“mini-diva [Clay] Aiken … was extremely terse with” child performers in New Jersey.

“mini-diva [Clay] Aiken … was extremely terse with” child performers in New Jersey.
Apparently tired of being ignored, Gawker’s editor Jessica Coen baits Claymates with a tale of Clay’s evil side, and guarantees herself a full inbox of feedback. A Clearview Regional High School English teacher forwards the behind-the-scenes story of a recent Clay appearance, saying that “Clay Aiken threatened to make trouble for our district if we ‘called the newspaper.'” First, the backstory, from The Gloucester Times’ report: “Representatives for Clay Aiken, who performed his holiday show Thursday at the Commerce Bank Performing Arts Centre in Washington Township, called on the Harrison Township-based school district to select 30 of the group’s 43 members to sing alongside the American Idol show runner-up.” During the event, in addition to assorted difficulties with Clay’s handlers and people, who were late in feeding the student performers and ultimately offered them Happy Meals, Clay himself “was extremely terse with the students, at times berating them for reasons that are still unclear.” Additionally, the English teacher reports:

“When an Ensemble staff member expressed her discontentment with the way the kids had been treated, Aiken engaged the woman in a verbal altercation. This resulted in mini-diva Aiken barring the staff member from the venue, and security escorting this very distinguished educator (a recent NJ State Teacher of the Year) from the theater.”

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.