Thursday, September 09, 2010

Clay Aiken Dazzles Houston PBS Audience

Clay Aiken: Tried & True ~ LIVE! was the featured program during KUHT-TV's pledge drive Wednesday night. Click to enlarge the Houston PBS web page for 9/8.

Clay Joins KUHT Pledge Drive

Fans Share One 'Special' Evening

Clay Aiken was in Houston's KUHT-TV studios Wednesday to help promote the premiere telecast of his PBS Special -- Clay Aiken: Tried & True ~ LIVE! -- and the evening was a huge success and loads of fun.

For weeks, Houston fans have been counting down to Sept. 8, and they were not disappointed. Several were in the studio answering pledge calls, and others were able to speak with the singer on the telephone. Below is the countdown widget Scarlett created for the occasion.

Countdown widget hits target.
Clay's back in town!!!

From all reports, KUHT-TV raised a lot of money to fund the new season's public television programs. Below are highlights from recaps by fans who spent a very special evening with Clay Aiken in Houston Wednesday night.

Desertrose: Clay was amazing. When he walked in, the first thing he did was to come over and chat with us. He wanted to know if we were all from Houston. We were, with the exception of jtgranny, who came in from Dallas.
It was obvious that the PBS staff really liked him. He answered phones, and at one time leaned over keepingfaith to take a pledge call. He was right next to me. He teased merrrieeee about her English accent and spoke with his Spamalot accent. There were a lot of pictures taken.

When we left, we learned that the night was very successful pledge-wise. We got in the car and simultaneously said, "We've had the time of our lives."

jtgranny: Adding my EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE's along with all the other volunteers from the Houston PBS tonight. It was simply amazing! I talked with so many people tonight; and, wow, those M&G's went fast.
One of the most amazing calls I received was from an older gentleman planning a special Valentine evening. When I asked him how much he wanted to pledge, he said "Well, I guess I'm going to have to pledge $300 so I can go see this Clay Aiken and take my wife".

After I took all of his information, I was informed by him and his wife, who had by this time picked up on the other line, that they had followed Clay when he was on American Idol and thought he was great.

They have been married for 54 years, and "Unchained Melody" is their song. When Clay sang it on the TV special, they both sat on the couch and cried because it was so beautiful. She also told me she thought that was the best version she has ever heard.

By this time I was trying not to get all weepy myself, so I just told them I hoped they had a wonderful evening, thanked them for their donation, told them that I would pass along this information to Clay, and then I wished them a Happy Valentine's Day. Made my night even more special!

Clay Aiken chats with Ernie Manouse during the Houston telecast.

texwriter: OMG, tonight had to be in the top 10 of the most fun I've ever had! Clay was at his phenomenal, fabulous, charismatic, snarky best!
Clay mentioned right before the first pledge break that his back was bothering him, so he wanted to stand rather than sit on the high stools. Then, between the last two pledge breaks, he was lying flat on the carpet off to the side and chatting with the host and several other PBS people.

Many of us had never volunteered at PBS before, so they had to train us. They told us that if anything came up that we didn't know the answer to, we should just wave our hands.

That worked really well during the 7:00 show with the young musician; but after Clay's first pledge appearance, there was not a single soul around to respond to our hand waves. They were ALL on the other side of the studio, surrounding Clay.

I told my husband he is like the flame that draws moths. There's something about him that just draws people in.

My husband took several smoke breaks outside with some of the workers, and they all talked about what a great guy Clay is and how much they were enjoying his visit.

Fountaindawg's graphic captures highlights from the PBS Special.

merrieeee: OMG, the best night evah! Clay was snarky, funny, and gorgeous! He helped answer phones, and he is the nicest man. The PBS peeps said they were very pleased with the amount of money raised tonight.
He was joking with us and in fact made the evening so much fun. He asked me how to answer the phones. I told him and he looked at me and said, "Do you always answer the phones in an English accent or just for tonight?" Then he launched into his Spamalot voice!

Clay had his picture taken with us all, and they will email it to us. There were only 15 M&G's, and they went right away. He did an interview that will be aired later; but if you pledged with a CC tonight, you will receive a copy. I am thrilled about the night!

The man just charmed the socks off everyone. He came across as real and genuine to everyone who was there. Not a star but just a nice person who you would like to hang around with and I guess we did!

