Thursday, December 28, 2006


Clay, Clay, Clay: Why must we be that way?
Dec 27, 2006 10:03 PMCategory:

If it’s true, and I’m not saying it is, but if it’s true, Clay Aiken needs intervention.

Mama needs to step in there and ease him down off that high horse. We don’t breed our North Carolina young men to behave this way.

My story on Clay Aiken is an important one to tell, because it deals with fundamental human nature. And to be fair, I won’t judge him. That’s not my job. But in my interview with Joshua Willard, the 15-year-old kid who says Clay dissed him and others, I heard some things that bother me as a human being.

I was a contestant on Survivor: The Australian Outback. That was the grand daddy of all the Survivors. 33-million people watched the night I was voted out. The attention I got following that will never be rivaled in my lifetime. I was a guest on “The Early Show,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and so much more, and mostly within a 4-week period. I know what it feels like to have Hollywood shower you with attention, opportunity and flashbulbs. It can affect you if you let it.

I also worked for E! Entertainment Television and TV Guide Channel. I was on every red carpet, on all the sets interviewing star after star. In that, I saw wonderful people, but I also had my fair share of divas. They are evil. They have teeth and they’re typically surrounded by a group of people who worship them, feeding the monster. It can be ugly.

The worst diva is the reality show diva. They’re basically broke celebrities, but because they’ve instantly been showered with stardom, they act what they think is the part. I’ve interviewed almost all reality casts at one point or another and I’ve seen the worst of them. They saunter about as if they’d just won an Oscar, a SuperBowl and the lottery all in the same day.

I don’t know about Clay. But I’ve heard quite a bit. A couple of times I shared a charity stage with a “celebrity” who spent a great deal of time with Clay, fresh into his fame. The stories they told of tantrums and diva moments would curl your lashes. If that, and what Joshua Willard tells me is true, Aiken is a challenging soul. If he's the diva emailers tell me, he better pay his people well, since now he’s no broke celebrity. In Joshua’s story, there’s a lot you don’t see for various reasons.

To me, the most important ingredient missing is Clay. I called his management company in Los Angeles and did not get a call back. I contacted 19 Entertainment and did not get a call back. It’s the holidays so those offices are probably closed right now. Hollywood sleeps this time of year.

But I do want to hear Clay’s side of this story before I say much about my opinions on this specific situation. I will say, however, as a native resident of the Piedmont-Triad, someone who grew up here and left for the glitz and light….to potentially see a local “hero” to these children come to their backyard and dis them is obnoxious. It’s rude, childish, and a disgusting display of how we should treat our own. These children voted him into that coveted runner-up position. These are kids who dreamed of meeting Clay Aiken and worked hard to prepare for this moment to sing with him. This is admiration at its most basic level. And to deny them of this opportunity without an apology or reason why, if he did, is downright mean.

I want to know the reason, and it should be a good one. The truth in this matter is still out there, and until Clay gives his side, I’ll stand neutral. That’s my job. But I hope he returns my attempts to reach him. I really want to know why these kids say he did this. He has an open invitation to Fox8. We have a nice comfortable chair waiting on him, and green room for the entourage. I’ll buy the coffee, and his album if he’ll show up.

And there is also this account from someone else who was supposed to perform at the Greensboro symphony performance and the ClayMate responses to her. The ClayMates have been attacking a child who told of his experience with Clay and they have been attacking this woman and her account of her experience with Clay, also.

You ClayMates are disgusting. I wonder how Clay feels having A Thousand Different Mommies? Bitches.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

I Was Fired by Clay Aiken
So last night, December 23rd, I was supposed to sing at War Memorial here in Greensboro with the symphony for the Clay Aiken Christmas concert. The symphony was playing for Clay Aiken and they asked me to come out and render a couple of tunes with them during the pre-show. In addition, two contestants from CTG's Triad Idol (kids), as well as, the musicians from Triad Stage's production of Beautiful Star were also there. The symphony had gotten permission, as well as, money from the promoter of the event for all of this. At 7pm (the concert was at 7:30) we were all told that Clay Aiken had requested that there be no other singers. We don't know why. Speculation is that he was threatened by the fact that our combined talent was greater than the cast of American Idol. Other speculation is that he's a big baby. Either way, I did not get to perform at War Memorial with the symphony. But, they're already talking to me about next Christmas and doing the coliseum concert (20,000 people) and possibly recording a xmas album with the symphony.The best part is that I finally have a name for my memoirs, "I Was Fired by Clay Aiken".
9:59 AM - 11 Comments - 0 Kudos -
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I notice that you have 312 friends on your MySpace. Clay Aiken has more than 18,000 friends. Just a guess on my part but I would think that 99.9% of the audience was at the concert to hear the Symphony play and Clay Aiken sing and would not have been interested in another singer on the program. I know I wouldn't.
Posted by
lindylo on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 2:06 PM [Reply to this]

