His triumphant return to the American Idol stage-
One person's response to the March 17, 2004 performance

The long legs, the dark suit, the freshly darkened hair, the confident stride up to the microphone; the eyes, the eyelashes, the skin with the barest sprinkling of freckles visible, the mouth... the mouth, the voice, the voice, the voice-- it broke my heart with its stunning beauty and passion.

Host Ryan Seacrest spoke the name "Clay Aiken" and I don't know how I continued to breathe for the next two and a half minutes. I'm fairly certain I didn't for much of the time because I had such a lump in my throat that I actually became dizzy for a few moments.

"...who would command.... the hand he's plaaay-inggg...". 
When those words floated from Clay's mouth, I think my breathing stopped for the first time- the breathtaking beauty of his voice on that last low note was enough to bring it to a halt.

He continued to sing, in that voice that could only have come from heaven, and my heart continued to swell as I watched transfixed.  I must have begun breathing again sometime... I am not sure how or when.

When he came to the words "...a little hope..goes up in smoke....."

I stopped breathing again at the sheer sweetness and sadness of it.

And when the passionate, powerful, heart-stopping word "Solitaaaaaaarrrrrree..........." came out of that expressive mouth and hung gloriously in the air as the camera gave us a 360 degree view of the man- for over 15 dazzling seconds- that is when my tears came.   Tears for the beauty of it, the beauty of him, of his heart, of his mind, of his strength, of his courage, of his tenacity, of his grace and humor..... it all came together and the tears spilled down my cheeks as they only rarely have.

I swallowed an audible sob as the song ended and I had to laugh through the tears at his smile of triumph and joy as the audience roared its collective appreciation in response to his remarkable and passionate performance.  Clay Aiken was unable to contain his radiant smile- and on his face was the expression of a little boy on Christmas morning- as he soaked in the love from the crowd!

That is when I heard a noise from my husband who was sitting in the chair adjacent to me.  I chanced a look over at him, expecting to see him laughing teasingly at my emotion, but what I saw was a man with tears in his eyes, who looked back at me and said simply and with wonder, "I forgot to breathe." 

~ by "JanWhatever" Webmaster
 The Clay Aiken- The Ideal Idol site