Clay Aiken Gave Them An Event!


Last night, I was looking for something on my computer and found some pictures that made me look 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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13 thoughts on “Clay Aiken Gave Them An Event!

  1. Goose-bumps, Chills, Tears, and all the while a smile on my face – won’t ever forget this Clay event! My family watching me watch this at the time said I was lit up like a light bulb! How could you not be. Clay was amazing – no one else

    will ever have a moment equal to this in my opinion!

    Thank you CANN for reviewing this moment in the history of AI!

    I can imagine you had a most wonderful weekend!

  2. I loved this!!! What a moment this was, none of us knew of Clay’s new look. Best moment ever on American Idol!!!! Thanks Musicfan for this wonderful trip down memory lane.

  3. I was so anxious that night, waiting for Clay to appear on Idol! What a surprise to see his new look! Love the hair and the suit! Of course, the voice was thrilling! Thank you, CANN!

  4. Thank you! I loved this performance! It’s one of my “go to-s” on You Tube when I need my Clay fix!

  5. I had a friend call me after the show to check if I had watched it and how did I like Clay's new hair do. It was so exciting to see Clay up on the AI stage again and blow the roof off with his song. He was and still is 'the best' of Idol.

  6. I will never forget that night I couldn't take my eyes off of Clay I loved his new Look What a wonderful night that was Thanks CANN for bring back the memories.

  7. Thank you for the pictures and video. I loved Clay's new look. The voice is great.It was a moment I will never forget. At the time I did not know Clay was going to be there. After all the time that has past, Clay still has changed his look, but his voice is still beautiful. He could sing any song and he is perfect. Thank you CANN to bring back this moment.

  8. Never watched AI until that season. Didn’t know who that was coming out in the background because I’d never seen Clay looking like that! I was hooked from that moment on.

  9. I will never forget that night I dint know that clay was gona come through those doors and as Michael was still singing I herd the croud screaming and I thought it was for Michael but suddenly the doors opend the screaming was for clay I was so amazed and thrilled when he came and sang that was indeed I also think one of the best idol epiasoes I have ever seen

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