This spring will mark 10 years ago that Clay Aiken was launched to stardom after finishing as runner-up on American Idol.
He’s one of the show’s biggest breakout stars along with Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry.
But don’t Aiken doesn’t expect to be invited back to mark the 10 year anniversary of his season.
‘I don’t know that I would commemorate it on the show,’ he tells Billboard.com. ‘I don’t know that they did it with Justin Guarini and all those folks. But ‘Idol’ back in those days was about the contestants. Kelly (Clarkson) and Justin and Tamyra (Gray) and Nikki McKibbin, they were all the stars of the show. And when I was on, Ruben (Studdard) and myself and Kimberly Locke were the stars of the show.’
He has noticed a shift from those early days when Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson were the longtime trio of judges.
Since then, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler have come and gone and most of the upcoming season’s media coverage has focused on a feud between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
‘Now Idol is about the judges,’ says Aiken. ‘I don’t even know if they remember there are contestants anymore.’