Clay Aiken – The Moment Everyone Talked About


Because of the announcement that Clay Aiken will be performing on the Thursday American Idol show, I thought back to  May 24, 2006. It was one of the most talked about performances that Clay Aiken has had in his entire career.

Need a hint? Think Michael Sandechi…you remember…the young man who impersonated Clay. Michael won the Golden Idol Award for the Favorite Impersonation. He thought himself an impersonator of Clay

I don’t think I will ever forget the night. I watched as Michael started singing. Then, I watched the doors behind him open and realized that Clay Aiken walked onto the stage. Clay was the star of the night. It was so much fun to see Clay treating Michael with respect, but at the same time making sure that the entire world knew that he was far-removed from the “geek” memory of “Idol Clay.”

American Idol wanted a joke. Clay Aiken gave them an event!!

 I thought it might be interesting to post some of the many reviews of Clay’s appearance on the American Idol Finale in 2006

Rickey’s AI Blog


CLAY!!!! CLAY!!! CLAY!!!!




The Idols sing Burt Bacharach songs… don’t they do this every year?

But my god, nothing can top the Clay Aiken moment. Next to Kelly he’s the biggest star this show has produced. Go Clay!

…there was one shining moment that will likely go down as one of the funniest moments in American Idol history….

People Magazine On-line

But the biggest showstoppers were Clay Aiken, who debuted a jaw-dropping new hipster hairdo, and Prince, who performed two songs solo before an ecstatic audience.

But the show did hit one perfect note when Clay Aiken surprised an off-key Clay Aiken-wannabe on stage for a wonderfully impromptu duet.

Fox News Online

Perhaps the biggest laugh of the night, however, came during an appearance by Michael Sandecki, a sensation from an early audition episode (sensational only for how bad he was), who did a “surprise” duet with Clay Aiken.

They performed “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and it really was akin to watching a before and after video, with Sandecki playing the role of the younger, naive Aiken, almost too enthusiastically.

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.”

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.

FOX-5 NY just read MY e-mail to segue into their Clay clip!

The best non-Taylor moment was the Return of Clay Aiken. He looked fabulous, sang better, and gave his awe-struck ‘impersonator’ an unforgettable surprise!”

I doubt that there will ever be a night like that again. Clay Aiken was and always will be, a Super-Star!!

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16 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – The Moment Everyone Talked About

  1. Hi Musicfan, no one can argue with that big surprised of the night and and it was declared by the entire entertainment magazines, tvs, etc that it was the best show ever!! that night with that appearance of Clay has made a history. I was totally in AWE!! when he came out of that stage with his new look and I said Gosh!! he is soooooooo.. GORGEOUS!! Can't wait for tomorrow night.
    Thank you so much Musicfan for your hardwork..

  2. Musicfan..thanks for posting that video with Michael and Clay. It was AWESOME!!!!! One of the absolutely best moments on TV EVER!!!!! I can't wait to see Clay tomorrow night. It's kind of fun not knowing what he will be singing…A N T I C I P A T I O N !!!!!!

  3. Over the top ecstatic that Clay will be on American Idol this Thursday. The show could not have chosen to showcase a better, best ever returnee. And…'s about damn time! Love the video. It is American Idol platinum gold! My guess for the song Clay will sing…..Bring Back My Love.

  4. OH! How I remember that night – brilliant in every way!!! My son walked into the room while we were
    watching and my family was well aware of my "fondness" for Clay – my son said – "look at Mom, she
    is lit up like a light bulb!!! 🙂 I was so excited with the whole thing – it was just soooo spectacular!!!
    I don't know how many times I have watched that tape over the years!!! Thank you Musicfan for
    letting us relive that night.

  5. I will never forget that night. I didn’t start watching Idol till season 4 so this was the exact moment I got hooked on Clay. I can’t wait to see Clay bring down the house again on Thursday. 🙂

  6. This performance always makes me smile. Greatest moment ever! I'll never stop enjoying this video or Clay Aiken ever. What a night that was. 😀

  7. I was watching this show but had no idea that Clay was coming out to sing, WOW and I Loved His Hair!!!! YES I MELTED!!!!!!!_Thank You for posting this, Love It, All Over!!!

  8. i will never forget that night when clay aiken came through the idol doors and michael reacton when he saw clay omg what a amazing night that was wow iloved that and the respect that clay had for michael i cant wait to see clay again and hear him sing again

  9. I was jumping up and down just like Michael, when Clay walked through those doors and began to sing. The new hairdo was a definite shock. Those were the good old days of Idol. Can hardly wait till tomorrow evening.

  10. That surprise performance was one of the most talked about moments ever in the entire history of Idol. I hope Clay can have another very memorable moment tomorrow night.

  11. I would have loved a repeat of that tonight because I think it was the greatest moment in both Clay's and AI's history. Had to watch it a couple more times.

    It was nice seeing him tonight but no spoilers from me!

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