Was Clay Aiken Only Pretending To Run For Congress?

Clay Aiken's donors feel duped by reality show announcement

Some donors to the Clay Aiken political campaign apparently feel they’ve been duped after hearing about his new reality show.

Aiken, a Democrat, lost badly to incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers on Tuesday in the election for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. Congresswoman Ellmers’ margin of victory was about 17 points.

As you may recall, the singer, 35, also finished in second place in both American Idol and The Celebrity Apprentice.

Back in May, Aiken’s primary opponent died suddenly, thereby making Aiken the Democrat nominee by default. Election officials were still tabulating the ballots, with Aiken leading by a few hundred votes, when Keith Crisco sadly passed away.

Soon after the general election votes were counted on Tuesday night, Esquire TV announced that it would air a so-called docu-series about Aiken’s failed campaign. It turns out that a reality show camera crew had shadowed Aiken after he decided to run for the House seat in February.

About the four-hour series to premiere in 2015, London’s Daily Mail declared that “Aiken has parlayed his political campaigning as a Democrat in North Carolina into a new fly-on-the-wall docu-series with the Esquire Network. The cable network, owned by NBC Universal, made the announcement on Tuesday night after it came to light that Aiken would not be headed for Capitol Hill.”

News of the reality show apparently did not sit well with some Los Angeles-based liberals, specifically those who attended a September 30 Aiken fundraiser at the Hollywood home of Extra correspondent Michael Corbett which was organized by actor/producer Steven Tyler.

According to FrontiersLA, erstwhile Aiken supporter Tyler fired off an email to the failed candidate that said in part…

“Again, I am sorry for the loss on your bid for Congress, but apparently you had yourself covered with a reality TV show deal the entire time, just in case you didn’t win. I cannot speak for the NC Voters or contributors, but I can speak for myself and many of your Los Angeles supporters when I say we feel duped, taken advantage of and lied to. When we were asked to sign waivers by your film crew, we were told it was for a BBC documentary that would not air here in the United States… I have received calls from many supporters at the LA fundraiser all demanding that the LA event not be included in your TV show, as the crew misrepresented use of the filming… Had the LA donors known you would personally benefit from their donations and appearance at the event — they would not have donated to your campaign…”

Variety reports that no one, including Aiken, was paid for appearing in the documentary, however.

Separately, another person for very different reasons is also reportedly bummed out over Aiken’s election loss: His baby mama, Jaymes Foster.

“According to a source, a win would have meant she could have petitioned for a reduction in the $7,500 child support payment she must give Aiken every month… Foster gave birth to openly gay Aiken’s now six-year-old son, Parker, in 2008 after undergoing artificial insemination,” RadarOnline claimed.

Do you think that it’s in any way plausible that Clay Aiken’s political campaign was instead just a made-for-TV reality show?

[image credit: Judy Butler]