Local News

'Idol' Finalist Clay Aiken Proves He Is A Winner

Posted May 14, 2003

— What is is like to be 'idolized' by people across the country? What is Simon really like? Who does his hair? Just a few of the many questions Clay Aiken answered Friday morning during his appearance on WRAL's Morning News on Fox 50.

Then Aiken headed to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park -- aboard WRAL's Sky 5 -- where he threw out the first pitch and sang the national anthem before the Bulls' game against the Rochester Red Wings.

An American Idol camera crew has also recorded Aiken's trip home for a story that will air later in the competition.

Aiken took another step closer to becoming the next American Idol Wednesday night when America voted and sent home Joshua Gracin, the singing Marine. That left Aiken, Ruben Studdard and Kimberly Locke as the final three contestants.

Reviews were mixed of Aiken's performances Tuesday night, when the four remaining contestants each sang two songs by the Bee Gees.

Aiken's first selection -- "To Love Somebody" -- got a solid response from all the judges, with Simon Cowell saying it was the best in the history of the show. When it came to Aiken's rendition of "Grease," Simon called the performance "horrible."

Aiken headed back to Los Angeles Friday afternoon, with stops to pick up fellow finalists Studdard and Locke, who also visited their hometowns, along the way.

The winner will be announced May 21.


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