Waymon Hudson

I feel bad for Clay Aiken

Filed By Waymon Hudson | May 04, 2008 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Media
Tags: American Idol, Anderson Cooper, Britney Spears, Clay Aiken, closet cases, Jodie Foster

So I was going to turn this post into a huge joke about Clay Aiken. You know, pull out a few Kathy Griffin jokes about "Clay Gay-ken" or something. Then I watched the video of him performing his new song "The Real Me".

And I have to say: I feel bad for Clay Aiken.

Watch the video of him performing on QVC (a reason enough to feel bad for him, I'll admit) and catch the lyrics of his new song after the jump. It really does seem like he is sending out a cry for help from his closet.

iPhone users: Click to watch

And here is a sample of the lyrics (with my emphasis):

Foolish heart looks like we're here again
Same old game of plastic smile
Don't let anybody in
Hiding my heartache, will this glass house break
How much will they take before I'm empty
Do I let it show, does anybody know?

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me

Painted on, life is behind a mask
Self-inflicted circus clown
I'm tired of the song and dance
Living a charade, always on parade...

Now, I'm one of those people that says screw celebs in the closet. I think Anderson Cooper and all the rest should just suck it up and come out. Jodie Foster finally did. However, I think Aiken's case is different.

He was discovered at a young age on American Idol, where it has been well documented that the producers literally told contestants to not come out and to "butch it up" in the early seasons. He is basically a child star that has been formed by Fox and shoved in the closet.

He constantly has rumors swirling about him- a hustler saying Aiken paid him for sex, Kelly Ripa making "gay is gross" jokes at him, and all the intense blog speculation about his personal life. We forget that he is a young person who never had the chance to become comfortable who he is. In fact, he was told to not be himself and instead become a commodity for mass consumption.

And now he releases this song basically saying he has been forced to live a lie for his career.

Heck, this is more of an autobiographical song than Britney Spears' "Piece of me"...

So, does this mean that I will never giggle at another joke about Aiken? Probably not. But I think this does give a startling insight into the struggle that many young celebs go through and the pressure the industry puts on them.

But I still wouldn't buy his new CD. There's not enough pity in the world for that.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 4, 2008 2:08 PM

The choice is to choose not to seek celebrity. Don't worry about Clay, he'll find work in Branson Missouri as long as he sings "Star Spangled Banner" at the end of his performance.

And Butch it up? Did anyone tell Simon???

She did not read that memo honey!!!

Clay Aiken will be 30 years old in November. It's time for him to suck it up and live honestly - instead of just singing about it.

At this point, does anyone think Clay is straight? Maybe I've been on gay blogs for too long, but given that he's never explicitly denied it and no photos have surfaced of him with a girl on his arm in over five years of being famous, it may as well be accepted as fact. Even a recent CNN story about gay Idol contestants mentions Clay without saying he's gay.

OMG - ur such a catty bitch! I love it!

Robert- I love when you call me honey...

Bil- I agree, but still fell bad for the way he's been shoved in a little closet from an early age.

Serena- I learned from the best...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 5, 2008 9:41 AM

Aw Shucks!

Well Waymon, I have been cheating on you, I have to confess, possibly since before you were born. But seriously, with all the real problems in the world most "pop culture" stuff goes right over my head.

Yours in the Sticky Sweet!

Oh, wow. If anyone doesn't know that he's a closet case after hearing that song, there's no hope.

Who's in the Welcoming Committee here? I think we need to send him a fruit basket and let him know it's OK.

Haha, fruit basket. I'm as funny as Kathy Griffin.

only an idiot wants to be famous. rich - yes, powerful and influential - yes, famous - no. look at what it has done for elvis, john, and britney. i actually feel bad for ANYONE who is famous. call me a humanist...

With a bit more empathy than Bil, I agree with him. Clay is old enough and his name is "established" enough (such that it is) that he should be able to come out and the American Idol moguls can't do anything to him ...

... unless there is a draconian DADT clause in a still-running contract somewhere that says "you must not ..." in which case he should take a deep breath and violate the clause, then pray that somebody is stupid enough to sue him. The publicity surrounding any ensuing court case would do his career a world of good!

And in general, at this point he has a bigger career out of the closet than in ... at least he could be Grand Marshall in a few Pride Parades.

Pride parades don't pay well, but after that, he could help Dixie Longate sell Tupperware --- and he could retire comfortably on Tupperware money. Isn't QVC some type of TV shopping network? Man, that's really cheesy! ...

I suppose I must be the only one left on earth who doesn't find any redeeming virtue in American Idol, or in most of those who've competed in it. Do they have a rule on that show that everyone, including the men, must be divas?

I'll pay attention when someone wins who can actually sing and play rock n' roll. Not until.