Think 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 about Clay’s appearance on the American Idol Finale in 2006
Rickey’s AI Blog
CLAY CLAY CLAY CLAY CLAY CLAY
CLAY!!!! CLAY!!! CLAY!!!!
THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME SHOW EVER!!!!
CLAY AIKEN IN THE HOUSE!!!!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!!
When was the last time you saw this?
What a Night! seeing Clay on Idol stage with his new Sophisticated Look and hearing him SING!
Anticipation building up all day long at work and during the show! Thank you, CANN !
That night was magical! Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I still watch this performance on YouTube! One of my all-time favorites! Clay was so handsome with his new look! You said it-Clay was and is a Super Star!
Anyone who watched that night will ever forget Clay & of course Michael. Clay looked amazing with his new look. Thanks for another great performance.
I still get goosebumps every time I see this performance! No one even remembered who won that night. Clay absolutely stole that show! He was absolute perfection!!
Love, love the Beatle haircut and I still say no one wears a suit like Clay Aiken!
Thanks for the walk down memory lane, CANN! <3
Thank you for the pictures and the video. I do remember this show. Clay look great and the voice was amazing. I wish I could watch the whole show over again. I was surprise when Clay walk out No one will ever forget. I do not think the AI ever had another surprise like that again. Thank you for the great memories.
it was along time since ive seen this video all I can remember was david Sandusky trying to sing the song that clay sang but then all of a sudden isaw clay waking out of the idol doors and coming in and singing with david omg what a night that was clays singing that night was amazing and clay looked great also he had a new hair dew I wont forget that amazing night I don't think eather that americian idol ai ever had such a surprise lkike that thanks so much for the clay memories
Clay stole the show, no doubt about it!!