The day after Clay Aiken conceded his loss in a congressional bid, he announced that his failed campaign would form the basis for a reality TV series. This has left the former American Idol star’s donors and campaign supporters feeling that they’ve been had, and they’re incensed.
They believe that the only reason he ran was to star in the new show, according to Variety, and they may be right.
His campaign was a Quixotic exercise in windmill-tilting from the get-go. He ran against a popular Republican incumbent in a year in which the electorate had had enough of Democrats, and the numbers bear this out. Despite his national name recognition, he only captured 41% of the vote to Rep. Renee Ellmers’s 59%, according to North Carolina ABC affiliate WTVD.
But the real clincher is this: He’d been videotaping his private thoughts and conversations throughout the campaign, and this footage is what will be used in the new reality series.
Some Los Angeles donors who attended a Sept. 30 fundraiser for Clay Aiken in Los Angeles feel “duped” after the announcement, just hours after he lost his race for a North Carolina congressional seat, that Esquire Network had been producing a “docu-series” about his campaign.
According to Karen Ocamb of FrontiersLA, donors are asking that footage of the event not be included in the documentary. Donors have complained that a film crew following Aiken around that night asked attendees to sign release forms, but told them that it was for a BBC documentary that would not air in the U.S.
The organizer of the Aiken fundraiser, actor-producer Steven Tyler, sent a letter to Aiken in which he wrote, “I am sorry for the loss on your bid for Congress, but apparently you had yourself covered with a reality TV show deal the entire time, just in case you didn’t win. I cannot speak for the NC Voters or contributors, but I can speak for myself and many of your Los Angeles supporters when I say we feel duped, taken advantage of and lied to.”
Aiken, of course, claims that all the taping during the campaign was coincidental. Right.
Watch the following clip from ABC News.
(h/t: The Right Scoop and Sooper Mexican)