“Clay Aiken Was A Total Natural!”

Brian Mansfield is the moderator of a website entitled Idol Chatter.  As a section of USA Today, the website is fairly active and it’s members are fans of many of the former Idol contestants.  On Friday, Brian posted the following question:

Since American Idol’s producers are making all sorts of changes to the show this year, may I suggest one more? Why not bring back “An American Idol Christmas”?

Members of the board responded quickly and the 43 comments left on the website were almost all in favor of a new American Idol Christmas Show.

Do you remember the AI Christmas Show in 2003?  The holiday special taped on October 30, 2003 and aired on November 25, 2003.  It featured American Idol finalists Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Kimberley Locke, Tamyra Grey, Christina Christian, and Kelly Clarkson.  The show also included the American Juniors.

The hour-long show showcased the idols singing various Christmas songs as solos, duets and group numbers. Clay Aiken hosted the evening show.

Coming off the popular Season 2 of American Idol, the show was popular and the TV audience was large.  The show was reviewed by most of the well-known entertainment critics and, as always, their opinions varied as much as the performances by the entertainers.

Anika Van Wyk of the Calgary Sun said of Clay:

Second season runner-up Clay Aiken MCs most of the show and proves he has so much more stage presence than Ruben Studdard, who won Idol 2. Aiken’s rich pipes are also very well suited to holiday classics.

The magazine, Entertainment Weekly said:

FEAT OF CLAY Guarini was originally intended to be the special’s host, but a runner-up who actually sells CDs — Clay Aiken — will fill his shoes. And if the show’s producer is to be believed, Aiken’s talent for emceeing (think Ed Sullivan, not Eminem) matches his preternatural pipes. ”Clay was a total natural,” says Warwick. ”We struck gold there.”

Clay will do plenty of singing as well. He’ll start with ”Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day,” a tune originally attempted by a chanteuse who shares his melodramatic bent, chest-thumper Celine Dion. The Clayster will also belt Irving Berlin’s classic ”White Christmas” with Kimberly Caldwell, and will chime in with ”The First Noel” during a show-closing medley of standards.

I don’t know the author of this review, but Caldwell instead of Locke??  Somebody needs a fact-checker.

I do remember watching the show.  There are two things that I remember.  First, who had the “brilliant” idea to put Ruben in a White, fur-trimmed Parka?  Under the hot, bright lights, it must have been very uncomfortable.  Secondly, and the best of the evening, I heard Clay sing Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day for the first time.  I had never heard the song before and his performance was amazing.

What do you think?  Should there be another American Idol Christmas Show and should Clay, if asked, participate in the show?

The following video is from the 2003 American Idol Christmas Show.  This is the first time we heard Clay sing DSIAFCD.

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7 thoughts on ““Clay Aiken Was A Total Natural!”

  1. Nice again to watch these clips. Clay was good back then, but he is so much more polished now….It's really amazing to see how he has grown into the entertainer and singer he is. Clay just lit up the stage when he was on it.

    As far as another American Idol Christmas??? Not too sure about that for Clay. I truly don't think that will ever happen for him, and am thinking why would he???? We know that he has said that he will always be thankful for the opportunity he had on American Idol…but I truly think he has moved on passed this…. JMO

  2. I would totally watch this as long as Clay was on it. I'd kinda like to see a Clay/David Archuleta duet. That would be fantastic!

  3. As beautiful a memory as this is, and thank you for that memory, I do not want Clay associated with American Idol anymore.

  4. Today's CANN post brought a smile to my lips. Just yesterday, I pulled out my old VCS tape of the American Idol Christmas Show to get me in the mood for the holidays. It was a surprise at the time the show was on TV, to see Clay act as MC…but I loved it. He did a wonderful job. I agree that Ruben was way too hot in that white jacket with the fur. Clay was just a "kid" back then but he has certainly grown up to be a force of nature. What a voice! What a man!

  5. ~<3~i would love to see ~<3~clay~<3~ on an ai xmas show mcing again. but if they do it and don't include him, i will be done with ai forever…won't even watch their finale shows.~<3~

  6. I loved the Idol Christmas show and Clay was indeed a natural at hosting. I'm still hoping Clay gets the talk show he really wants one day. If they do have another Idol Christmas show, I'm going to let Clay decide what's right for him.

  7. Oh…I really enjoyed that video. I remember watching that back in 2003. Clay has always been so good and so charismatic..that when he is up on the stage…he is all I see. As far as an AI Christmas Show…I would prefer he didn't appear. I also believe that he is far above them. But, then on the other hand, that would be for Clay to decide, wouldn't it?

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