The 2012 season of Celebrity apprentice with host Donald Trump has produced some surprising competitive standouts on both the men’s team and the women’s team this year, but no one has surprise more people on the show to date than singer Clay Aiken. The openly gay singer who was a past competitor on American Idol has already managed to win over most of the guys that he’s been working with on a variety of tasks all season. Heading into the first time genders will mix, he’s likely to be both an effective leader and team player able to work better with the girls than most of the other men. Could the former American Idol competitor have a shot at winning this thing?
Clay Aiken, a runner-up on the second season of American Idol way back in 2002, won the hearts of millions with his unique personal style and incredible voice. He went on to top the Billboard 200 charts with his first single and won the Fan’s Choice at the American Music Awards in 2003. Granted, he’s taking heat for making remarks that Rihanna has pitch problems when she sings live, but no one is holding that against him seriously. A successful artist in his music genre, he may yet again surprise the world and Donald Trump on Celebrity Apprentice 2012 by winning the show and being “hired” (rather than fired) in the end.
Aiken is competing for a $250,000 award on the fifth season of the show [which premiered back on February 12, 2012 on NBC to great acclaim according to The Hollywood Reporter]. And considering the unexpected stardom of this celebrity humanitarian, he may be the star celeb to shock the Donald with his business sense as well as his musical, writing, and production talents.
Clay is playing for a charity he founded — The National Inclusion Project. A charitable organization that helps to provide services for children with special needs, Aiken has been steadfastly walking the competitive line on the hit show (realizing that it is not just a game — he really can help these kids far more if he actually wins the money).
The National Inclusion Project is formerly known as the Bubel/Aiken Foundation (BAF) in honor of 13-year-old Mike Bubel. Aiken met Mike Bubel while pursuing a career in special education. The foundation aims to recognize and assist children with special needs and disabilities, which Clay Aiken feels are under-served in the United States and around the world. The project works with high-profile affiliates to make sure special needs kids are included and help fund resources for special needs children nationwide.
In his personal drive to serve children with disabilities and special needs, Clay Aiken didn’t stop with The National Inclusion Project. Included in his efforts is his position as a UNICEF Ambassador (though the distinction of the youngest UNICEF Ambassador goes to Disney princess and star celeb Selena Gomez), and the celebrity Idol favorite has been the 2004 spokesperson for the Toys for Tots drive. Later, between 2006 and 2008, he served on the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He is also an ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Whether critical Donald Trump thinks the singer has what it takes to run a successful business (or RIhanna’s fans think he’s a jackass for making a critical remark about their idol), we here at Green Celebrity Network think Clay Aiken will go a long way in this world. He’s already risen to the challenge of being project manager and winning his task while striving to prove that Trump should keep him around. And even if the Donald revels in firing people, we doubt the real estate and branding mogul would prove anything more than he doesn’t recognize a real entrepreneur when he sees one if he does eventually fire him in a future round.
Now that America is getting to know him even more thanks to the singer appearing on his second reality TV show, one thing still is not fully clear. Does Clay Aiken sing pop music in the traditional sense (like Rihanna or Katy Perry) or is he truly more of a Carrie Underwood style pop country music crossover mixed with a little rock?
Maybe the mystery will be solved in one of the hit show’s next celebrity challenge rounds.