Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clay Aiken 'Appears' at Idol Finale

Clay's AI5 appearance replays in montage by Aspiegirl.

Season 5 Ploy Revived

AI8 Hoopla Finally Lures Fan

Frankly, my life has been way too busy to sample Season 8 of American Idol; but all the hoopla surrounding the final episode finally lured this Clay Aiken fan to turn on the TV for the last hour of Wednesday night's results show.

In that brief time, I got a handle on most finalists, enjoyed some of their performances with entertainment heavyweights, and was struck by a few AI2 similarities; many more differences; and, above all, the glitzy embellishments since the Clay Aiken-Ruben Studdard showdown six years ago.

There was even a stab at the very successful AI5 finale filler during which Clay surprised Michael Sandecki, a preliminary contestant who had proclaimed the Aiken his hero during the auditions.

AI5 Surprise Appearance Recalled

Supposedly nominated as "best impersonator," Michael was invited to perform one of Clay's signature songs, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," on the results show.

In the midst of Michael's performance, the stage backdrop opened and out strolled the producers' best kept secret, the AI2 runner-up belting out the song that had secured his Wildcard position in the 2003 competition.

It was the same incredible voice, but the maturity and difference in Clay's appearance was so striking that the panel of judges didn't even recognize him.

The theater audience and television viewers, however, went wild; and the event became the next day's most discussed water cooler topic, even topping the buzz about a new idol.

Aspiegirl captured the AI5 moment in her What a Feeling montage, which can viewed in the above player and at YouTube.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Images from the AI5 Finale are featured in these clickable graphics by cindilu2, Amazing_CA, Sally, Clayquebec1, and Claystruck.

'Bikini Girl' Invokes Season 5

The Season 8 version of the Aiken-Sandecki event was Katrina Darrell, whose audition in a string bikini, earned her eventual moniker. Wearing her trademark ensemble, she took the stage to sing and accept an award for "best attitude."

Her unexpected co-singer was judge Kara Dioguardi, who provided yet another surprise for Bikini Girl and the audience.

Congratulations to Kris Allen, the new American Idol; Adam Lambert, this season's runner-up; and the 2009 finalists who just may be embarking on a musical career because of the AI phenomenon.

Current fans can take heart from previous AI editions that Clay, Jennifer Hudson, and Chris Daughtrey have proved one doesn't have to win the title to enjoy a successful career in the entertainment business. Compliments of goldarngirl, here's the Insider video.

A continent away during last night's Idol confetti, Clay impacted yet another final show. Almost immediately, the debate about second place finishers began on Twitter and other social networking sites.

And the conversation continues ... in 140 characters or less!


American Idol Winner Crowned from Huffington Post
It's All About Idol + Blog at Clay Aiken News Network
Much Ado at The ConCLAYve
Clay Aiken Speaks Out About American Idol at mj's blog

'American Idol': The Triumphof Soft Rock from The New York Times

Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


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SueReu said...

Thank you Caro!!! I loved Clay Aiken on AI5!!

I'm at a disadvantage, because I didn't watch any of American Idol this year, but I certainly got my fill of it without even watching LOL!!

Gorgeous montage, gorgeous blends.

Have a GREAT weekend (we're almost there - woo hoo!!)

fgs said...

I recently read the number of viewers for each of AI's years. Seems that the two highest were the years Clay was on. AI5 finale was exciting because no one knew for sure that Clay would be on, but it was hinted at all week. Then when he appeared it took a few seconds to sink in that it was Clay. His new style was all the buzz after the show.

Ashes said...

Aspie's AI5 Clay Aiken montage was the nicest thing I've seen on a web page today...along with the blends :)

Thank you Caro!

Anonymous said...

Great memories! AI2 and AI5 Clay Aiken makes the show.

gerra said...

What a great appearance this was. And such a surprise. I remember about falling off my chair when I first realized that was Clay coming through the door behind Sandecki.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog, Clay was a joy to watch on AI ... and I enjoy your blogs! Thanks! Donna in Wi.

Anonymous said...

Love the blog Caro. I will never forget that night. I about hit the floor after jumping up and down on the couch like a teenager. I did not know it was Clay at first and was yelling that they hurry up so I could see Clay and he was standing there. heeeee

Thanks also for sharing my montage.



Ashes said...

Thanks for the Insider link update!

ImGranny said...

I loved, loved, loved the AI5 finale when Clay Aiken surprised Michael Sandecki. I never tire of watching the clip of it. Aspiegirl's montage is wonderful too! She is very talented.

musicfan said...

Caro.......another great blog.

I did not watch one minute of AI this year. However, I certainly know who Adam is....he's the one that was chosen by the judges and press to win.

I will never forget Clay on season 5 finale. He was the talk of the week!!

Thanks for your blog. Clay is lucky to have you as a fan.

Shyeyewitness said...

Love your blog, Caro!!

I love Clay Aiken too!

T said...

My favorite moment & so happy that you featured it in your blog. That was the best highlight of the finale with Clay there as a surprise guest and seeing Michael's reaction. So memorable!

Loved the montage and blends that captured a very special moment.

Thanks so much for another excellent blog.

Cheers! =)

MissSally said...

I stopped watching AI long ago because the judges got on my last nerve.

I did enjoy Clay's "Confetti Moment" during AI5, but that's about it.

Awesome blog Caro!

CCOL4HIM said...

Love the video! Great blog! I remember singing(not a solo) 'What A Feeling' at an all-county high school choir festival in the 80's directed by Glen Draper. It's a very appropriate song to the rising fame of Clay Aiken.