Archive for Brian Mansfield

Clay Aiken – “A Total Natural”

Brian Mansfield used to be the moderator of a website entitled Idol Chatter. As a section of USA Today, the website was fairly active and it’s members were fans of many of the former Idol contestants. In 2010, Brian posted the following question:

Since American Idol’s producers are making all sorts of changes to the show this year, may I suggest one more? Why not bring back “An American Idol Christmas”?

Members of the board responded quickly and the 43 comments left on the website were almost all in favor of a new American Idol Christmas Show.

Do you remember the American Idol Christmas Show in 2003? The holiday special taped on October 30, 2003 and aired on November 25, 2003. It featured American Idol finalists Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Kimberley Locke, Tamyra Grey, Christina Christian, and Kelly Clarkson. The show also included the American Juniors.

The hour-long show showcased the idols singing various Christmas songs as solos, duets and group numbers. Clay Aiken hosted the evening show.

Coming off the popular Season 2 of American Idol, the show was popular and the TV audience was large. The show was reviewed by most of the well-known entertainment critics and, as always, their opinions varied as much as the performances by the entertainers.

Anika Van Wyk of the Calgary Sun said of Clay:

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 magazine, Entertainment Weekly said:

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.

I don’t know the author of this review, but Caldwell instead of Locke?? Somebody needs a fact-checker.

I do remember watching the show. There are two things that I remember. First, who had the “brilliant” idea to put Ruben in a White, fur-trimmed Parka? Under the hot, bright lights, it must have been very uncomfortable. Secondly, and the best of the evening, I heard Clay sing Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day for the first time. I had never heard the song before and his performance was amazing.

What do you think? Should there be another American Idol Christmas Show and should Clay, if asked, participate in the show?

The following video is from the 2003 American Idol Christmas Show. This is the first time we heard Clay sing DSIAFCD.

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