Holidays

Clay Aiken on Christmas, American Idol, and Donald Trump

At one point during our early morning interview, singer and performer Clay Aiken yawned.

It was a deep, expressive yawn. He did not ask to be excused, but he didn't need to: Aiken is among the most affable, pleasant, and charming interviews I've ever enjoyed. Plus, the guy has every reason to be worn out. The former "American Idol" has been making his way across the nation on his "Joyful Noise 2012" tour, belting out selections and standards from his Christmas recordings, Merry Christmas with Love and All Is Well: Songs for Christmas. It's a lot of work, and Aiken notes: "This is my fifth year doing it, and if we count all the times that I've done this show you're up into the hundreds, you know?"

With his upcoming tour stop at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler approaching, Aiken took some time to discuss Christmas music, 30 Rock, Donald Trump (Aiken competed on Celebrity Apprentice this year), and the season a "big black guy from Alabama and a skinny gay weirdo from North Carolina" wooed America on American Idol.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.