So I was going to turn this post into a huge joke about Clay Aiken. You know, pull out a few Kathy Griffin jokes about "Clay Gay-ken" or something. Then I watched the video of him performing his new song "The Real Me".
And I have to say: I feel bad for Clay Aiken.
Watch the video of him performing on QVC (a reason enough to feel bad for him, I'll admit) and catch the lyrics of his new song after the jump. It really does seem like he is sending out a cry for help from his closet.
And here is a sample of the lyrics (with my emphasis):
Foolish heart looks like we're here again Same old game of plastic smile Don't let anybody in Hiding my heartache, will this glass house break How much will they take before I'm empty Do I let it show, does anybody know?
[Chorus:] But you see the real me Hiding in my skin, broken from within Unveil me completely I'm loosening my grasp There's no need to mask my frailty Cause you see the real me
Painted on, life is behind a mask Self-inflicted circus clown I'm tired of the song and dance Living a charade, always on parade...
Now, I'm one of those people that says screw celebs in the closet. I think Anderson Cooper and all the rest should just suck it up and come out. Jodie Foster finally did. However, I think Aiken's case is different.
He was discovered at a young age on American Idol, where it has been well documented that the producers literally told contestants to not come out and to "butch it up" in the early seasons. He is basically a child star that has been formed by Fox and shoved in the closet.
He constantly has rumors swirling about him- a hustler saying Aiken paid him for sex, Kelly Ripa making "gay is gross" jokes at him, and all the intense blog speculation about his personal life. We forget that he is a young person who never had the chance to become comfortable who he is. In fact, he was told to not be himself and instead become a commodity for mass consumption.
And now he releases this song basically saying he has been forced to live a lie for his career.
Heck, this is more of an autobiographical song than Britney Spears' "Piece of me"...
So, does this mean that I will never giggle at another joke about Aiken? Probably not. But I think this does give a startling insight into the struggle that many young celebs go through and the pressure the industry puts on them.
But I still wouldn't buy his new CD. There's not enough pity in the world for that.