Cookie0: I called Houston to purchase two tickets to the T&T 2011 Concert at Jones Hall. I wasn't aware that the person answering the phone was merrieeee; so, of course, I started selling Clay to her until I realized she was already a fan.
After she took all of the pertinent information, I thought she said someone wants to talk to you. If she said a name, I couldn't hear it. It really sounded as though they were busy because there was much talking and laughter.

Someone got on the phone and said, "Hello." I also said "hello" but didn't think the other person heard me. He asked who I was. "Cookie; who's this?" And the answer was Clay Aiken!!!

That was my pleasant surprise for the evening. I heard everyone close to him laughing. We started to converse, and he said, "Oh they're pulling me and taking my headphones off, and I have to go."

We didn't talk long, but it was unexpected, fun, and really worth the price of my concert tickets since it included a phone call with Clay.

He thanked me for watching, which was a little tough to do since I am in Arizona and the special was being televised in Texas; but what the heck!

HoustonPBS has uploaded photos from Wednesday's pledge drive to its Facebook site. Below are four clickables from the set and a graphic of the photos by Fountaindawg.

Scarlett, who is bound to be among the world's best multi-taskers, posted a play-by-play on Facebook with her mobile phone while recording pledge call data on her laptop. For Clay Aiken fans, Scarlett's wall was the place to be where there are a total of 73 posts and comments, many of which were transcribed to message boards "live." Here are some of her reports:
OMG, he sat at the empty computer next to me and started typing! I was on a call, so I couldn't talk.

Brown shirt , tie, jeans, hair is spiky in front, converse shoes. He's lying on the cold cement floor because his back's hurting. (Maybe he could use a back rub.)

He's answering phones; just took a call from me -- talked to the customer while I typed. Talking to yet another one; but this person had already pledged, and he informed her that she needed to make a second donation.

As we were leaving, Clay signed CD covers for those who brought theirs. The lady at the PBS station who'd been taking pictures all night said that she would e-mail her entire set with us.

KUHT said the station did very well tonight in $@@s. It was a GOOD night. (I need to learn how to retain spelling and grammar skills while deep in the fog.)

I'm home, but I don't know how I got here. Thank goodness for angels because I really can't recall anything between getting on the freeway and seeing my exit (while in the wrong lane). Thank you all for joining me in this pledge break tonight! We did good!!!

Additional KUHT-TV airings of the Clay Aiken: Tried & True ~ LIVE! special are slated for 2:30 a.m. Friday and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15.

The National Inclusion Project serves to bridge the gap between young people with disabilities and the world around them. Vote in September's Pepsi Refresh Challenge and help supporters secure a $50,000 grant for the foundation.

Fans Tweak Pepsi Refresh Strategy

National Inclusion Project supporters have tweaked their campaign strategy to secure $50,000 for the foundation during September's Pepsi Refresh Challenge. The outline below has been shared on several Clay Aiken message boards where members are assigned to vote specific groups.

In this blog, eligible voters (legal US citizens at least 13 years old) should include the "Everyone" list and choose one of the other groups to best distribute each day's 10 votes. One Internet vote and one text vote are allowed each organization.

Below is the plan designed by SueReu to include charities reciprocating votes with the National Inclusion Project. The lists change daily, so check back for updates.

Everyone Vote For:

National Inclusion Project - Text 102308 to 73774 (Pepsi)
National Federation of the Blind - Text 101913 to 73774 (Pepsi)

Group A

Tree House for Disabled Kids - Text 102672 to 73774 (Pepsi)
SWOOP (wheelchair ramps/Triangle area) - Text 102191 to 73774 (Pepsi)
Courageous Disabled Kids - Text 100058 to 73774 (Pepsi)
Foxroad Elementary - Text 102179 to 73774 (
Mckemy Middle School - Text 100283 to 73774 (Pepsi)
Saving Shelter Pets - Text 102190 to 73774 (Pepsi)
St. Joseph's School - Text 100242 to 73774 (Pepsi)
Screamfest Film Festival - Text #100848 to 73774 (Pepsi)

