Friday, December 29, 2006

Clay Aiken: His Own Words. What happened?

The following was put together by Clay Fans some time ago. It's interesting to read the words he said and compare them to his current behavior.

by clz4clay

This is the first Clutterance in a while and it is a long one. I’d like to express some thoughts using Clay’s words.
There were so many comments about how much Clay was enjoying himself during the Juke Box Tour. If you read the reviews both in newspapers and from fans who attended it’s a common theme…Clay loved being on that stage. Then there are the wonderful quotes from the banter that happened at different venues:

To men in the audience: When they were enthusiastic – “It’s ok, you’re a claymate, don’t be ashamed (Atlanta); It’s a fate worse that death – yuck – Clay Aiken – sometimes I get sick of him!” (NH); “Do you listen to the wonderful Clay Aiken CD’s in the car? – Me too! (Boston); “Ladies and gentlemen we have a word for this but I’m not going to say it because you look like you could beat me up – pretty much anyone does.” (Boston)
Screamed from the audience – “I want you Clay” and Clay responded – “Well thank you, I love me too – oh did I say that out loud?” (Rochester)
"You people with cameras are crackin me up - That lady took 20 minutes to sit down because she didn’t want her camera to jolt – because God forbid the clack skipped around….yeah I know your words!” (Clio)
"I’m sweatin into my eyeballs here…I’m going to take a break and probably going to have to take a cold shower (audience goes nuts) …Maybe I shouldn’t have said that huh? Ok let’s rewind – I’m going to go back in there and read a book." (Cary)
“Then you’ve got the skinny white boy who is funk free.” (Cary); “What are you lookin at from the 2nd row with binoculars?” (Cary); “Who just said hurry up? Perfection takes time honey!” (Merrillville)
"It’s all good. There are people here that are going to be mad at me because I said that and people that are gonna be happy I said that. You can never make anybody happy altogether so I figure I’ll just speak my mind – why not.” (Clio)
“We’ve gotten a little flack from the critics…. I just say "gotcha It’s my show” {Editor's note: He actually said, "Pfffft! It's my show!"] (Rochester)

When Clay said in the TV Guide interview:

“LA is such a lonely city, the most desperate city in the world. Everybody here is concerned with the wrong things, with their outsides, and everybody else’s outside, and their insides rot.”
Some decided that he was slamming ordinary people in LA. Whatever Clay heard on the boards or from acquaintances after that interview was released caused him to restate the obvious:

Quote: "I said I felt people there put too much emphasis on the outsides and not their insides," Aiken says. "What I meant to say was 'people in the entertainment industry' and I kind of generalized 'entertainment industry' as 'L.A.' and it came out that way. I read it back that way and went, 'Oh, crap,' and it kind of stirred a commotion amongst fans and whatnot, and that's nothing that would ever have happened to me before."
"I'm surrounded by people in the entertainment industry, not people that I work closely with, but people in general in this business, who, sometimes I think their priorities are wrong. But I just said it one way and now I look like a jerk, and I didn't mean it that way at all. That's not the kind of thing that would have happened to me as a teacher. I would have said something, people would have realized what I meant and I would have moved on to the next thing." (Pittsburgh Gazette)

The part of this quote that stuck out for me was: “That's not the kind of thing that would have happened to me as a teacher. I would have said something, people would have realized what I meant and I would have moved on to the next thing.”
Clay has told us many things about himself so I was a little bewildered that what he said in the TV Guide interview was misinterpreted, after all he did say:
Quote: “It’s hard to know who means well and who doesn’t. It makes it all the more important that you stay true to yourself.” (LTS – pg.208)
"There have been more trials recently than in my past life. I've had to fully rely on God now than I have in the past. In the past, I would make decisions more hastily and not have a problem with it, but now I take time to pray about it and really think about it and try to see what's exactly best for me, what God would want me to do, what my family would want me to do. It's hard to know who to trust in L.A. God is one Person you can always trust." (2004)

Remember the Sewell, New Jersey incident when Clay was being accused of treating kids in a poor manner. This was not anything like the Clay that we knew – nothing like Clay had always talked about. Later we learned that indeed it was all baloney – and we also learned that Clay was hurt by the fact that he was accused of something that was so anti his character:

Quote: The only downside to his global celebrity is that it has made him a target for the tabloids, which realize his face on the cover will sell papers. Not even someone with his wholesome image is immune to their creative smearing. He's adopted the savvy strategy of ignoring them, but one piece, which was sent to him, was especially hurtful, he said. "One of them wrote I was working with a children's choir last Christmas and I was rude to them. I've spent my entire life working with kids, trying to help them." The only consolation, he said, is, "I think most people didn't believe this story because it was so preposterous." (Sun-Sentential – April 2,2005)

