June 25th, 2010
01:19 PM ET

Clay Aiken thinks he could fill Cowell's 'Idol' seat

Add “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken to the long list of celebrities who think they should replace Simon Cowell on Fox’s hit singing competition.

In a new interview with Billboard.com, the season 2 runner-up says, “I've always thought it would be a great addition to the panel to have someone who's a former contestant and knows what it's like to be up on that stage and be critiqued."

Though 31-year-old Aiken is already plenty busy promoting his new album “Tried & True” and touring this summer with second-season “Idol” champ Ruben Studdard, he says he’d be happy to take the Cowell spot if asked.

"I would not put myself out there to be as caustic as [Cowell] is, but if they want to call me, bring it on,” he said. “We can talk."


soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Loretta Bridge

    Clay can't even do a good job as co-host on The View. As a judge on Idol....that old truly kill the show.

    July 16, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mika

    He looks horrifying. Like a freak. I think he would upset the balance of decent looking judges.

    July 11, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gloria Thompson

    I'd rather see Paula come back!!!

    July 10, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Susanne

    I think he should take Larry King's spot!

    July 8, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Karen

    Do it and i will never watch Idol again.

    June 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hillary

    Quote from above: """um... this show you hate, birthed him"""

    Not all parents are good parents. Clay made the statement tongue in cheek in an interview. Clay is rebuilding and needs to stay far away from the sinking ship that is American Idol.

    June 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Belle Start

    To become a judge on AI, first of all you must have a knowledge of music and I don't the AI loser Clay Aiken has that. He needs to know the difference in singing a song and screaming one, which is what is tends to do. His last album went from No 8 on Billboard to No 78, the songs that were on it were some classics that I like and he overkilled them all. He has to be one of the worst singers out there.

    June 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • sean

      Do you realize how braindead you sound? You're either lying about even hearing the album, Tried & True, or you're just a hater who will never admit anything good about Aiken. The critics have been universal in their praise of his vocals on this album, his best ever, nuanced, rich & pure. Some of the greatest artists & producers have worked with him or expressed the desire to collaborate with him & have had nothing but great things to say about him as a musician & person..... Vince Gill, David Sanborn, Linda Eder, Chaka Khan, Elvis Costello, Mary J. Blige, Neil Sedaka, Phil Ramone, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Walter Affanasieff, John Fields, the Grammy-winning producers of Aerosmith & Sting, way too many to list.... the crap you spew only makes you look small & stupid.

      June 27, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. residentgeek

    what? are you seriously kidding? the show is just about on its last legs anyhow and honestly clay is not that good of a singer, plus he doesn't strike me as able to man up in anything let alone in telling people they suck. other than randy right now there isnt anyone with a strong musical background. you need someone tough. bret michaels would be good, but i vote for gene simmons.. he has been a singer a long time, he is mouthy, and he can be rude..

    June 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sue calgary

    hell no!

    June 27, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. merdrew

    I think it would be interesting to see Aiken as a judge. He has a very sarcastic sense of humor, but at the same time a heart. I don't know why he would want to be, though. Boarding the ship as it sinks is not usually the smart thing to do.

    June 27, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bummer

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 27, 2010 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. kaylen

    clay aiken on idol? no way! tell me this is a joke

    June 26, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nat

    I agree with him, I think the panel needs a former contestant. Not necessarily him, but anyone who's been through the process and can relate. They have Cheryl on the UK's X-Factor for that reason, and it really works.

    June 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MrsThing

    Clay would be an embarrassment to the rest of us gays.

    June 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benjy

      Speak for yourself, thing. I got to know Clay working on Cyndi Lauper's Give A Damn campaign and he's a great guy. Very funny, smart and charming as well. Get your head of bogus tabloid garbage and listen to what the man has been saying about equality at numerous events. He's one of the good guys.

      June 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. keith

    If this butt pumping fancy pants shows up on american idol it will be a sad day for tv

    June 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Kareen

    If the show isn't dead already, Clay sure would kill it.

