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# 63: Clay Aiken for President!


ldyjocelyn
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Arsenio just sold his soul on national TV, and Clay would not do that. If he had, if he had acted like Arsenio or declared that he was going to hitch himself to the Trump name for life, I would have been disgusted by that. OK. I'm officially over it.

And yeah, how about a recording "for charity"??

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May 20, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST

Several thoughts on the day of the Celebrity Apprentice finale...and the future...

I'm nervous for tonight, and yet, in many ways, I'm not worried. I think Clay Aiken has played Celebrity Apprentice very well. He has shown to be a smart player, and very adaptable to most situations. He's also a "hands on manager" from what I can tell -- which makes me think that he's had much more control of his career on a whole than many of his fans care to admit.

This show has also helped his image greatly. In my opinion, he's really come into his own during the past 2 years. Much of it, most of his fans have seen, but many people who simply dismissed him as "American Idol Runner-up" and "singer of cheesy songs" have discovered that he can be a very funny guy. Quick and insightful as well. He's also become a great spokesperson for anti-bullying and for the rights of the LGBT community.

Other things I've learned: I still like both Arsenio Hall and Penn Jillette. Aresnio may be his competition for tonight, but I like his camaraderie with Clay. As for Penn, I had pegged Penn to be his biggest competition when the cast was first announced. I think it is interesting that Clay and Penn both kind of agree that Penn is smart as hell, but his adaptability was his Achilles Heel.

I knew Dee Snider from Twisted Sister, of course, but also appearances on "I Love the 80's" on VH1. He also showed himself to me to be someone who was smart and funny. I'm glad Clay and he clicked. (Although I think I'm the only one in the fandom who thinks "Luck Be a Lady" is just a'right, at best. I can't handle a constant diet of screaming, even if it's "controlled screaming" via Clay. I listened to "Bring Back My Love" a few times after listening to that...)

As for the women...wow. I'm still confounded by Clay's support of Lisa Lampanelli, but it's his friendship, so I'm OK with that. Aubrey, though -- she's definitely a piece of work. I just listened to another radio interview with Clay, and when he talks about Aubrey, he carefully words what he says. In this interview, he calls her "fragile when she's not on camera." I think he could be right. To me, he's so very perceptive about all the people he meets. He can see through bullshit like no one's business!

What about Mr. Trump? Well, he and I are on diametrically opposite sides politically, so I was fully prepared to hate him. Guess what? I don't anymore. My husband started watching the show with me, and he said the same thing. He told me that he enjoys watching the Donald "light the spark and then just sit back and watch the fireworks."

I'm really admiring the flexibility that Clay has shown during this Celebrity Apprentice process. I'd like to hope that I can emulate that in some way, hopefully with the same success than he had. Could this fandom learn from Clay in this way? Yes. Unfortunately (to me), some never will -- whether it be toward anyone who makes a bad comment about Clay (perceived or otherwise), Mr. Trump, the show, or Clay himself. I guess that's what makes us all a collective fandom on individuals. And I guess that is something I have to learn to deal with. I love this fandom, warts and all. (I'm also fascinated by how many of the fans are "glass half-full" fans and how many are "glass half-empty" and how many are "let's throw the whole glass out because it stinks that he's on this show in the first place," but that's another story for another time...)

As for Clay's career after tonight -- he'll be fine. I think he'll go right back to singing the songs he wants to sing (damn the torpedoes); he'll tour, and put on entertaining shows. He'll continue to raise awareness (and money) for the National Inclusion Project and LGBT advocacy groups like GLSEN.

One more thing, and that's about the Gala in October. I truly feel this Gala will truly be the first one not designed for the fans. Think about it: it's being held, not in Raleigh, but in Washington, DC, at the end of an election cycle. I think there will be some courting of major political players to attend. Also, with Clay's work on LGBT rights (most notably his appearance on "Face the Nation"), I believe he's gained some major respect within that community. I am hoping he parlays that into some goodwill for the National Inclusion Project from that side of the coin. Finally, he's made some connections because of "Celebrity Apprentice." When I see that there will be "special guest performers," I'm thinking it will be people from the show (I personally would love to see Penn & Teller perform). This could draw people who might not attend the Gala -- not to mention making some fans run screaming into the night! *g*

10:20 p.m. CST

Well, Clay was not named Celebrity Apprentice. Arsenio was. Congratulations Arsenio.

For the record, I still don't totally hate Donald Trump, but he went down a few notches again tonight. *g*

Clay...you make me so proud of you. You don't know me from crap, but I'm so happy to be your fan. You have a good heart, a great brain, and will always be a winner.

Go out there. Have fun with your career and your life. Thanks Clay.

