Clay Aiken – A Benchmark Event!


I know that many of you have seen this video and blog before…but sometimes…well, you just need to see it again!! This was a very special step in Clay’s career and I am so thankful that I got to watch this wonderful talent on an amazing young man!  I probably will watch this again soon!!!


Today, I will be flying across the country for a mini vacation.  As usual, I will be traveling with my Chrome book so that I can keep up on what is going on.

I will continue to post, but my schedule might be somewhat different.  I will post if there is important news about Clay…it just might take me a bit longer to get to it.

Thank you for your understanding


There are times in a person’s career that become obvious benchmark events.  Some of these events are built up to be career-changing, but some just happen.  Most people believe that March 17, 2004 was a defining moment in the career of Clay Aiken.

Season 3 of American Idol was in full swing.  The final group of 12 contestants had performed on the first elimination show one night before.  Each singer had tried to impress America by singing a song for “Soul Night.”

But March 17th was Results Night and American Idol had invited Clay Aiken, the runner up of Season 2, as their special musical guest.

According to reports at the time, there were many fans who arrived very early in the morning for the 5 pm taping.  A reporter from KIIS FM came by the line at about 9 am to do a man-on-the-street interview with the line-sitters.  Someone had called Rick Dees for an on-air contest and they were intrigued that there were so many people lined up so early.  They wanted to know what AI3 finalist the people were there to see.  They were completely shocked to learn that most of the fans were there for Clay.

At about the half-way mark of the show, Ryan Seacrest announced Clay.  He strode onto the stage in a commanding way.  He was wearing a black turtleneck and a suit.  Instead of standing in front of the judges table, Clay chose to perform at the side of the stage.  Clay chose to sing Solitaire as it was being pushed as his new single.

The audience in the studio and those watching at home were treated to a wonderful performance.  Not only did Clay sing well, he was able to connect with the audience with his eye contact and emotional lyrics.  And I doubt anyone will forget the surreal “glory note.”

It was reported that Debra Byrd was monitoring the show on a TV screen at the front of the audience.  As Clay was singing, she smiled widely and seemed very proud.  Fred Bronson and Julia  DeMato were both a part of the audience that night.

All three of the regular judges were there.  One fan reported: “During Clay’s song, all three judges seemed to not be paying any attention whatsoever.  They were talking among themselves.  There was not one minute of interaction between Clay and those judges the entire time Clay was on the stage – not before, during, or after the song.”

After his performance, Clay chatted a bit with Ryan Seacrest.  Clay said he got a little nervous being in the studio again.  He also said that the tour with Kelly was going well.  Ryan made sure that the audience knew that Clay’s album had gone triple platinum.

The contestants had a chance to ask Clay some questions.  The audience laughed when Matt said he was having nightmares about Simon and wanted to know how Clay dealt with that.  His response was to focus on the goal and to not let anything get in the way.  He also commented that fame is hard when Fantasia asked him if people treated him differently.

At the commercial break, Clay went over to where the contestants were sitting and shook hands and hugged every one of them.  Someone from the audience threw up some panties and also a bear for him.  It was reported that Clay calmly picked up the panties and casually threw them over to Simon.

“My impression of the whole experience was that Clay is the real superstar here – he is just so far beyond American Idol,” reported a fan that was a part of the live audience that night.

It was certainly a night to remember and the entire audience was on their feet and applauding loudly for Clay Aiken, the new pop star.

Please watch the video of Clay singing Solitaire on March 17th, 2004

Yes…we have heard this song before…but it is always a real treat!

Have A Super Day!!

Clay Aiken News Network is an unofficial fansite. We are not affiliated in any way with Clay Aiken or his management. This website was made by fans for fans and makes no impression or impersonation of the official site, which can be found under the domain

5 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – A Benchmark Event!

  1. Remember that night so well – taped it as usual! Clay was magnificent! It always amazed me how quickly he became an ultimate entertainer! He was a natural from the beginning!

    Have a safe trip and enjoy! Have no doubts that you will! 🙂

  2. I am never tire of seeing and listening to OMC's performances. And thank you, CANN for starting each and every day with memories of Clay!

  3. Has it really been 14 yrs since Clay wowed the AI 3 audience with this fantastic performance of Solitaire?! No one does it better.
    Have a fun filled, safe vacation.

  4. I remember that night I was in a hotel room and I herd clay sing solatare on tv clay was indeed magnificent and that glory note oh my amazing it also amazed me also how clay became an ultamite intertainer he sure was a naturl from the beginning please do have a safe trip and do injoy

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