Clay Aiken – A Star We All Love

Are you watching American Idol this season? I admit I haven’t seen the show for a years, but it is still a popular show for many people. In early March, 2003, Clay Aiken performed on the Wildcard Show for Season2 of American Idol. For those who are fans of Clay, it brings back many exciting memories.

Simon kept saying it was going to be the best show of all. This was a time when the “best of the rest” would be given another chance to showcase their voice and style.

Many people felt that the Wildcard show was the beginning of the real competition. This show featured some average singers, some good singers and one outstanding singer.

American Idol had been pushing for days that there was an unbelievable “twist” that would be announced on the Wildcard show. When the time came for the announcement, Ryan asked Simon to explain. The news that there would be a top 12 instead of a top 10 was not really that exciting, but it was different from Season 1. Simon went on to explain that each judge would choose one contestant to go on and the American public would choose the fourth.

First up on the program was Kimberly Caldwell who sang I Feel The Earth Move. All three judges were unimpressed with the performance and Kimberly looked crushed by the judge’s comments.

Next up…. Clay Aiken. Singing Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Clay seemed to have effortless power and he gave the impression that he had been doing this for a long time. From the beginning, he started working the camera and because he was really into the song, his face was very expressive.

It was fun to see the judges excited about Clay’s performance. Paula gushed and Clay blushed!! Randy and Paula gave him a standing ovation and even Simon was impressed.

Singing Wind Beneath My Wings, Nasheka Siddall was very nervous and it really showed in her lackluster performance which got mixed reviews form the judges.

The next young lady was a mystery. Where did she come from?? Carmen Rasmussen was an adorable young girl who had a lot of determination. Singing Don’t Blame the Moonlight, her voice had a unique quality and some were put off by her obvious vibrato. Paula was vague and suggested she work on her showmanship and Randy told her to keep trying. “We brought people back to give them a chance to shine and you didn’t,” said Simon. Most of the viewers thought Carmen didn’t have a chance.

Olivia Mojica

Olivia Mojica sang Because You Loved Me. Her voice was pleasant, but because of poor breath control, it was very weak.

We Belong was the song choice by Janine Falsone. This song needed to be sung with power and passion and Janine showed neither of these in her performance.

Chip Days sang Rock With You. Randy and Paula liked it, but Simon thought it was terrible and in one of his famous rants, pointed out his dissatisfaction with the entire group.

Arms of An Angel was the song choice for Aliceyn Cooney. She has a lovely voice, but the over-used song was a bad choice.

The last performer of the night was Trenyce. Singing Let’s Stay Together, she did a great job. She had a great deal of style and her strong voice moved her ahead of most of the other contestants. Paula and Randy loved her performance but Simon was not blown away.

Each performer had family and friends there to support them. Clay has his two friends, Nick and Kristy there to encourage him. It is nice to know that they are still a part of Clay’s support team.

At the end of the show, Ryan encouraged the viewing audience to vote, vote, vote. Did you follow Ryan’s advice and vote? Who knew at that time that America had found a new star. Thank you, American Idol for introducing us to Clay Aiken.

The following evening, four of the contestants were chosen to join the Top 12.

Randy Jackson chose Kimberly Caldwell even through he said he was still waiting for her to perform up to her potential. Kim is a beautiful young woman and it has been suggested that she was chosen for her image as much as her voice.

Paula chose Trenyce. Few people were surprised as she sang well and was dynamic in her presentation.

Simon talked about a unique voice and surprised the audience by naming Carmen Rasmussen as his pick. Carmen looked shocked as Simon had told her the night before that she was not good enough to make it.

The last pick of the night was “America’s Choice.” The six remaining contestants sat together on the sofa and looked very nervous. Ryan slowly announced a….contestant….by….the….name….of….Clay Aiken. After hugging everyone and composing himself with a deep breath, Clay preceded to sing beautifully. Then he mouthed to the camera, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. Simon declared that his performance was the best one of the show and Randy said, “You so deserve it.”

The American public got it right. They gave Clay the opportunity to shine and he became the star we all love.

There are two videos of the two nights. The first is Clay’s performance.  The second is the announcement of the winner and then Clay’s interview after winning.  A big thank-you to Wowzers4Clay for the great YouTubes!  And don’t forget, if you click on the pictures they will expand to the original size.

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