    June 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. mike

    For my two cents, Harry Connick Jr. should replace Simon Cowell. Make it happen.

    June 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Curt

    Yeah...Go for it. I've quit watching anyway.

    June 26, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  19. Perry

    How about David Foster....Really knows music and can be very critical and enlightening without the sharp tongue

    June 26, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  20. nickc1969

    "if you saw him at one of his concerts..."

    They wouldn't allow me into the theater because I was in possession of MY MANHOOD.

    June 26, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  21. Peggy Smith

    No offense, but I think that one gay point of view on the panel is enough.

    June 26, 2010 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  22. susan

    Clay Aiken would make a great judge. Talented, smart funny, cool , hot. He is the only reason I would watch American Idol again.

    June 26, 2010 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  23. desiree

    Clay is a funny guy, razor sharp wit and he has a sarcastic edge to him. I think he'd be a great judge but don't want going near jumped the shark AI. I think he was just kidding but he got some press out of it didn't he. Did I mention he's also a smart guy? Yes, he is.

    June 26, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  24. guest

    I'm just stating my opinion, they need a tough judge on the show, like a sue sylvester, the person who fills Simon's seat needs to be honest and merciless, unswayed by sob stories and such. No offense Clay, but you're no Cowell

    June 25, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Lou

    Clay would be great....if you saw him at one of his concerts you would know that he has a 100 watt personality. Actually, now that I think of it, he is too good for that show. I think American Idol has jumped the shark.

    June 25, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Josh

    Someone up thread said Clay doesn't have the personality? Have you been in a cave? Clay definitely has the personality, he is hilariously funny and has experience in the biz. I too think he was joking. That's the last thing he needs to be doing now. The show is on it's last leg, I can't imagine it being around much longer.

    June 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Anna

    Clay was not being serious when he made that comment, he is too busy and he has plans for another tour on February and March. Besides, he is too nice to replace Simon.

    June 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Llana

    FYI for the people who are taking Clay's comment seriouslyl. Clay Aiken was not serious when commenting on being a judge on Idol.

    June 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Llana

    Clay would make a terrific judge on Idol!

    June 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Jazz

    They already had Adam Lambert mentor the show and do this. Sorry Clay, you aren't the chosen one these days.

    June 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • christopher

      Glambert wasn't a judge, he was a mentor – big difference. And they only brought him on because his album is selling so far under expectations compared to all the major hype they gave him. It didn't help much, tho. Besides, he sucked compared to other mentors like Connick & Foxx. The Idol contestants didn't even like him much, from what I heard from a friend who works there. He was a diva.

      June 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Crawl

    So, since his album is tanking he is now begging Idol to "call him", when they don't want anything to do with him in the first place. That is kind of pathetic, even for Clay.

    June 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      First, moron, he was obviously kidding around. He hates L.A., doesn't watch the show & has a whole year of work scheduled, so he couldn't do it even if he wanted to, which he doesn't. Second, his new album is getting the best reviews of his recording career, the publicity for it has only just begun & Decca has a multi-tiered plan for it. You can't compare a big band standards CD to the sales of pop albums with massive airplay, idiot. It will likely get a Grammy nomitation for Best Traditional Pop Album since the best musicians, producer & engineer in the genre worked on it. It's a fantastic album, for people who actually know something about music, & the upcoming prime-time concert special will help get the word out. Clay is one of the best vocalists on the scene today & certainly the single best, most distiinctive & unique male voice to ever come out of Idol.

      June 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  32. mejazzbo

    You must be kidding. Clay Aiken wasn't even first place on his season of American Idol. His career as a singer is nowhere. He can't hold a candle to Simon. Direct him to the unemployment office.

    June 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Stacey

    Naw. I can't see him being a judge on Idol. I do hope he has success with his new album. Nice to see him again. Haven't seen or heard anything about him in a while.

    June 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  34. JT

    He's dreaming. A lightweight and already a has-been.

