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Finally am getting to listen to a cellcert this evening. What a fun show...


High Five: Clay Aiken's Five Ways Reality TV Changed His Life

Clay Aiken’s 5 ways reality TV changed his life

By Sarah Rodman


DECEMBER 06, 2012

“I’ve joked that I will never be in a competition with a black man again,” says Clay Aiken with a good-natured laugh on the phone from New York City. Indeed, the singer is now a two-time runner-up, having been bested by Ruben Studdard on the second season of “American Idol” and Arsenio Hall on the recent season of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Aiken is currently making merry on a holiday concert tour that hits the Wilbur Theatre Sunday. We recently chatted with the North Carolina native about five of the many ways reality TV changed his life.

1. “I cannot go anywhere without someone telling me I should’ve won. Now I’m completely confused as to which time I lost that they’re talking about,” he says with a laugh. “It used to be so easy.”

2. “I’ve made some really incredible friends; both Ruben and Arsenio are two people who I’ve stayed in touch with regularly,” he says of his competitors.

3. “I had my degree in special ed. and I was teaching kids with autism and that was going to be my plan. And so this is a substantial difference. I’m now on my 13th tour.”

4. “I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak out on a lot of causes that are important to me,” says Aiken, a longtime UNICEF ambassador who also heads his own foundation aiding children with disabilities. “Nobody cared what I said before. Heck, they might not care now but they have to listen a little more.”

5. “Reality TV was a crash course in dealing with jackasses,” he says of the various personalities on the two shows as well as the criticism that followed. “I don’t know anybody on earth who has a thicker skin than me.”

Clay Aiken performs at the Wilbur Theatre, Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39-$50. 800-745-3000,www.ticketmaster.com.

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Saw this at CV:

Karson & Kennedy ‏@KarsonKennedy

@ClayAiken on Friday mornings show sharing what life must be like for @Phillips & we'll test his knowledge of holiday classics.

Karson & Kennedy

Real Life. Real Friends. Real Fun. Weekday Mornings 5:30 AM - 9:00 AM on Mix 104.1 FM Boston MA!

Boston, MA · http://karsonandkennedy.com

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Via CV with permission:

Scarlett's Folder for JNT '12, Stamford:


Note: This is where Scarlett uploads her individual JNT '12 Stamford clips from the tapes she has rendered. They are in mpg format and are downloadable from the folder. Scarlett adds each clip to the folder after she has uploaded it. I grab the clip from the same folder and then upload it to You Tube at Scarlett's request.

Stamford You Tube Playlist Link:


Stamford Individual You Tube Links:

"The First Noel."


"Sentimental Medley."


All links can travel.

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I was at Stamford last night and what a night it was! So funny and Clay's voice was beyond description. Probably the best I have ever heard him sing. I took a few pics (once I remembered how to turn the bloody camera on....and where all the control buttons were on the back....I really should have looked at it before I got myself into a darkened concert hall. In disgust, I gently placed it back in my purse. At about the three quarter point, however, I dug it out again and I managed to figure out how to do it once again. Here are a few from last night. (The rest are here...http://kareneh.smugmug.com/Music/Clay-Aiken-JNT-2012-Stamford/26948241_wSks7w)





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EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeee!!!1! Sitting here with Claymatron waiting for cindilu2 to pick us up. Then we will pick up FromClaygary on the way, and we are off to Shippensburg! Love the pictures, KarenEh. Still don't understand what happened to the beautiful hair from the beginning of the tour...but I'm not picky. ;)

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Great photos KarenEh! Thanks for sharing.

That hair of his is so interesting lately -- from one side it looks great, the other side -- wow, those bangs need to be trimmed, badly! Hee.

luckiest, cindilu and the Canadian crew -- have a great time tonight! Woohoo!

One more week for me!

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Love all the video and pictures. Here reading everyday but just have not had a lot to say. Was concerned because my tickets were not arriving. They came on Thurs to the fan who bought them for me. Hoping to meet her on Monday and have them in my hands. Getting really excited for Friday. Have not watched much except for banter and one song. I usually watch alot but wanted to me more surprised this time.

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I've been incredibly busy today, so sorry about not bringing pictures over. I need to catch up... And please, anyone who reads here...bring pictures over if you can! I don't want to be the only one!