There are a number of times that this has happened… Clay has been accused of things that are not anything like the Clay Aiken as HE says he is.
Again, during the Juke Box Tour, Clay gave some awesome interviews. In them there are tons of personal things that he said about himself that are remarkably similar to what he has always said. He is consistent and I think that should be heeded – It helps in understanding just who Clay is. “IT’S MY SHOW reaches a lot further that stage left or stage right:
Quote: "When people are screaming at you on stage it's a kind of selfish fulfillment, that's the only way I can think of to describe it," he says. "Who doesn't want to have people love and enjoy what they do? But there's only so much you can get from people telling you how wonderful you are. (Express Times 8/2005)
I love seeing people joyful. It’s great to witness the effects of the music. It makes the long drive to the next city that much easier when I know it will matter to people that I am coming to sing. (LTS)
"There's a completely different satisfaction in learning what there is to do to help other people. I don't feel like my trip to Uganda is going to greatly change the situation there. But even if it's a small change it was worth it." (Express Times)
Singing in front of a stadium of fans is wonderful, but it pales in comparison to being embraced by a child. (LTS pg144)


Quote: "I feel everybody has a purpose on Earth and God has given each person a gift to improve the surroundings they're in once they've discovered what that gift is," he adds. "So each person's purpose is for the glory of God and to better our surroundings." (Express Times)
"I can see a clear path of where God put me…..and how each experience, each situation ….. prepared me…. for the next one. It’s concrete evidence for me that God has a plan and that it’s important to continue to have faith in Him and His ability to guide my life and not to rely on myself or any earthly person to do that…… where I am now is because of His direction and His guidance (that) makes it a lot easier for me now to realize – well just give it up and allow God to control what you’re doing in your life each and every day. " (Interview on Learning To Sing CD)
"I look at this gift as a stepping stone, or trait if you will, that I can use to ultimately better things," he says. "I think the entertainment career in many ways enables me to do more important things." (Express Times - 2005)
"I believe God has a direction for me. He did not give me this life just so I could buy a big house and an SUV. My job is to give back and to be a decent human being no matter how many people cheer my name." (LTS)
"In church in Raleigh, the congregation used to say, “Make sure you use your voice for the Lord.” I feel that is what I’m doing. And I will continue doing it until the Lord tells me to pipe down." (LTS)


"When I stand out and look from the stage I see families and a lot of kids out there and that's a big thing for me," he says. "I always thought I was going to spend my life working with kids in some way. I know I'm not a teacher when I'm onstage. But whether you're singing or dancing or acting, I think you have a responsibility." (Express Times - 2005)

"I think there are certain things I want to stay away from. I think there’s a lot of people out there right now who necessarily may not portray the most wholesome things. There’s a lot of people out there who I wouldn’t want my kids to watch so whatever direction we go in I want to make sure that it’s something that I wouldn’t be ashamed of – something I wouldn’t be ashamed to let my kids watch" (ROLLING STONE PHOTO SHOOT INTERVIEW - 2003)

"Every single person who is a celebrity, whether they want to or not, is going to be watched by millions of people. They have a choice to make. They can either make the choice to set a good example or make the choice to not care what other people think of them. I don't necessarily care what other people think about me, but I do make the choice to set a positive example all the time." (BEAUTIFUL GIRL INTERVIEW - 2004)


Quote: After Clay talked about his travels this year for UNICEF this interviewer asked him it that was the kind of thing that keeps him grounded: “To me it’s just an opportunity to continue to do what I was doing before hand. I was a teacher before this and had an opportunity to work with kids everyday. It’s the type of thing that most days I wish I could go back to. (Clay then talked about being jealous of his teacher friends and wishing he had the difficult child to work with or the tons of papers to grade.) So it’s really an opportunity to stay connected to what I always thought I wanted to do – well many days still think I want to do. (WLEV100.7 – Allentown 8/4/2005)

"The foundation is my future now. I feel that speaking out for others is the best way to use my voice the rest of it, all the pop-star stuff is ultimately a platform for giving back. And I have come too far to give up now. Resistance will not deter me from what I intend to do, from what I see is my higher purpose. I was planning to teach in a classroom. I am still teaching. My classroom has just gotten bigger." (LTS)


“I don’t like to make that type of plan. I don’t like to make that type of goal. Everything that’s happened to me so far has happened because I was opened to letting God allow me to go where he wanted me to be and letting provident direction drive and guide me. (WLEV 100.7 – Allentown, PA - 2005)
"Everyday you look at where you are, and what you’re doing. And you think God put me here for THIS reason. God made me meet THIS person for THIS reason. And God has this in store for me. And there’s always just so many exciting things, and so I just get excited about what’s next and what He’s got ready for me and I’m just willing to take what He wants me to do." (KISS 98.5 Buffalo Interview (1/29/2004)


" I don't want to try to guess, I just want to be able to say I did it in the way I thought was the most honest, the most scrupulous for not only me, but for those around me." (Meadville Tribune 8/19/2005):
“It's important for me to maintain my belief system in whatever I am doing.” (Reality TV interview 12/2004)

I know that good men do not stay good if they become consumed by ego…..I don’t want all the good work I plan to do to be eclipsed by selfishness. I want to stay connected to the right, real things – helping children, building camps, training teachers………. (LTS pg 150)

“This is my real life right now,” he says, dancing a little. “I’m not going to change who I am. But I am concerned about how I handle myself. Will I be able to stay open and friendly?” His smile drops and he looks for a moment, genuinely sad. Then he smiles again. “You come back in five years. If I’ve become someone else, you can look me up and slap me in the face.” (Elle interview - October, 2003)

I think it's time for the reporter from Elle to slap him in the face.