One of the most talked about finales was May 24, 2006, the year Taylor Hicks won.
American Idol decided to have the biggest, most talked about finale ever, inviting as many big name artists as they could. Part of the show was the Golden Idol Award skit. The category was Favorite Impersonation. Michael Sandecki who impersonated Clay Aiken won and Ryan asked him to sing. As Michael started singing, the doors behind him opened and Clay walked through. Michael was totally awestruck. Clay’s look was so different that it took the audience a moment to realize what was happening. The surprise ended up being the top moment of the entire show.
In a local TV interview on KTLA-TV, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe revealed that details of Clay’s appearance and performance were kept secret from almost everyone, including the judges and Ryan. Clay arrived at an obscure entrance in an SUV with tinted windows. Attracting no attention whatsoever, he walked in unnoticed with wardrobe personnel and the garments they were transporting and secretly watched the show in a nearby building before being escorted to the stage just in time for his grand entrance.
Yahoo News said of the event:
Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken made a victorious return to the “Idol” stage, sporting a new look that helped him pull in more buzz than last year’s champ Carrie Underwood. And a surprise appearance by Prince stirred up searches on the funk legend-precisely the point. Gotta love the “Idol” publicity machine.
I would imagine that most Clay fans remember the night in detail. However, you can’t see that performance too often. Enjoy the video of that special moment.
This YouTube by Teelow already has 706,264 plays. That is a lot of fans!!