From the CH via Hope:

Scarlett's Folder for JNT '12, Shippensburg:


Note: This is where Scarlett uploads her individual JNT '12 Shippensburg clips from the tapes she has rendered. They are in mpg format and are downloadable from the folder. Scarlett adds each clip to the folder after she has uploaded it. I grab the clip from the same folder and then upload it to You Tube at Scarlett's request.

Shippensburg You Tube Playlist Link:


Shippensburg You Tube Individual Links:

"Jazzy Medley."


"Remember The Lyrics" Contest.


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We arrived home last night around 6 p.m. The drive leaving Shippensburg was very rainy and unpleasant, but we drove out of that pretty quickly and the roads through the mountains were clear and pleasant. However once we crossed the border into Canada, the rain came pelting down again, and even turned icy a bit. To say the final 2 - 3 hours were unpleasant is an understatement. But listening to Clay Christmas music from tours past helped us through. All in all, I am glad we took the US 15 route instead of the US 219 route that mapquest/Googlemaps insists on giving us. It took us about 8.5 hours of driving, plus stops, each way. If that seems a bit over the top (and did to us on the way there), it was worth every second.

We left home about 6 a.m. Saturday morning, had lunch in Williamsport (which was kinda cool, reminiscing about the JNaT 2006 playing with the wood banter), and arrived at the Shippen Place Hotel in Shippensburg at about 4:30 p.m. We ran into cha cha trusty in the lobby! The place was sold out, and I'm sure it was probably 90% Clay fans. We freshened up and then came back downstairs with the intention of heading over to Walmart for some light shopping. We walked off the elevator and some ladies in the lobby said "if you're not Claymates, we don't know what!". LOL! They were on various boards and had travelled 2 or 3 hours each to get there from different states. We didn't know them but that doesn't even matter with Clay fans, does it? I love the atmosphere of a Clay concert!

Anyways, Walmart was great, since we always find different things in the US than we have back home in Canada. For me, I buy my Starbuck's Tazo tea products every trip, because they are 50% of the price. Then we hit the Big K (since all K-Marts in Canada closed years ago) and then we headed over to the venue at 6 p.m. because FromClaygary needed a ticket. It was on the University grounds, but it was really hard to locate, and waaaaaay down this road that wound around all sorts of buildings. Good thing we didn't attempt to walk there....the lady at the hotel had said it was only a short walk. To the gates maybe!

Once that was accomplished (and various photos taken of the sign advertising Clay Aiken) we went back to the hotel to get ready. We never had dinner because the hotel restaurant was full (of Claymates no doubt) and we were all too giddy to eat much anyways. Claymatron had her first front row seat and said she figured she'd puke with excitement anyways. Hee, wouldn't that make for some interesting banter....not. So we headed back to the venue again and saw a few familiar faces in the lobby, which was packed. We chatted with Karen Eh & her mom & aunt until they allowed us down to our seats. We were in 5th row towards the right side, but the view was spectacular. No pit, but a nice graded venue and ample room. They had decorated the stage with large Christmas presents on our side of the curtain. It filled in quite nicely on the main floor, and we remarked that it was probably the least amount of familiar faces we'd ever seen at a concert. It really felt like a NJU audience. We saw Faye come in with Frances and another person, and we saw Scarlett arrive (with almost as much fan fare, hee).

I hadn't watched a whole lot of clack, but I knew the set list and had listened to a few cellcerts. Still, the opening to AIW with the tape player was hilarious. The faces he makes! cindilu2 was concerned at first, thinking something really was wrong, until she realized it was just schtick, and he had us all laughing. And then he started singing and we were all blown away. There were a few rough patches, enough to make us grab on to each other and cross our fingers, but of course he nailed it and almost blew the roof off with the final note.

The overwhelming feeling I got during the show was that he was loving it, he was enjoying himself up there, and he was selling himself to a lot of people who he knew had never seen him before. It was much less of a show "for us" than the Tried & True tour was. This was a show designed to wow, and it certainly did. I think he really, really wants to keep doing this, and I am sure he will. I am not worried anymore that this might be the last tour. This man was born to be on stage. He glows, and he is so funny and comfortable in his own skin now. God, I was blown away by the power of his voice and the control he has over it. In one song, he can go soft and delicate, and then the next line practically take the roof off. At one point he raved about the acoustics in the venue, and dropped the mike and sang a line or two of MCWL just to demonstrate how his voice could carry right to the back. Which it did. I'd love to hear him sing a whole song that way.

