it doesn't sound pleasant ... and definitely not something a couple of universally cherished actors would want to go through.

Ultimately, he thinks neither Rock nor McConaughey will opt to run, like Caitlyn Jenner already has -- but Clay's adamant she's already experiencing the blowback ... just for different reasons.

As we reported ... Bill Maher blasted the stars running for office or considering it, and though Aiken's not nearly as blistering with his take, the 2 seem to be on the same page -- just don't do it if fame's what matters.

BTW, Clay's still taking on political and social issues ... on his podcast, 'How The Heck Are We Gonna Get Along.'

For the full interview with the former 'Idol' star, check your local listings for Wednesday's "TMZ Live."

 

 

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