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Clay Aiken/Adam Lambert Duet: Not. Gonna. Happen.

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

According to reports today by The Chicago Sun-Times, Access Hollywood, and several NBC affiliates, season 2 American Idol alum Clay Aiken would love to collaborate with this season's golden-boy frontrunner, Adam Lambert.

But that's one duet that's NEVER going to happen, if the powers-that-be at Idol have any say in the matter.

In a story first reported in The Chicago Sun-Times by Bill Zwecker, Clay apparently turned up unannounced at the AmIdol set in L.A. last week, hoping for some face time with Adam and--according to an Idol staffer--some "VIP treatment."

''I don't know why Clay felt that way,'' the staff member told Zwecker. ''Everyone knows--and certainly Clay knows--he's persona non grata around here.''

Clay was reportedly promptly escorted off the set, and a Lambert/Aiken meeting of the minds never took place. ''To say the least, it was tense around here when Clay showed up--and boy, did they hustle him off the premises as fast as possible," the anonymous staffer told the Sun-Times. "If he didn't get the hint after that--he never will.''

This news actually shocked me. Yes, it was a little self-serving and desperate of Clay, whose career is currently in a serious slump (he was recently released from BMG, and his contract-fulfilling greatest-hits album humiliatingly stalled on the Billboard chart at #173) to seemingly try to hitch his wagon to Adam's star. But he's still one of the biggest-selling Idols in the series' history. He's made American Idol a whole lot of money in the past--the kind of money that Idol producers probably hope Adam will make after he (presumably) wins.

Clay's 2004 debut, Measure Of A Man, still holds the record for highest first-week sales for any Idol album (a whopping 613,000), and as of this writing, he's still the third-top-selling Idol ever, behind only Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, with almost 5 million albums sold. He's also still the highest-selling male contestant ever and the highest-selling non-winner, closely trailed in both categories by fellow male runner-up Chris Daughtry.

And speaking of finales...the best American Idol finale moment EVER came courtesy of Clay, when a drastically madeover, KD Lang-resembling Aiken surprised psycho-fan Michael Sandecki onstage.

So you'd think after all that, Clay would still be considered a member of the extended Idol family.

However, according to Zwecker's article, Clay burned a bridge with American Idol when he became the first contestant to leave the show's management company, 19 Entertainment, and, according to Zwecker's source, "also talked Kelly Clarkson into dropping us, too."

But the way I see it, if Kelly Clarkson can be invited back to the Idol set to perform her new single (even after her very public and very bitter feud with BMG's Clive Davis over writing her own "dark" songs), and if other dropped contestants like Ruben Studdard and the famously combative Taylor Hicks can retake the Idol stage, Clay Aiken should be permitted to pay Adam Lambert a friendly little visit.

Still, that being said, perhaps it IS a good thing that the Idol producers prevented this encounter from taking place, since Clay did supposedly visit the set with intentions of proposing a musical collaboration with Adam....and a Clay/Adam duet is probably NOT a wise move (at least not for Adam, who needs Clay a whole lot less than Clay needs Adam right now).

May I suggest a Clay Aiken/Danny Noriega duet instead?

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