Stomping on Simon

Candice Coleman, Rebecca Bond, Jacob John……….do any of those names ring a bell?? Along with Jennifer Fuentes and Hadas, they joined Clay, Ruben and Kimberly as contestants in Group II in the second season of American Idol.

Group 2

Group 2

It was February 11, 2003 and the talented group of singers had one song to sing before being critiqued by the three judges, Simon, Randy, and Paula.

Wearing a black suit and a lime green shirt, Clay Aiken was the first performer of the evening. He sang a wonderful rendition of “Open Arms” which was originally recorded by Journey. The judges were complimentary to Clay about his singing and Paula even suggested that she wanted a date with Clay.

Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken

While watching the episode in its entirety, there were some things that stood out. First, the judges loved Ruben and Kimberly and seemed to forget about the first wonderful performance of the evening. Secondly, there were some forgettable singers in the group. No one was horrible, but the star quality was missing.

It was nice to see Clay’s mother and brother Brett there to support him along with the family and friends of all the contestants.

Besides Clay’s wonderful singing, the highlight of the episode was seeing the singers in a commercial for COKE. Each of the singers were boxing with a punching bag. There was a picture of Simon on Clay’s bag and the commercial ends with Clay ripping the picture off the bag, throwing it on the ground and stomping on it.

Clay is listening

Clay is listening

A search on Google didn’t find any new mentions of the forgettable contestants except for Jennifer Fuentes. She joined the Ringling Bros. -Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2007.

Enjoy the clip of Clay Aiken’s performance of Open Arms and the judges comments.

Open Arms

Judges Comments

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13 thoughts on “Stomping on Simon


    I just love these little flashbacks…they are wonderful and Clay is SO PURE!!! His voice is just like no others…. I just watched the clip from AI 2006, where Clay comes out to sing “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”.

    I love CANN….. What a wonderful site to visit…. It starts my day off just right…


  2. I admit it. Sometimes I take it for granted having heard it in my sleep for these past six years. But then sometimes I remember the joy of hearing it for the first time and wish I could re-live that moment.

  3. Add another to the thank you for the episode reviews! I missed all of the early rounds, and though try as much as I could, I still missed them on AI season 2 rewind. I think what caught me on every episode I did watch was something “different” he did in vocal control, then range, then power and purity, then he could sing the softest song so sweetly. That’s someone who’s versatile!

  4. The judges recognized his talent, but still wanted to support KL and Ruben. They’ll never admit their mistake.

  5. Great job!! Look at that lipbite – gaaah! Seriously though, there are many of us that werent around at the beginning so some of these clips are little gems for us – actually I’m sure they are gemes for ALL of us – who could ever tire of looking at them!

    Great blog, Musicfan. Love to find a site that is from the people, for the people – no politics, no boardwars, no preferences, just honest to good information on Clay Aiken for the masses – thanks you for the time and effort you all give 🙂

  6. Very nice! It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since that night. I actually missed this one, but none of the rest. Thanks for the memories!

  7. Wow. A major walk down memory lane. I can’t believe it’s been 6 years. Thank God for all the you tubes etc that are at our disposal, and thanks CANN! Are you doing this for the entire season? Would be fun!

  8. Clay once said that if he could do AI every day he would….well that was then! But, as much as I despise AI, if Clay did it again I would suffer through Randy, Slimon, Paula and Ryan just to see him sing every week! Magic happens, but not very often. How lucky we were to be there to witness it the first time around!!

  9. Thanks for the memories. Clay sure did sing Open Arms so sweetly. What a cutie he is. I love love love how Paula kept smacking Slimon and she sure did make out over Clay. Oh, well, it happens every time…you just have to hear him sing…and you’re in the Aiken Fog.

  10. I absolutely adore this performance! What a voice and what a cutie!! Even then, before the “make over” you could see that Clay Aiken has it all.

    Thanks for the memories!!

  11. How adorable he is, then and now. I love watching these videos.

    (Way back I would have paid to be able to stomp on Simon. I’ve got to a point now where I wouldn’t sully my shoes by doing so.}

  12. I love watching these rewinds of Clays performances. Isn’t it amazing that all he had for background music was a piano. Just him and a piano, what more could you want. Love it and love him, what a great performance.

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