    June 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mirror in Your Face

      Coming from the guy/girl who likely has done nothing of any significance in life, yet needs to denigrate those who have. Nice job, loser!

      June 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Sir Loin of Beef

    I think old Clay misunderstood the question and didn't realize what seat they were talking about.

    June 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  36. mmm

    No way would he be a good judge, While he's a good singer, He does not have a strong enough personality to be a judge on AI.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lulu

      You've obviously never seen him on tour or on any of the night time talk shows. He oozes personality and has a killer sense of humor.

      June 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  37. LBW

    He would be kinder and less intimidating. You either have talent or you don't. The judges don't have to be mean about it and some of them seemed to enjoy making people feel bad. I don't like that.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  38. TW

    I like his singing but wouldn't want to see him judge.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_KF50CZn4Y&w=640&h=390]

    June 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Pat

    It's pretty funny how all these sites are picking up these comments by Clay. I do think he'd make a great judge on AI, but I also think his remark about himself beign a judge were more joke than real.

    Besides, he's waaay to busy promoting his new CD – which is wonderful (!), his upcoming PBS special, and his tour with Ruben. Can hardly wait to see him in concert. He is one fantastic entertainer.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jan

    Clay would be great as a judge – but – I am sure this was just a tongue in cheek statement.
    BTW – I love his new CD – Tried and True.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Lakell Searcy

    He can fill my seat, cnntrolls!

    June 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Liz

    Clay would be wonderful doing this. I hate that show and him being there would be the only reason I would even consider watching again.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Glenda

    Can't believe CNN is into gossip now but I don't want to see Clay on Idol unless he will sing on every episode.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Marianne

    He'd be good. He's honest without being hurtful, but I think he'll be too busy.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Mimi

    Clay Aiken would make a great judge, however, I think he made the comment in jest. It is funny that so many sites are picking up this one snarky comment he made. But, heh.....more buzz for the talented Mr Aiken.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Rachel

    Clay makes a good point. I think any former contestant who has made a proven track record in the business would be more than qualifed to judge. I never understood what Ellen was doing there. Clay would be insightful and entertaining, but I hope he declines. The show has been slowly dying for years and nothing like it was in 2003. It lacks spark, certainly nothing like what Clay and Ruben created. He's much better off being on the road and selling his wonderful album.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Steeeve

    Clay would be awesome. He is so witty and funny and talented as all get out. Bring it on!

    June 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Docb

    The show is all but dead. Don't go near it Clay, just let it die!

    June 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  49. The Bieb

    This guy's gay and so am I.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obviously

      We know.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • crowing

      stupid. So I guess that because our President is black, that all blacks think he is great (which many blacks agree) and if it were a person with a fetish of feet, that all feet 'fetishers' would think he would be the best, or if he smoked pot, that all potheads would think he would be the best, etc. I really wish people would have some intelligence before picking a candidate for anything. Our country is so biased on the smallest items.

      June 27, 2010 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • matt

      crowing – he wasn't being serious, lighten up.

      June 27, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  50. Dixi

    While I think Clay would be great, I'd rather see CNN bring back Talk Back Live and let him host that. Idol is a sinking ship and whoever takes over Simon's spot will be blamed for its ultimate demise.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • MolliLu

      I agree with you Dixi. I do think he would make a great judge, but I don't want him anywhere near this dying show. Would rather see him do "Talk back Live" or some other talk show. He'd be great at it, but he doesn't have the time for this right now with touring with Ruben, his PBS special and new tour promoting his new CD Tried and True.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeannie Gallaway

      Dixi, you said it perfectly!!! I didn't even think about the fact that whomever follows Simon will be to blame for everything..However..on another bad note..Clay Aiken has ALWAYS criticized American Idol..Simon Cowell cannot stand him, along with most people.. Amer.Idol is on it's way out, because no one will watch it without Simon..Ellen DeGeneres is a total joke..And the other person posted that Clay is a total embarassment to the gay comm..They're right!! He's a creepy little worm!!!

      June 26, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Anne

    He would be terrific!

    June 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |

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