Reality Rocks - Archive

New Clay Video: An Aiken Void In My Heart

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

A little insider info here: Clay Aiken's new video, "On My Way Here," got lost on its way here. To my office, that is. It was supposed to arrive first thing this past Monday morning at Yahoo! Music HQ, but the longer I waited with baited breath beside the Y! mailbox, the clearer it became that the video was M.I.A.

So a SWAT team of trusty Yahoo! mail clerks was swifty dispatched on a mission to solve this mystery of the missing tape...which basically meant they placed multiple harassing phone calls to hapless UPS switchboard operators.

This was important, people! THE NEW CLAY AIKEN VIDEO WAS LOST IN THE MAIL!!! Did no one understand the heart-stopping gravity of this situation???

Well, eventually, after a series of only-funny-in-hindsight mailroom mishaps, "On My Way Here" did make it way to my office on Tuesday. So, after all the anticipation that'd been building for 24-plus hours, me and my fellow Claymate staffers finally popped Clay's rescued BETA tape into our fancy high-tech encoding machine and...we encoded the most low-tech video in AmIdol history.

Seriously, Danny Noriega's "I-hope-Santa-blanks-your-mother" Xmas YouTube video probably had a higher budget than "On My Way Here." Come on now, Clay is the third-biggest-selling Idol EVER. The guy just made a mint shilling his new album on QVC. And this is the best his label could come up with?

Of course, Clay is not some blinged-out hip-hop hipster or MTV-ready pop star, so it's not like I expected an eyeful of CGI effects, Hype Williams fisheye lenses, a fleet of Escalades, a bevy of booty dancers, and the like. I didn't expect a Missy Elliott-esque masterpiece. But I did expect a little more than an amateur camcorder clip of Clay wearing what appears to be the brown-and-pink business suit of a Baskin-Robbins store manager, while he stands woodenly in front of a recording-studio microphone singing his lyrics off a sheet of paper.

OK, to be fair, "On My Way Here" has a little bit more going for it than that. A day-in-the-life montage of footage filmed on what apparently was not one of the more exciting days in Clay's life, the video also features a visibly uneasy Clay being mussed and fussed over at a couple photo shoots, then perusing the digital pics on a computer monitor and miraculously approving them. (Sorry, but Clay's taken some pretty unflattering snaps lately.)

Then there are some spliced-in older, more flattering, less peroxided photos of Clay from the past, to remind viewers of what he used to look like before he mysteriously morphed into the lovechild of K.D. Lang and Ellen DeGeneres.

The song itself--penned by Midas-touched hitmaker Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, who also co-wrote Leona Lewis's smash "Bleeding Love"--is not bad. It is in fact the perfect showcase for Clay's smooth-movin' crooner vocals. But the song's fly-on-the-wall studio video is so dull, any actual flies at this shoot probably flew headfirst into the nearest flyswatter just to put themselves out of their misery.

So maybe Clay's video isn't lost in the mail anymore....but I still feel a little lost after watching it. Check it out below and see if you're as underwhelmed as I am:

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