Saturday, June 24, 2006

For Love of Solitaire

On American Idol 2 in 2003, all of the contestants sang songs from Neil Sedaka's extensive catalog of hits. Clay sang Solitaire as one of his 2 songs that night. Neil Sedaka was a guest judge and when the lights came up, and the camera panned the judges table, you could see tears in Neil's eyes, he was so moved. He told Clay that he sang like Andre Agassi plays tennis. "Perfection! Perfection!" He also told Clay that night that Solitaire would forever be a Clay Aiken song and that he would be thrilled to write and produce Clay's first CD. I think he liked it! See for yourself.

A year later, after recording and releasing Solitaire/The Way as a double A side single, Clay returned to the American Idol stage as a guest performer and he sang a new arrangement of Solitaire for the AI crowd.

Clay can change it up with each different venue and how the song evolves with time and experience is amazing. The next version was from when he was a guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I love this one because he sang the heck out of it to a very appreciative crowd but also because he wore his glasses that night. He was SO handsome!

This is a concert version. A little different once again. Another year has passed and on this particular night in Wolf Trap VA, there was a violent thunderstorm flashing and booming outside of the covered amphitheater. Plastic bags, ponchos, garbage bags and umbrellas were put to good use because nobody on the packed lawn was going anywhere till it was over. He's such a pro. You can see when he realizes that he messed up the verses because he got distracted by the lighning. He just takes it in stride. I just love that man!

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  1. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Wow, that was a great post. I love the fact that I have been a fan from day one and I knew he was on his way to becoming a Legend. His voice has such power and range, he has great humor, and snarkiness, and he is very quite with keeping an audience glued to him. After seeing him in concert he just has the whole package bonus size, and I must add that I have been to many concerts over 35 years. Clay's is the best.

  2. Solitaire AI2 was probably the first time I witnessed the true "vision" of what was to come. I think he clinched the deal with many that night.