A couple of times I had to force myself to keep my eyes open. No, not because I was bored. OMG, who could be bored with that man on stage and those gorgeous sounds coming out of his mouth? I am just such an audiofile, and his voice is just such a perfect instrument, I sometimes want to close my eyes to focus even more on it. But of course, that would be sacriledge! I can't even describe how great of a concert it was. Every time you think there is no way he could possibly raise the bar higher, and every time he manages to do it. Had I not known I had tickets to two more shows, I would have been devastated when he started into DSIAFCD because it was almost over. But thankfully, I do have tickets, and come ice storm or blizzard, I'll get to both of them.

It was kind of ironic that it became a bit of the Faye show, given that certain members of our group aren't her biggest fans. Hee. But it was also kind of cool that it took the banter in different directions, and gave us a gorgeous example of how well Clay can harmonize. The girl Faye had picked to go up on stage and sing Silver Bells was very, very good, but Clay just amazes me with his ability to figure a harmony out so quickly. He sang the first line of the melody to get her started, then went down to harmonize with her, then decided to go up and sing the high part instead. It was so cool! And the freaking toilet banter was hilarious. He was so tickled with that, I just love to see him so happy up there. I had perma grin all night and still do even this morning, although I've had little sleep and my stomach is tied in knots because of not eating properly on the road. Oh well, the things we do for Clay Aiken, eh? :)

I loved the overall package. Heh, the show people, the show! The stories lead perfectly into the songs. I had a bit of a hard time understanding Faye's story, but it was the quality of the recording more than her accent. I heard later that it might have been recorded over the phone, and that explains it. But his banter about the pig tail later was hilarious! Because they were my thoughts exactly. Who the hell wraps up a pig tail? LOL! I look forward to downloading the clack and reliving every minute of this show. His voice was fantastic. A few cracks but he reigned them in every time. And I really hope someone was kind enough to get a full body shot during DSIAFCD. The man sings with his feet too, people! I love the way he gets his whole body into it. That was the best rendition of DSIAFCD I've ever heard him sing. And then he came out on our side for the encore, and sat on the edge of the stage right in front of us. I hadn't spoiled myself at all for this song, not even audio, so it was totally new to me. I couldn't tell you the first thing thing about it though, because I think I was in the Aiken fog. He walked up our aisle, but no one touched him. God he just commands the audience these days. He is so in his element.

When we were leaving, even the ushers were commenting to us on how amazing he is. There were some local couples standing outside, and we heard them say "he has a very loyal following". So we chatted with them a little bit, let them know where we were from, etc. And then we all jumped in the car because we were freaking starving, and headed over to a 24 hour diner across the road from our hotel. It quickly got busy with other Clay fans coming in, including fellow Ontarian canfly172, and justclay12, amongst others whose names I don't remember. It was fun to be able to decompress and relive and eeeeee and squeeeeee for a while. Then we fell into bed and got up early to begin the trek home and do it all over again next weekend!

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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Great recap luckiest! It sounds like you had a blast, and I love the details you can remember for your shows.

I love guys who can harmonize. (It helps that my husband is also one of those guys...hee).

So....you were worried that this would be he last tour? Heh. I've entertained those thoughts a time or two for about 5 seconds, and then promptly dismiss that notion. All I need to do is watch clack (or actually see him live) to dispel that notion. Sure, he may not be doing the music "we" want, but I have no doubt that he will be on a stage, in one capacity or another, for a LONG time to come. He's such a great entertainer, and he seems to just simply come alive when he's singing or, more importantly IMO, making people laugh.

I :::heart:::: him.

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Bravo luckiest. Love the recap and even more that you all had a great time. Clay is happier than I have ever seen him and it radiates through the audience.

Have a great day all. We start wrapping today and that makes me happy too.

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Thanks guys, sorry it took me so long to write, usually I write it immediately but I hadn't taken a laptop this time around, and to type it out on my iPhone would be killer! LOL. I had to go back and edit it already, though, because reading it through again I realized that I was so much in the Aiken fog, I listed my seat was on the left side when it was really on the right. LMAO!

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I'm not giving up hope yet. Ticketmaster is the only place showing the cancellation, and the concert the next day is the only one I think they meant to mark, not Clay's.

I wish I had your positive attitude. I am really upset. My only concert this tour. I just picked up my tickets this afternoon. I have not watched much video this year, I wanted to be surprised. If it is for sure cancelled I am going to have to go back and watch alot. I hope someone can make a dvd of one of the shows, so I can see it as it happened.

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