newspaper confirms “ugly details” about Clay’s NJ concert; his special bombed.

newspaper confirms “ugly details” about Clay’s NJ concert; his special bombed.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Monica Yant Kinney follows up on Gawker’s anonymous report of Clay Aiken’s bad behavior in New Jersey at a concert where high schol students joined him on stage, and actually confirms that the account was correct. She verifies that Clay “sicced security goons on a student who snapped a photo during rehearsal” and that his “people made a big show of handing over a promised $500 donation to the Vocal Ensemble–and … the envelope was empty.” The school superintendent, Mike Toscano, is the only person who agreed to comment on the record, saying the students “got a bigger picture of the music industry. They got their eyes opened. They got a taste of real-life show business maybe they didn’t have before.” The others involved “fear paybacks” and refused to be named; one said, “My son wants a future in show business. I don’t want him saying anything negative about the industry.” People: This is not Paulie Walnuts we’re dealing with here. It’s Clay Aiken. Relax. He only kills Satanic kittens.

Meanwhile, Clay’s Christmas special tanked. “NBC’s decision to air its ‘Clay Aiken Christmas Special’ opposite the last original episode of ‘Lost’–rather than wait a week, when the ABC smash will be in repeats–proved to be a disaster,” Variety reports. Its ratings were “even worse than previous timeslot duds ‘Hawaii’ (2.5/7) and ‘LAX’ (2.1/6), or Fox’s own low-rated Aiken-less ‘American Idol’ holiday hour.” Still, the show may be seen by people sometime in the future, as the special will be on DVD next week.

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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.