Love, ldyjocelyn

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Loved Lean on Me, Clay singing gospel was something we haven't heard in a while.

Trump obviously is more impressed by name dropping than hard work and fund raising. I thought Ivanka and Eric hinted that Clay should win NIP was a winner to the tune of $360,000. Arsenio has a lot of good friends that obviously feel that he needs a boost to his career. Clay is very independant and will find his own path. I'm glad he found a really good friend in Arsenio. I hope this whole experience will result in people looking at Clay in a different light. We all knew that Clay is a hardworking, dedicated, funny and extremely talented person. It appears that Clay benefitted personally in helping discover another side to his character.

I hope no one is too upset. It's just a game and the dealer picked his winner.

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We are stunned here in the hotel room. It was a buzzkill to hear Arsenio's name. Nice that Clay gets to keep the money, but it still stings to have the runner-up title again. We're talking about it and it's so good to get through these emotions.

I met gbmifan for the first time tonight (she's here) and I gotta say she is a riot!! :)

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I hope no one is too upset. It's just a game and the dealer picked his winner.

From what little I read around on other boards...it's not pretty out there. Hold me FCA.

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yeah I feel the same way LadyJ. Only question for me now is when will I get around to watching the finale. If it's like Idol it might be months. ha ha.

As for the other players.. I knew who a lot of the men were although I wasn't big fans of any of them but Clay and Arsenio. I came to appreciate Paul and Dee. Not enough to buy his album but he seems like a very nice decent guy.

On the women's side the one person I was most negative about going in, Theresa, I ended up liking the most. I also liked Dayana but I'm sure a lot of that had to do with her arch enemies Aubrey and Lisa who yay I will never have to see again as long as I live. (and I'm trying to ignore the voices in my head telling me Lisa will show up at the gala).

Trump. Hated him going in. Nothing's changed on that front.

And to make the night worse, my mom is watching Billboard awards to see the Whitney tribute. I hate this show.

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Bah on Trump.

Yay for Clay.

That's all I got at the moment.

((((HUGS))))) to the fans. ((((((BIGGER HUGS)))))) to Clay. And high fives for how gorgeous he looked during the finale! :)

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I'm upset because he clearly won but I told my DH that Arsenio would win. He said no way as Clay did so much better! You'll never convince me that Trump didn't have his mind made up all along.

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Had to bring this over from CV

QUOTE (yaknelle @ May 20 2012, 10:36 PM)

I talked to Dee I asked him what happened. He said it was fixed. He said his own wife did not stand. I asked if he would tweet it. He said later. He also said if the press asks he will say the wrong man won. We are sick. Numb. Clay was robbed. I'm not sure this bo gs here.

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Sorry, but I am upset. That was so undeserved. Clay won on every point, hands down, and everyone knows it. It's so obviously fixed it's ridiculous. I have nothing against Arsenio but I'm sorry, as soon he started with the stuff about his cousin again, and then started kissing ass, I had a feeling.......I am glad to see Dee and Aubrey saying/tweeting that it was a farce because it so blatantly was. The decision was already made. Again.

It's just a tv show, yada yada yada. I know. Clay got tons of exposure, impressed a lot of people, made a lot of new fans, and of course the impact on the NIP is huge. All true. I'll get over it, it just sucks.so.bad. I am thrilled with the Lean On Me performance though. About freaking time he got to wail on national TV again. :)

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Can't say I am not disappointed Clay lost..I lobbed a few "fuck, fuck,, fuck's" at the TV..no remote this time though, LOL! But in thinking about it he really has won..he went on this show to bring awareness to The National Inclusion Project and he accomplished that; he wanted to win money for the Foundation and he did to the tune of $360,000; he wanted to change people's perceptions of him and show the world who Clay Aiken really is..he has done that through his leadership skills on the show, his humor; his humanity; his "classy Clay moments" and in his interviews and appearances where he has shown his intelligence and his steadfastness (is that a word?) in his beliefs and his willingness to fight for them. He has gained the respect of his fellow contestants and his twitter followers and those who watch the show.

I won't say poor Clay or feel sorry for him or rail at Donald Trump. This was a TV Show...a TV Show whose whole purpose is to create drama and conflict and they succeeded. Clay knew this going in..he has been there before..but he took a chance and worked hard and he showed the world what he is made of..for that I say..

Good job Clay..I am proud of you and I love you and I am very proud to say "I am a fan"...you will never be second in my heart.

Kim

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Great post, aikim. I had the thought that all it boils down to is a reality TV show title...who really cares about those anymore? Everyone gets exposure whether they win or lose.

But even then, I still have my right to feel bitter.

