Clay Aiken’s record debuts at #2; Simon Cowell, Elton John react to his interviews

Clay Aiken’s third record, A Thousand Different Ways, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 after selling 205,000 copies. That was just 12,000 fewer than the number one record, Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, according to Billboard.

Compared to his first two albums, however, the CD didn’t do as well. The new album sold just over a third of the number of copies that his first record did; Measure of a Man debuted at number one after selling 613,000 copies its first week. His second record debuted at number four and sold 270,000 copies its first week.

Meanwhile, Clay’s series of Good Morning America interviews last week are drawing a reaction from people in the music industry. Elton John, the (obviously) openly gay icon, tells Access Hollywood, “I don’t even care if Clay Aiken is gay or not. It’s none of my business.”

He gets less sympathy from Simon Cowell, who said, “Oh give me a break. Let me have a choice, I’m going to work in a coal mine for 14 hours a day or I’m going to be a runner-up on ‘American Idol.’ Give me a break, idiot.”

He added, “They’re not working for a living, they’re becoming famous … no one’s put a gun to their head … Clay, whatever he may have said, would not swap what he’s got now for what he had three years ago.”

Timberlake Remains No. 1 Amid Five Top 10 Debuts [Billboard]
Elton John doesn’t care if Clay Aiken is gay [Access Hollywood]
Simon to Clay — Give Me a Break! [TMZ]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.