His own private Idol ho

Clay Aiken's fascinating serenede to a young fan.

By Kl

Published May 25, 2006 1:46PM (EDT)

The pairing of Michael Sandecki, "American Idol" contestant and recipient of one of the dubious awards on the show's big Wednesday finale, with former runner-up Clay Aiken, who surprised his young fan by joining him mid-song for a duet of Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," was maybe the most entertainingly strange moment in the show's history. Props to Aiken for agreeing to appear with Sandecki who, impish and gawky, resembles nothing so much as a funhouse version of Aiken -- the early one, who Aiken has spent reams of energy and hair dye to make us forget. But there was no escaping the obvious subtext of it all. He-man host Ryan Seacrest first hands the award to Sandecki, asks him to sing, then tells the audience with a telling emphasis, "he's gaaame!" (Our felllow viewer noticed that, too.) Sandecki begins his warble, and soon Aiken struts out, appraising the young Claymate from behind like a prowling she-cat. When Sandecki finally notices him, he practically dissolves on stage, a swirl of giggles, elbows and bad hair. This won't do anything to quell the gay stories about Aiken (and who knows -- maybe that's the devious point). But by the time Seacrest hammily got Sandecki a chair, in case he fainted, we were feeling just a little light-headed, too.

By Kl


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