My husband just got back from a meeting in Los Angeles. Whenever he's out of town I always have trouble sleeping. The past 5 days were no exception. And him being in LA brought back memories of the first time we actually voted for Clay Aiken on American Idol.
I'm so lucky to have a wonderful husband to share my Clay love with. Those who know him can back me up. He exists - he's cool - and he loves Clay's voice.
I wasn't an AI watcher. I turned in the last 2 nights to catch Kelly's win. I watched AI2 at the beginning because I was bored. I had a hard time with the "bad" auditions . . . thought they were mean and was about to turn off the TV when this young man appeared. Truth is I adored Clay from the second he appeared on my screen and said "Ahm the next American Idol". I thought he was beautiful even then. He had exquisite cheekbones and I've always been a sucker for good bone structure. He sang - I fell. That simple.
Of course, this was pre-TIVO (who needed it before Clay?). I couldn't replay him for my husband. So we watched those stupid auditions and Hollywood episodes just for a glance. And a glance was all we got. So we kept watching.
Finally, his group - and he appeared and he sang Open Arms and I loved him as much as before. And my husband watched with me and his jaw dropped. I screamed at my TV when he wasn't picked. Truth was, I loved Ruben too and wanted the two of them to be on the show. But I wasn't invested in AI. I had no idea how this young man had grabbed me. But I physically was ill. I thought - it can't happen. I can't NOT hear him again. But my husband knew he'd be back. So we waited. And finally Wild Card night. And he sang AGAIN we listened and our jaws dropped AGAIN. And we knew he'd be the people's choice.
But we didn't vote. I mean, come on. Who did that kind of stuff? This was a tv show - not something we'd be invested in. But we watched each week (and tried to tape it as often as we remembered) and we were amazed each week at just how good Clay was. But vote? Hah! Not us. We loved music. Not AI. We were too cool for caring.
And then it was BeeGees night. And I was at a meeting in Los Angeles. Husband was watching by himself. And I got a call on my cell phone. He was pissed. He was telling me what happened after Grease. I could hear the hissing from the smoke coming out of his ears.
"That's it - we're voting" I said. And there was no turning back.
My husband, bless his heart, did exactly that. We had to review the voting instructions. He started voting immediately. I went up to my room at my LA hotel to watch later and dialed from my cell phone that night. And every week after that. Not obsessively. I mean at that point we only used 1 phone each.
He was fabulous singing To Love Somebody. He looked amazing and damn - he killed on that song.
I adored his Grease. He may have been shy about his hip shakes – but he was spot-on vocally and it was fun:
Finals night, we voted all 3 hours. We moved from the living room to the bedroom to continue until midnight. Two phones each. Grand Total of 21 calls through. We looked at each other, lying in bed, a phone in each hand . . . and laughed and laughed. How did we get to this place? What was this kid doing to us?
Then the anomoly and my plans went out the window to go see the tour. Yes, I'm one of those "cut off my nose to spite my face" kind of people. I wasn't going to spend money to see Clay after what they did to him. I'll show them. And husband smiled and said he was fine with whatever I wanted. He smiled because he knew better.
I missed this strange young man - this wonderful combination of adult musicality and youthful joy. This mad mix of strength and gentleness. This beautiful man who had no idea how lovely he was to look at. So I went searching on the internet where I found others who felt like I did. I had no idea I wasn't alone. I'd never posted on a message board - never even read them. But here were all these wonderful people who felt like I did but who were so much funnier, smarter, and more talented than me. And I heard Clay was wonderful on the AI Tour. So I grabbed whatever two seats I could find for Worcester. And we went by ourselves, we saw him and we were out of our seats clapping, laughing and screaming like kids.
And there was no looking back.
My husband belongs to CNN so he gets his newletter. He asks every day - what's new on the boards. He flies on red-eyes just to get to a concert. And he knows exactly why I adore Clay Aiken. And why I adore the people I've met in this fandom.
My husband went back to playing the guitar because of Clay. He's always loved music - hell, he played in a rock and roll band in college and he managed record stores in Atlanta and San Francisco. He once told me that Clay had the sensuality of Elvis, the quiet strength of Gandhi and the charisma of JFK. He so gets him and he so understands what we women feel when we hear him sing.
I sometimes say that my husband was a woman in a previous life. And I mean that as the highest compliment. He loves the new people that have entered our life because of Clay. He adores being around funny, vibrant, interesting women.
This blog entry is a tribute to two wonderful men. One who's voice brings me great happiness and who brought special friendships into my life. And one who's love and support, good humor and good looks make me one of the luckiest ladies in the world.
In honor of my dearest husband - here's this Blog's Quote: From success you get a lot of things, but not that great inside thing that love brings you. Sam Goldwyn
Clayspots has an interesting blog about the Conundrum that is Clay. For a humorous look at how Clay seems to affect his fans can be found at Taking A Moment. My husband is a proud Clay Aiken fan. For an interesting look at the Clay fandom - check out There Was A Man
Take a look at the Blog Links - and take time to visit them. You'll find something for everyone -- it's not all Clay - just all Clay fans. And don't be shy about commenting. You don't need to leave your names - Anonymous will do - we love the feedback.