Friday, November 02, 2007

Aiken Wins Fans, Funds on Fox

SINGER SHINES -- Clay Aiken won new fans and big bucks for The Bubel/Aiken Foundation on Thursday night's celebrity edition of "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" Caps and blend by Amazing_CA

Collects $300K for TBAF

Clay Aiken a Hit on 'Fifth Grader'

"You're a quality human being and a man of character," host Jeff Foxworthy said to Clay Aiken at the close of Thursday's appearance on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"

The opening act for AYSTAFG Celebrity Editions during November Sweeps Week, Clay proved he is intelligent, witty, personable, and passionately committed to the inclusion goals and programs of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation, which he co-founded in 2003.

The $300,000 prize money will fund almost a third of TBAF's campaign for 100 "Let's All Play" camps for children with and without disabilities in 2008.

Clay's compassion for children radiated as he partnered with each of the show's five fifth graders to answer nine questions correctly. He joked, teased, complimented, hugged, and high-fived the younger students.

Introduced during the first segment, Clay's fifth grade teacher came on stage holding a sign, "I molded Clay." Later during one of the question-answer periods, Jeff turned to the teacher and said, "Mrs. Armstrong, I see what you had to deal with."

'Fifth Grader' Highlights Recalled

One of my favorite moments came when Clay, who was trying to determine his student partner's best subjects, asked 10-year-old Sierra what she likes. "Well, uh ... I like YOU!" the little blonde grinned.

Clay replied, "Well, so we know you have good taste. Now what do you do in school?" After they answered the question correctly, she added, "Great minds think alike."

Another was the repartee between Clay and Jeff as they -- and everyone else -- viewed the North Carolinian's Little League ball picture. As Clay pointed to his ears, Jeff suggested that he probably could hear the ice cream truck really well.

"I could pick up radio stations with those ears," Clay joked. "Actually, I didn't run the bases; I flew them."

On an early question, the two southerners (Jeff is from Georgia) had fun with the word antonym, agreeing that it means family in their region of the country -- "aunt 'n 'em."

When Clay wasn't completely sure about the $500,000 answer ("Who besides Alexander Hamilton and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers?"), he weighed the possibilities: a sure $300,000 for 30 camps versus the concession prize of $25,000, funding 2.5 projects had he missed.

Deciding to play it safe, Clay later learned he did indeed know the half-million-dollar answer -- James Madison.

Clay's episode is currently available on the MSN-TV website.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: As the show ended, Gerwhisp's screen caps were beamed throughout Clay Cyberspace. These clickables are just a few of them.

New Fans Discover Clay

Fan club members regaled at the number of phone calls, emails, and second-hand messages they had received from relatives, friends, and otherwise (i.e., the boss's mother ... my son's best friend ... one of my husband's co-workers, et al) with the news that Clay would appear on AYSTAFG. LOL, this fandom has had Nov. 1 circled for weeks!

After the show, phone calls and email resumed with exclamations and kudos about Clay's performance. The "newly-discovered" impressions are something most CA fans have enjoyed for years: "He is so entertaining!" ... "That man could be a comedian!" ... "Clay and Jeff were hilarious together." ... "Get that man a talk show!"

Similar reactions are apparent in the blogging community. An example is this Katiecam LiveJournal entry: "Clay Aiken is tonight's celebrity, and let me say he is absolutely hilarious. He has made me laugh and smile so much tonight on this show. He's cool! I would so now watch American Idol knowing he is on it. I love that guy's personality.

Clay's Appearance in TV's Top 5

CLAY WINS BIG: 'Smarter Than a 5th Grader': He did it for the kids. Clay Aiken wins 300,000 dollars from 'Smarter' for his children's charity.

View the clip and vote to make Clay's appearance #1 in TV's Top 5. You may need to press the CTRL key to bypass your pop-up blocker.

The AYSTAFG appearance was excellent publicity for TBAF. A prime time audience heard about the foundation, many for the first time; and Clay explained how his potential winnings would be spent.

Singer Man showed style, too, when it came time for the required admission by a contestant who doesn't reach the $1 million mark: "I'm Clay Aiken, and I may not be smarter than a fifth grader; but I know when to take the money and run."

Symposium screen caps by SecretlyLovesClay

Clay Addresses Geography Teachers

And where was Clay Aiken during the telecast of AYSTAFG? The UNICEF Ambassador and his high school social studies teacher were in New Haven, CT, speaking to Connecticut educators at Yale University.

Scroll to Clay Aiken Wants To Help Improve Geography Skills to view footage from Thursday's Fox 61 telecast.

Keynote speaker for the event was the Ambassador of Indonesia.

I would fail if asked to fill in the countries on this clickable map of southeast Asia. How about you? Here are your "cheats": Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

In last month's press release about Clay joining the "Spamalot" cast in January, director Mike Nichols said the following:

"Clay Aiken is amazing beyond that glorious voice. Turns out he is an excellent comic actor and a master of character. People will be surprised by his wide ranging talent, since the first impression is of great country charm and a singer to remember. This guy is not only a star, he is a lot more."

A whole lot more!

'Solitaire' Reflections Greet November

Graphic artist Cindilu2 is celebrating the new month with Clay's brilliant "Solitaire" performance from the Neil Sedaka tribute at Lincoln Center. Screen caps were provided by BigAppleforClay.

As has become her style, the graphic artist has prepared a calendar design and one without the dates. Enjoy!

Below is a clickable version of Amazing_CA's opening graphic:

Nashville Auditions will be showcased on AI2 Rewind Saturday and Sunday. Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation!


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1 comment:

Ashes said...

Hi Caro!

Wonderful blog, I can always count on you to keep me right up to date on the happenings in the Clay World :)

How cool to see your blog listed at the CDD as one to see!