Clay Aiken – Celebrating Christmas

On November 25, 2003, Clay Aiken was the MC and host of the American Idol Christmas Special shown on FOX-TV.

The show was taped in LA on October 30, 2003.  The following Idols were a part of the show:

From Season 1: Tamyra Grey, Christina Christian, and Kelly Clarkson
From Season 2: Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, and Kimberley Locke
They were joined by the American Juniors and the Canadian Idol, Ryan Malcolm.

Besides his role as the MC, Clay sang the following songs:

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime – Clay and Ruben Duet
White Christmas – Clay and Kim Duet
Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day – Clay Solo
The First Noel – Clay

The following are 2 examples of the Press for this holiday show…the bolding is mine!

Entertainment Weekly

It won’t be a very Justin Christmas this year. ”An American Idol Christmas Special” (Fox, Tuesday, 8 p.m.), will boast carols from ”Idol” hands including Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, Kimberly Locke, Christina Christian, and Ruben Studdard. But Mr. Guarini will be nowhere to be found. Why? ”He was in New Zealand and couldn’t make it,” says ”Idol” producer Ken Warwick. But dry your eyes, Guarini-philes, and take a look how those Idol-ers who DID make it will celebrate the holidays.

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.

INDEPENDENT WOMAN As befits ”Idol”’s first winner, Kelly Clarkson will make the biggest entrance. After all the other participants start things off with a medley, Kelly will strut out alone to sing ”My Grown-up Christmas List,” a track she recorded for the recent album ”American Idol: The Great Holiday Classics” (although it seems a stretch to call that obscure tune — previously recorded by Donny Osmond and Natalie Cole — a classic). She’ll go on to close the show with an a capella version of the carol ”O Holy Night.” That one we’ve heard of.

BIG MAN Second-season winner Ruben Studdard will sing Donny Hathaway’s ”This Christmas” (unaccompanied — even by his ”205” shirt, which he’s long since retired). He’ll then duet with Tamyra Gray on ”Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Along the way, maybe he’ll update the world on why his long-delayed album won’t be ready to grace our stockings.

BEST OF THE REST Gray, meanwhile, will get her own moments to shine, roaring through Mariah Carey’s ”All I Want For Christmas (Is You),” and the more sedate ”Silent Night.” Plus, the winners of this summer’s critically panned spinoff ”American Juniors” will reconvene to sing ”My Perfect Christmas.” Perfect, indeed: That should give you just enough time to hit the refrigerator.

Calgary Sun


Idol holiday cheer

by Anika Van Wyk
Calgary Sun

Dreaming of a saccharine Christmas? The Idol clan has just the one: Finalists from both seasons of American Idol host American Idol Christmas Nov. 25 at 9 p.m. on channel 3 and 22.

The hour of Christmas tunes is everything fans of the reality show would expect — memorable moments from the winners and painful moments from the runner-ups and group numbers. The only thing missing is blatant product placement and Ryan Seacrest.

Kelly Clarkson — the original American Idol — wisely stays away from the group medleys and sticks to strutting her stuff solo. Her a cappella version of O Holly Night is by far the highlight of the show.

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 velvet teddy bear, Studdard, has a beautiful voice and he best shows it off while doing a soulful duet of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, with Tamyra Gray. But it must be asked — what wardrobe genius decided to dress the king of sweat in a white fur- trimmed parka? Poor Ruben looks like he’s going to faint if he has to hit one more high note.

However, he doesn’t look as ridiculous as Christina Christian in her tarty ensembles, especially the red ultra-mini she wears while whining through the opening number — there was a reason she was cut.

Special guest Ryan Malcolm, the Canadian Idol winner, also has a costume blunder. The Jacko-esque pants he wears distract from his brief moment in the spotlight.

Malcolm’s voice is smooth and sexy during his version of Let It Snow, but the performance is way too safe.

The best gift of all from the American Idol Christmas special is that Justin Guarini, the runner-up from season one who starred with Clarkson in the movie From Justin to Kelly, is not in the show!

Did you see this show on TV?  Although a bit “cheesy”, I enjoyed watching Clay as he stole the show.



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9 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Celebrating Christmas

  1. I never got to see this show so I loved these videos. Thank you for posting them. I did find the cd and I love it. Clay always helps me get into the Christmas spirit. 🙂

  2. Ah wonderful memories, that was the night when flipping channels that I discovered Clay Aiken. Has it really been that long?

  3. I do remember watching this on tv!! Clay was amazing as usual….thanks for posting! It was fun to watch those videos again 🙂

  4. I did see this American Idol Christmas Show and loved it. Really enjoyed watching all three of the videos that are posted. Checked You Tube and also found the Don't Save It All For Christmas Day video. It is my favorite from the show and was sung by Clay alone. Clay did a spectacular job as the emcee for the show and I was very impressed with his showmanship. Thanks for the look back.. It is always fun to reminisce.

  5. I remember being so excited and shocked back in 2003 when Clay was the MC of this show. He did a wonderful job and the camera was on him a lot more than the others. I taped the show on VHS, and still bring it out during the holidays to watch it. I just fast forward thru all the other singers and watch Clay do his Christmas thing!

  6. I remember watching this when it aired. I was so excited that Clay was the emcee for the show and did an excellent job. He did a great job singing also! I really enjoyed watching the clips again.
    Thanks for posting them and reminding me about this Christmas program.

  7. That show sure had a hearty dose or cheese and I loved it. Clay was the perfect choice to be the host.

  8. I watched and taped this one, too! Cheesy or not I absolutely loved it and was so impressed with
    the job Clay did as MC!!! I have watched it many times and will continue to do so. If Clay's in it –
    I'm watching it!!

  9. i remember whatching idol christmas and i also loved it and clay was the perfict choice to be mc and claysinging dont save it all for christmas day iloved that part

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