Aidin Vaziri | We realize that Clay Aiken is not everyone’s favorite “American Idol” runner-up. But the 29-year-old North Carolina native is the only one who sells millions of records, stars in a major Broadway show, gets to sell stuff on QVC, runs a foundation for children with disabilities and inspires fans to make homemade T-shirts that read “Clay shakes my ovaries a thousand different ways.” This week, Aiken releases “On My Way Here,” his first album of original material since his 2003 double-platinum debut, “Measure of a Man.” We spoke to him by phone from New York a few days before he wrapped up his five-month stint in the Tony award-winning musical comedy “Spamalot.”
Q: Why do so many people hate you?
A: I have no idea why they hate me, and I sure don’t have any idea why they love me. I’m completely clueless all the way around. In some ways, I’m sure, to a lot of people I represent that dorky kid in high school and middle school that everybody thought was a loser. And now there are plenty of people in the world who are bitter because that dorky kid became successful and they did not. It’s kind of threatening when that nerdy guy you’ve been making fun of for all those years has somehow become famous.
Q: You’ve obviously given this some thought.
A: I’ve been thinking about it for a long time.
Q: Does it make you sad?
A: Ah, I don’t care. Whatever. I’ve been around people who are too cool for me for almost 30 years now. I don’t know. I don’t think I’m very threatening, but I do threaten the notion that you must be good-looking and athletic and cool in order to be successful. I kind of screwed that up for some people who thought they were going to fly by. Continue reading.