Tuesday, May 3, 2005
7 News Features: Candid Clay
By now, we've all heard the ABC allegations that American Idol is fixed. But we've never actually heard from a contestant who was there -- until now. Tonight, in an exclusive interview, Clay Aiken is talking about what he witnessed. Here's seven's Lynn Martinez with more in this special assignment report.
WSVN -- If there's anybody who has an ax to grind against American Idol it should be Clay Aiken.
Since losing to Ruben Studdard two years ago, he has tried to distance himself from competition -- even hiring a lawyer to get himself out of his contract.
But before ABC announced its investigation, Clay spoke to just one station, setting the record straight about America's favorite show.
Who would have ever guessed the biggest winner from American Idol could be a loser?
Clay Aiken recently in town to support his charity the Bubel-Aiken foundation sat down with 7 news in an exclusive interview to discuss allegations against American Idol.
American Idol Contestant Clay Aiken: "It's an honest program, it's an honest show. If Ruben had lost and I had won, the people who supported him would have said that it was fixed."
But Clay says he knows what happens backstage, he knows the executive producers, and he believes the competition is completely clean.
Clay: "You are in that show, you are around the producers, you are around the people who make the show happen, and you can tell and speaking with someone with firsthand knowledge that goes on and was there."
Clay never talked about the relationship between Paula Abdul and the other contestants but he did comment that any accusations of the show being fixed are completely false.
Clay: "I'm comfortable with the outcome and I really trust and really do trust the executive producers on the show and the network and I think people do have a little too much time on their hands."
As for this year's show, clay really doesn't have a favorite because he wasn't able to watch until last week, when he was actually in the audience.
Clay: "I think I saw one episode earlier in the year before they got into the top 12 and I think I saw some pictures of some kids in the top 12. they all look quite nice, but that's all I know."
Right now, he spends most of his time working on his music.
Clay: "We are slowly getting into the process of working on a new album. We would love to have it out by the end of the year."
And planning for a summer tour which includes a stop in South Florida.
Clay: "Do kind of an American type show, do a musical review of sorts, different music that was big in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, different decades."
And what little spare time he has left he spends working for charities like the Bubel-Aiken Foundation.
Clay: "The purpose of it is to include kids with disability into programs with kids without disability."
Clay even flew to Indonesia to help UNICEF with the tsunami victims.
Clay: "I have the opportunity to come back now and speak to congress about the need for funding for what UNICEF does."
In fact, the only thing clay doesn't have time for is to worry about his image.
Clay: "So far as image goes I just want to keep on being me and well see. Hopefully, people will keep on liking it and if they get tired and I need to reinvent myself then I will probably just hang it up, there is no point."
Clay was in town to honor a volunteer for working with his charity. There is no word on a tour date here in South Florida.
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