Clay Aiken – AI Finale Called “Lame and Amateurish”

I have not watched American Idol since Season 5.  The fun and excitement is gone for me.  I loved seeing the guy or girl next door, improving each week and seeing the excitement on their faces.  I do not like to see the semi-pros who are looking for a second chance.

I would have broken down and watched the finale Wednesday night if my favorite singer, Clay Aiken had been a guest on the show, but since it seems they didn’t want him on the show, they didn’t want me to watch either.  I laughed at the comments of Alessandra Stanley from the New York Times, who wrote of Wednesdays show:

The real winner was Simon Cowell, the departing judge: the valedictory tribute to him was so lame and amateurish that it presaged more bad things for the show once he is truly gone.

I also enjoyed the article by Lyndsey Parker at Yahoo Music.  Titled What Went Wrong On American Idol, And How To Save It Next Year, the article gives 16 practical suggestions to make the show better.  My favorite suggestion was :

Bring back the Wild Card

Without the Wild Card, we wouldn’t have “Idol” success stories like Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson.

Did you watch the finale last night?  If so, what did you think?

The following videos are the kind of moments that made American Idol fun.  Too bad they can’t find that magic again.

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  1. I actually did enjoy the finale, although I think this season has its problems. I loved the gathering of past Idols and was happy to see this season's contestants given adequate time, unlike last year where they were kind of pushed aside. This certainly wasn't the best top 2 ever, but they are likable and I don't want them to fail. Casey's duet with Bret was really great, too.

    I think the biggest problems with Idol now that are hopefully fixed in the future are:

    1. The voting – because now that people are more aware that you can power-vote, and with unlimited texters that are mostly young females voting for whatever guy they think is cute, voting doesn't follow the talent. The system needs to be changed and limited to a certain number, like 10 or 5 per number so that people who casually vote for who did the best on a particular night actually have influence.

    2. I think contestants need to be chosen for vocal ability instead of overall musical talent. Ever since instruments were introduced, singer-songwriter types and those who are just generally mutli-talented but not amazing in any one aspect are getting through over the big, exciting powerful voices. That might be popular in music today, but it doesn't make for exciting television and it feels very underwhelming when you watch it as a competition.

    So I don't think it's that this crop of contestants was especially bad, I just think the shift to favor marketability and low-key artist types over creating an exciting program has hurt the show. When the show is fun to watch, it doesn't matter if someone isn't traditionally marketable, because there is excitement surrounding it and people become invested enough to be interested no matter what.

  2. I watched AI last night HOPING to see CLAY!! What a disappointment! I wasted 2 hours of my life for nothing!! He would have been the only highlight on the show! I watched AI only sporadically this past year and now I'm done with it for good!

  3. Musicfan,

    AMEN, Sistah! There was nothing Clay-like about the AI9 Finale. Sadly, I think the amazing Season 2 we still celebrate today is but a fond memory.

    The adjectives "lame" and "amateurish" in regards to Idol's 9th offering are apropros. I am glad I only watched the finale. I am immersing myself in the Decca previews of Clay Aiken's "Tried & True" CD as I type.

    Thinking of you and your family …


  4. I did watch it, hoping for a glimpse of Clay. I must say, I am thankful he did not appear. What is wrong with them? Seems all AI winners, runner-ups were grouped into a song together. But of course they let Carrie, have her own song. Is this not American Idol? Why did they promote other performers that had nothing to do with the show…They should be promoting their own….. It was a mess, a waste of 2 hours for me. Thank God Clay's CD will be out next week. AI has not supported Clay in years…not even for promos for all his CD Releases. SHAME ON THEM!!!!!!

  5. I got to watch the last 20 minutes. Apparently, there were tweets going on after the finale and mostly, I must say were asking why Clay was not there etc…….well….congratulations to Lee and Crystal! Hoping for a good career for the both of them. ALL IS WELL in the Claynation! Looking forward to TNT drop on 06/01!

  6. I didn't watch and haven't missed it at all. I don't care for what it has become. Glad Clay wasn't there.

  7. Glad Clay didn't appear on that show. Hard to believe all those people flew in for a 10 second stage photo op. Kelly didn't look very thrilled to be there. The favoritism shown by the IA producers and judges really kills the show for me. There was an article in Yahoo news this morning about the wrong idol winning this year…again. Yes, the voting needs to be changed as there will never be another winning young female singer when it is young females power voting for their cute guy.

  8. 🙂 Didn't watch and haven't watched for a long time (but I did listen to the whole thing on the phone LOL!!!). I find it very sad that Idol seems to spend more time on other artists than their OWN artists. Why wasn't Kelly Clarkson, the first and most successful Idol to date, given a solo performance? She should have been highlighted on that show, just as much as Carrie Underwood (if not more so).

