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?