Group B

Charlotte Peace (domestic violence) - Text 100011 to 73774 (Pepsi)
Add iPad - Text 100053 to 73774 ( Pepsi)
Ella's Hope for Autism - Text 100288 to 73774 (Pepsi)
The Bag Ladies - Text 101126 to 73774 (Pepsi)
Family fun Events - Text 102684 to 73773 (Pepsi)
BRIDGES (special needs/Triangle) - Text 101364 to 73774 (Pepsi)
Little Tree Preschool (autism) - Text 101735 to 73774 (Pepsi)
Blind Cat Rescue - Text 102422 to 73774 (

Group C

Boise Bicycle Project - Text 102464 to 73774 (Pepsi)

Health Shots Reminder - Text 102084 to Pepsi 73774 (Pepsi)
Wild and Wonderful Pet Pantry - Text 100040 to 73774 ( Pepsi)
Mentored Chem-Bio Tech Lab - Text 101997 to 73774 (Pepsi)
RATCO - Text 100570 to 73774 (Pepsi)

Once voting is completed, return to each charity and copy/paste a message similar to the one below so the organization will know the Inclusion Project is supporting its cause:

A vote from the National Inclusion Project! Help us help kids with disabilities experience life with their peers. We're going for $50K. Text 102308. Thank you for your support!

Non-US citizens have discovered ways to help by encouraging Facebook contacts and American friends to cast votes for them. For more details, check the previous Carolina entry.

Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!

Thank you for your blog comments and props for contributing artists. To leave a remark, scroll to the bottom of that section, click on the "Post a Comment" link, and write in the box provided. Many thnx for stopping by today! - Caro


claysweetea said...

Well, last night was something else Houston! How amazing that the fans got to be so close to Clay for so long. I loved reading their stories and it made it seem like I was there....almost. Another great blog, Caro. Thanks! Amazing how you can cover all these tops day after day. Right click and save another gorgeous picture to add to my Clay collection. Now off to vote in the Pepsi Challenge.

katy said...

What a great night in Houston for the pbs special with Clay Aiken. It had to be a thrill for the volunteers.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Caro, you are the best! I enjoyed reading your blogs but this is a real GEM :))) I grinned from ear to ear whilst reading all the details especially the one on the special Valentine's evening and Scarlett's post. I'm feeling so happy right now reading about the success in Houston.

Thanks a million Caro. You're great :)

Sally (bsrefong)

Anonymous said...

The pictures are wonderful. So clear and it brings joy looking at Clay on screen. He is spectacular! Thank you so much to the wonderful graphic artist who shared thier images here. Thank you Caro for all your hardwork with the write-up. I really appreciate it very much!


Anonymous said...

Loved the blog and hearing about a nice night with Clay in the house! Happy for all that made the night a success! :)

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed your blog on the night in Houston. It sounded like they had a ball. Clay is such a nice person..but, I think if I was there I would be on the floor if he breathed on my neck. Lol! Love all the pictures...hope his back gets better soon..our soon. Great that the night was a success $wise too.

katy said...

Thanks for the recaps from the Houston pbs showing of Clay Aiken's Tried and True!! Also for having all the Pepsi Refresh links!!

IamMesmerized said...

Oh how I wish I had been in Houston. Sounds like everybody had a blast, including Clay.

I'm glad the show did well. I am thinking that Clay will be drawing in a whole new set of fans to join us. It bodes very well for his future.

Way to go girls, way to go Clay and yeah Houston!

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

WOW!!!! Sounds like an awesome time in Houston, wish I were there.

Thank You for another great and very informative blog Caro. You are THE BEST!!!!


MissSally said...

Looks like Clay and his devoted fans had a party in Houston last night!....and made some $$$$ too.

I loved that he told the caller that now she needed to make a second donation; not a shy bone in his gorgeous body!

Thanks to all for the photos, recaps, etc.

Great blog, Caro.

Anonymous said...

Great blog, Caro!!! The recaps and the pictures made me read and look a second time! So much fun was had by all, even me and I live in SoCal. LOL


Anonymous said...

Caro, what a greeeaaat blog. Thanks a lot. Houston fans was really enjoying their day apparently...
the recap is sooooo funny, I like it a lot... Scarlet is really amazing. Hope Scarlet read this comment... I love her...with her all out creativities so far, make me enjoy a lot more following Clay in all web sites. Thanks for a wonderfull update Caro. I still hope Clay will have a concert in Asia including Indonesia :)

Puteri from Indonesia