    Going by what you see on any given Idol finale, they've found one star in 9 years. Out of the hundreds of thousands of people who audition? Really? The following should have been given performances outside of their "tribute" to Simon (some of these contestants weren't there, this is just my "bucket list"): Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Fantasia Barrino and/or Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood (well, she did perform), Chris Daughtry and/or Kellie Pickler, Jordin Sparks, David Cook and/or David Archuletta and, of course Kris Allen (who DID get to perform, as he should as reigning American Idol). ALL of the aforementioned are successful and were launched by American Idol – they should be proud of this and they really should highlight their successes.

    THESE are the people Idol should be supporting, not Hall and Oats (who I love), the Bee Gees, Chicago, Joe Cocker, and the rest. I understand they want ratings, but their show looks like an utter failure when they do not support their own, both during the season and most specifically on the finale.

    Idol has lost its way and they lost my family amongst their viewership a long time ago.

  9. Thank God I didn't watch after hearing it was a total train wreck. I agree with Sue…Idol lost it's way a long time ago.

  10. That was the worst AI ever. I love all the artists they had on BUT where were the younger, hipper groups? I think they lost their core audience.

  11. I watched on the chance Clay would be on. Overall, the show was boring. I hadn't watched all year but I did see clips of Chrystal on TV and read how good she was. When I saw the two finalists performing Chrystal was, IMO, better than Lee.

    As the first winner, Kelly should have had the solo. It was good to see Ruben, he looks great and I'm tired of Carrie, Carrie, Carrie even though I do like her. What I'm really fed up with is AI playing favorites at the expense of other very talented contestants that they've had on the show.

    It would be nice if Idol showed some pride in the previous contestants who have done well instead of discarding them for this years model.

  12. I so agree with what Sue said above. I haven't watched AI in years, but in the hopes of seeing Clay Aiken I watched total waaaaaaste of my time. I was glad to see Idol winners there, but they were given a backseat to artists that didn't come from idol. They should have been promoting their own, especially Kelly Clarkson and other winners. After all is said and done, glad Clay wasn't there lost in the sea of white with contestants that have not had the achievements that Clay has had. I'm so done with AI and from now I I'll remember Clays immortal words "Don't believe it, unless you hear it from me." Period end of story.

    Now on to a bright new beginning starting June 1st and I can't wait.

  13. I knew it wasn't likely but I was hoping against hope that Clay would be there. (Still leaves the question open of what's he doing in LA with Quiana?) I'm kinda glad he wasn't there also because it wasn't the best finale. I did like the Crystal/Alannis duet and the Casey/Bret Michael duet. Kris and Carrie did well but I agree with everyone else that AI should be supporting their idols. Bo Bice just came out with a new cd last week and it only sold 3000 copies. Wouldn't it have been nice if they had given him a lift? Not AI… nope, they need to support Chicago (who I do like but c'mon, let's talk about relevance) Yeah I'm probably over American Idol and it would certainly take a miracle for me to ever watch X Factor. It would have to be an epic performer of Clay proportions. Good riddance to Simon!

  14. I haven't watched AI in years and did not last night. I never expected Clay to be there even though several blogs said that he would. Some blogs are very good at reporting rumors as facts. I have ordered "Tried and True" and cannot wait until June 1st. Looking forward to Clay's appearances on "the View" , GMA and the Joy Behar Show.

  15. I, also, haven't watched AI in years, and I didn't watch it last night. Mainly, because I really never expected him to appear. From what I heard, it was a very boring mish mash. Clay has moved on and above AI and right now I am so anticipating his new CD in just a few days and his appearances on "The View", GMA and The Joy Behar Show.

    Thank you for the video's. I love Clay and Ruben singing "Ain't No Stopping Us Now." Hope they do that one on their tour. The AI 5 Video has always been one of my most favorite. Clay blew them all away that night.

  16. Thanks for the article musicfan. Wow I am still completely mesmerised by the second video every single time I watch it. Just WOW. No other words to describe the phenomena that is Clay.

  17. Thank you for posting those videos. I haven’t seen the one of Clay and Ruben for a while even tho I do love it, but I have watched the AI Finale video many times. It is priceless and I never get tired of it!

    I started to watch the AI finale in case Clay Aiken was on there, but I fell asleep about half way thru. I wish all of the finalists well and hope they have good people around them looking out for their best interests.

  18. The finale was a big disappointment. In 2003 we were blown away by Clay's outstanding performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on the 2 finale shows. That was a major water cooler moment. Nothing came even close last night. I'd rather they leave the guests off the show and just let the current and former Idol contestants perform. The Idol kids deserve better and I hope they make some changes for next year's show.

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