So...what if Arsenio gets that talk show as rumored? Could he possibly redeem himself by having Clay be one of the first guests on there? If they're as good friends as they say they are, I expect this. I know some could care less if it all pans out for Arsenio, but I'm interested in seeing how he treats his friends.

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I don't think Arsenio needed this title to get his talk show - he already has that in the bag with Magic Johnson being who he is. So yeah, I'm still bitter this morning. cryingwlaughter.gif I think I'll feel better once Clay says something. I find it a bit concerning that he hasn't tweeted a word. Although I guess he did have a bit of a busy night. ;)

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I know it's all about Clay tonight but when the dust settles I plan to make a small donation here. Ooh some nice bags in the store.

http://wayuutaya.net/

I was thinking about doing the same thing. I could tell that Patricia's heart is in her charity, and felt really bad that her dreams for the school are having a hard time. I made my donation to the Project last night; by the end of the week, Wayuutaya will have a donation as well.

Entertainment Weekly Recap

luckiest, I think I read somewhere that Clay didn't attend the afterparty last night. I'm sure he's hurt for now, but in the end, he'll be fine. The fandom? Well, as long as the bitterness doesn't last more than a few days... It's sad, and it's something I know I shouldn't care about, but I'm worried about how the fandom will be seen again. (Warning, generalizations ahead!) "We" tend to be seen as protectors of Clay; I don't like that. Clay's a grown-ass man, and he can handle himself. It's US that's hurting right now, and I wish "we" could see that. Things haven't worked out for Clay as many of us would have liked -- AI; the whole RCA/Decca/insert record label of choice thing; and now this. But, I think aikim definitely has the right idea, and I loved her post.

My feeling: Clay may have lost the battle, but he will definitely win the war.

ETA: Examiner interview with Clay from the Afterparty

The Examiner stuff is user generated, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt, but still, this one is good:

“The Celebrity Apprentice” 2012 was the most competitive season for the show so far, since there were more contestants (18) in one season than in any other previous season for the show. In the end, comedian/actor/TV host Arsenio Hall was named the winner, and he received the grand prize of $250,000 for his charity of choice: The Magic Johnson Foundation. (Second place went to "American Idol" 2003 finalist Clay Aiken.) "The Celebrity Apprentice," which is executive produced and hosted by Donald Trump (who chooses the winner), features celebrities competing for their selected charities. Hall was named the winner in a live season finale on May 20, 2012. The season finale and after-party were held at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. I had a chance to briefly interview several of the stars at the after-party. Here is what this “Celebrity Apprentice” star said.

CLAY AIKEN

How are you feeling right now?

I’m good. I’m perfectly happy for my friend Arsenio.

Before you were on “American Idol,” you were a teacher for special-needs children. And you obviously started your charity, the National Inclusion Project, to help children. Can you talk about your first experiences working with kids?

I went to school and worked at YMCAs a lot. I got the experience there and fell in love with it.

It’s obviously nerve-racking to be part of this type of competition, especially when you have to find out on live TV if you won or not. What was the easiest thing about tonight for you?

The singing was easy. That was the most effortless part of the evening.

You’re very close to your mother. Have you had a chance to talk to her yet tonight?

I haven’t talked to my mom yet. I haven’t seen her yet. I’m sure she’s fine. I’m sure she’s probably resolving the fact that the National Inclusion Project is going to raise so much money from people from sympathy voting and sending in sympathy money because I didn’t win. So I think we’re going to raise just as much as [“The Celebrity Apprentice” $250,000 grand prize]. I’m thrilled for Arsenio. And I’m excited about counting the checks for the foundation.

Were you surprised that you didn’t win?

I’m sure there were people who would have been surprised if I had won. It’s kind of an either/or thing. Everyone wants somebody to win.

[He says jokingly] I think we’ve seen Arsenio cry a lot this season. And Mr. Trump knew I could handle it. Arsenio cried so much that Mr. Trump didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

What is the biggest lesson you learned from being on “The Celebrity Apprentice”?

[He says jokingly] Never to do a reality competition with a black guy.

There’s a lot of people on the Internet who are upset that you didn’t win. What do you have to say to them?

These people who are crying out in protest need to vote with their wallets and go to InclusionProject.org so we can raise $250,000 — and it’ll all be fine.

How would you sum up your experience on “The Celebrity Apprentice”?

This has been a long process and a fun process sometimes and an exhausting process at other times. I’ve been happy to be a part of it. I’m happy for it to be over. I get to sleep in tomorrow. Arsenio has to get up early tomorrow to do the “Today” show, but I get to sleep in.

You became famous because of “American Idol.” And now you’ve done “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Do you think you’ll do another reality show?

