Clay Aiken’s A Thousand Different Ways released today

American Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken’s second album, A Thousand Different Ways, is in stores today, continuing the streak of fall Idol-related releases. The album largely consists of covers of “classic love songs”, but it also includes four original songs.

On the occasion of his third studio album, reality blurred has asked two people–a fan of Clay’s who has been a faithtful correspondent with Clay-related news over the years, and a friend of mine whose knowledgeable opinions about music I respect–to review the record. However, the album wasn’t available to critics until today (although some Clear Channel radio stations’ web sites have offered low-quality streaming versions of it).

Both of our reviewers did receive the first single, Without You, which Clay performed this morning on Good Morning America. Here, as a tease for their full-length reviews, are brief reactions to the first single:

Michelle C., Clay Aiken fan:

“Without You” highlights Clay’s impressive range and impassioned vocals; however, it seems an odd choice for the first single, since the arrangement is similar to Harry Nilsson’s version. I would have chosen Clay’s catchy original, “A Thousand Days,” or the ethereal and innovative “Broken Wings.”

Eric S., eclectic music aficionado:

On the first single, “Without You,” from A Thousand Different Ways, Clay works hard to impress us with his slick brand of arena pop. You can almost hear the beads of sweat on his brow, just below his carefully-mussed coiffure. But despite the tenacious production and skillful singing that brilliantly compliment his upgraded look, I’m living just fine without him.

Look for their full reviews soon.

A Thousand Different Ways

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

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, 36, 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.