Lisa Dames
That's not the point, but thank you for your comment.
Posted by Lisa Dames on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 2:19 PM [Reply to this]
You make it sound like the others also got "fired" too, except there were other vocalists that performed during the symphony portion of the evening: a child and a young man and woman. Were there others that were set to perform as well?How long was this concert supposed to be?
Posted by
Eva on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 3:46 PM [Reply to this]

Ms Dames, I was at the concert last night and I'm a little confused about your comment that Mr. Aiken requested that there be no other singers. We were treated to a young girl who sang a fun rendition of "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" and then a boy and girl who led the audience in singing "White Christmas". Perhaps you meant that there were no adult singers... Maybe there were time constraints.
I do agree with the other person who left a comment. While the orchestra was excellent and the kids were fun, I basically paid to see one singer by the name of Clay Aiken. Mr Aiken doesn't need me to defend him, but he is usually very generous in sharing the stage. His backup singers actually sing full songs during his concerts.
Regards ellejay
Posted by
ellejay on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 3:47 PM [Reply to this]

Lisa Dames
Clay is very lucky to have such loyal supporters.
Posted by Lisa Dames on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 5:32 PM [Reply to this]

"Speculation is that he was threatened by the fact that our combined talent was greater than the cast of American Idol. Other speculation is that he's a big baby."
I think the key word here is "speculation" as neither of those reasons jibe in the least with the very generous performer who in every single tour prior to this one (where he isn't using backups) has handed over the microphone and given all three of his backup singers a solo, during his show.. The stage to themselves and their own chance to shine. Who does that?
And these are amazing singers. Clay isn't joking when he says Quiana Parler blows people off the stage with "My Grown Up Christmas List." If he were at all nervous about being upstaged he would never hand his show over to Quiana Parler or Angela Fisher, both of whom have huge, showstopping voices and regularly get standing ovations for their solos.
There may be any number of reasons you weren't able to go on last night. Time constraints, contract issues, whatever, but fear of being overshadowed simply wasn't one of them.
Good luck to you.
Posted by
GBB on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 7:21 PM [Reply to this]

Would it be possible for you to explain why others were allowed to sing and you were not? It seems that there were those who did sing during the symphony portion of the concert. Why is it you were the only one "fired by Clay Aiken"?Maybe there was a legitimate reason why you were not allowed to sing. Perhaps you were unwilling to accept that reason and decided to throw your own form of a temper tantrum.Are you really "the big baby" here? I'm inclined to think so.Please, change my mind. I'm interested in your explanation other than what you have posted here since this info. isn't entirely accurate.Mr. Aiken has always been very generous with sharing the stage, what did you do to eliminate your opportunity?
Posted by
BlackCatsRule on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 7:16 PM [Reply to this]

Lisa Dames
There has been overwhelming response to this particular blog entry. Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your comments with me.
Posted by Lisa Dames on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 8:14 PM [Reply to this]

So, apparently, it doesn't matter what type of attention (negative or positive) you get, as long as you get it.How very mature.
Posted by
BlackCatsRule on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 8:25 PM [Reply to this]

So the whole point of this was for you to use Clay's name to generate your own publicity. Gotcha.
As GBB said, Clay Aiken is a selfless performer. We certainly can't say the same about you.
Posted by
huskerfalcon on Sunday, December 24, 2006 at 9:29 PM [Reply to this]

Lisa Dames
Here is a story on one of the other performers affected by Clay's impulsiveness on December 23rd.
Posted by Lisa Dames on Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 10:38 AM [Reply to this]