Clay Aiken Slams American Idol Judges

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Next year will mark a decade since Clay Aiken finished second on American Idol.

But the singer - who is off on a new holiday-themed tour - doesn't expect the show to honor this 10th anniversary via any kind of performance invitation, not considering the path Aiken believes Idol has headed down.

Clay Aiken Pose

"Idol back in those days was about the contestants," Aiken tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Kelly [Clarkson] and Justin and Tamyra [Gray] and Nikki McKibbin, they were all the stars of the show. And when I was on, Ruben [Studdard] and myself and Kimberley Locke were the stars of the show.

"Now Idol is about the judges. I don't even know if they remember there are contestants anymore."

Ouch. Zing!

Season 12 will feature three new panelists, of course, but the past few months have been focused entirely on the supposed feud between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, lending credence to Aiken's point.

In other American Idol alumni news:


I don't see anything wrong with Clay's comment. It's no different from what a lot of entertainment blog writers and reporters are saying. The question was also asked of him by a reporter in another article that you didn't bother referencing. He didn't just start talking about to get attention like you are trying to deceptively portray. Anyways it's wonderful that Clay has been able to carve out a career for the last 10 years for himself. Touring nationally 10 times,multi-platinum cd sales, author of a New York Times Best seller , Broadway actor (Spamalot), founder of National Inclusion Project and UNICEF ambassador. He has certainly kept himself busy.


I've been a loyal AI viewer since season 2. I guess it's a matter of taste, but I think the hiring of Nicki Minaj has put an end to that for me. I have a hard time even looking at her for 2 seconds, never mind in 2 hour doses!! Yuck!!!


I totally agree with Clay, even though she wasnt in the top 5 lets not forget Jennifer Hudson. She is an American Idol. To this day I LOOOOOOVVVEE Kelly Clarckson. She's my favorite pop star next to the QUEEN PINK.

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]