American Idol…love it or hate it, it has become a huge phenomenon in the entertainment field. Although the viewer count has been dropping the last few years, the show still is able to rope in many people to watch “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”
Tonight, American Idol, Season 10, will feature the songs of Elton John. The Top 11 contestants will try to win a place on next week’s show by singing their hearts out, Elton John style. Because of last week’s save, two contestants will be eliminated this week.
Clay Aiken became known for his American Idol rendition of Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me. After all, he sang it four times on the televised part of American Idol.
We first heard Clay sing Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me (DLTSGDOM) on the Wildcard show in March of 2003. Clay seemed to have effortless power and he gave the impression that he had been doing this for a long time. From the beginning, he started working the camera and because he was really into the song, his face was very expressive.
It was fun to see the judges excited about Clay’s performance. Paula gushed and Clay blushed!! Randy and Paula gave him a standing ovation and even Simon was impressed.
As we all know, the next night, Clay was voted America’s Choice and after composing himself with a deep breath, Clay preceded to sing the song beautifully.
On May 19th, American Idol had a special final 2 show. The evening was filled with clips, interviews and live performances. Clay, once again, performed Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.
Probably the most memorable performance of DLTSGDOM was a few years later. May 24, 2006 was the Season 5 Finale. American Idol went all out to produce a show that was buzz-worthy. They enlisted the top singers to make an appearance on the show and thought that including Prince in the show would cause much excitement. Ah…little did they know that the buzz of the night was all about Clay Aiken.
AI did a Golden Idol Award skit. The category was Favorite Impersonation. Michael Sandecki, who impersonated Clay, won the competition and Ryan asked him to sing. As Michael started singing, the doors behind him opened and Clay walked through. Michael was totally awestruck by Clay. Clay surprised everyone with his new look and he didn’t look like Michael in any way!!
One of the best parts was the many comments from the press about Clay’s performance. The following are a few of the great press:
Yahoo Buzz: 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.
Access Hollywood: The moment everyone is talking about around here is the reemergence of Clay Aiken. Folks here have dubbed his new look a cross between KD Lang and the Beatles. Inside the theater, he sounded amazing but I don’t think he wasn’t expecting shocked auditioner, Michael, to start trying to duet with him on the song At one point off-camera the stage manager came out and told Ryan to sit him down. That’s why the chair was brought out and you see Ryan place him there.
Baltimore MIX 106.5: So who won Idol? Katherine, Taylor? No, it was Clay Aiken’s haircut.
DC MIX 107.3: Man, did you see that Clay Aiken song in the show last night? What a great voice, and what a great guy he is to go along with the joke.
Inside Edition: Clay Aiken told us today he really enjoyed being on the AI finale and he is really thrilled for Michael Sandecki
It’s a night to remember and a wonderful moment for Clay who allowed his Impersonator to perform, yet showed everyone that he was not even close in looks, voice or star power.
Tonight, some of Clay’s fans have decided to celebrate Clay Aiken and his fabulous voice. Many of his fans no longer watch American Idol so they are going to share remembrances and videos of Clay’s Elton John songs. And, they will be posting the fun on Twitter too. If you are around, why not join the fun. The more the merrier!!
The following videos are three of Clay’s performances of Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me! Enjoy!!