Hell no! [He says jokingly] I’ll never do another reality show with a black guy again. It does not work in my favor.

You’re the first “American Idol” alum to be on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Why do you think it took so long for someone from “American Idol” to be on “The Celebrity Apprentice”?

Let me make it very clear: Not many Idols can do this. I know many of them, and they could not be successful at this. I think the goal was to prove that I’m not completely stupid, and if that worked, then great!

Obviously, you wanted to win, but as you watched in the live season finale how Arsenio handled his final task, did your expectations about winning change at all?

I was expecting him or me to win. Arsenio’s been nervous all day, because he’s never done a live results show. I’ve done so many of them that I was much more calm. I knew there was no way to determine what was going to happen in the results. So I didn’t think about it too much. I just thought, “Mr. Trump will just say [his decision], and when he says it, I’ll know.”

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I had no desire to tweet the "Clay was robbed " message. Just not my way. I will donate what I can to the NIP in honor of the hard work Clay did to advance the cause.

I got an email after the show from a friend telling me "I told you so. DT loves suck ups." Didn't make me feel any better. But I enjoyed reading everyone's posts here.

I did tweet to Clay about the great job he did last night on behalf of his charity. I'm sure he got many positive tweets in addition to angry ones. We all express our feelings in many ways or try to correct injustices we see .There is no right way to do this, IMO, just each person's own way.

During Lean on Me, Clay was almost dancing on the stage. I hope we get that segment alone as I'd watch that over and over.

I am starting to feel physically better after my cold, cough and eye infection as well as the falling down after chasing the dogs episode. Will be heading off to the gym this morning.

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That interview was what I needed, so thanks for bringing it over. My bitterness is turning into mere disappointment. I went out into my garden before 6 a.m. and took my frustrations out on it with a spade and a rake LOL. But I do think they best way we can all vote is (as usual) with our wallets. I made my donation to NIP last night before my head hit the pillow. I hope they bring in a lot of money with the "sympathy" vote as Clay said.

Yes, Lean On Me was amazing! I will not watch the finale results ever again, but I would love to have the clack of just that clip separated out so I can revel in it.

I hope Clay sleeps in and has a nice, relaxing day today. I too hope the fandom can contain it's bitterness and move on quickly. I did issue a few tweets last night to NBC and Apprentice to say they got it entirely wrong, but my only tweet to @clayaiken was not bitter. He did so well and I am so proud of him!

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Rolling Stone recap

What's interesting to me with this recap is the picture, which is right after the announcement. If you can stomach it, you can see most of the rest of the contestants in the background. Dayana and Tia are thrilled; George and Patricia look to be standing up as well. Dee, Debbie, Aubrey and Paul are just sitting there, looking dumbfounded. (Dee and Debbie both look disgusted, as they should!). Teresa is sitting, but has a smile on her face. Lou just looks like he's ready to leave. Lisa and Victoria are nowhere to be found.

Gotta run to a meeting...

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Clay is going to Patricia's fund raiser tonight so he must be feeling fine. He is going to sing Tuesday night for Eric Trump's charity. So many new people to meet and to possibly become fans. He is going to be fine. He is very stable and grounded with many fans, family and friends to encourage him on.

I think we will be getting another video blog in the very near future to announce a new project. JMO

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{{{{{{{{{{{merrieeeeee and all the fans who are hurting}}}}}}}}}}

Yes, I hurt for Clay too. I've been doing OK today (actually been too busy to think about it much), but then someone posted the "Lean on Me" clip from last night on their Facebook. That was a bit tough, and I didn't think it would be.

But...

Excuse the religion talk...

The old saying "when God closes a door, he opens another" applies here to me. Clay's really, really good at taking opportunities as he finds them, and I think he'll be singing for us (or in my case, entertaining us) for a long time to come. Sure, he doesn't deserve the "second place again" status, but he'll turn it on a dime at some point.

And you know, some people never "win," but IMO those are the people who are happy and live life fully without a crash-and-burn.

He'll be fine.

ETA: Fear, where did you get that about the fundraiser for Patricia? I need that for the timeline!

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2 new tweets:

Clay Aiken ‏@clayaiken

Big congrats to my pal @ArsenioOFFICIAL Huge thanks to all for the support for @includingkids #votewithyourwallets

and I love this one

Clay Aiken ‏@clayaiken

Let's raise $251k for @includingkids and feel like real winners! #votewithyourwallets at http://www.inclusionproject.org

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Sorry Fear, he's not at Patricia's thing. He's at the GLSEN Respect Awards! He just tweeted two pictures from there.

Boy, would I have loved to have heard the dinner conversation!

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