According to Clay...
Older Quotes from Clay himself
On his goals:

"In this arena, I donít set goals because itís part of my realist nature. But there are things I want to do. I always wanted to sing on the Macyís Thanksgiving parade and Iím doing it! I want to have a second album."

On being able to sing:

"I donít think Iím the best singer ever. I donít think Iím better than all 32 of those people who sang. I still donít.  Kim Locke is going to do well. Sheís already been signed to Curb Records and she has an album coming out I think the same day as Rubenís. Her first single is better than mine."

On cats:

"Actually, I donít hate cats, Iím just kind of afraid of them."

On "Bullying"

"I donít think I gave anybody a reason to bully me. The thing about bullies is if you show them that youíre intimidated and youíre upset by them, theyíre gonna keep doing it. Iíd be, ďForget you, thenĒ and walk away. I donít let things get under my skin as much as some people do."

On kids with disabilities:

" without disabilities learn a lot from kids with disabilities. There are so many things that are so much bigger than what to wear that day. I donít feel sorry for children with disabilities. I feel excited for them for the opportunities that they do have."

On being a role model:

"You can be a good one or a bad one. I got to this point and itís a high profile job and on top of that, there are the rigors and pressures of being in the public eye all the time. And my absolute priority, more than having a good song, is to set a good example. I accept it as a responsibility."

On living in Los Angeles:

"The traffic is horrible. The people can be kinda nuts. The food has avocado on it everywhere you go. I donít dislike L.A. The weather is nice, but itís always the same. I love seasons. I like snow. I like the leaves to change color. If I lived in Raleigh Iíd get all of that in the same yard." 

On close female friends:

"You donít have to be either dating or not friends. There can be a middle ground and thatís what a platonic relationship is. I think platonic relationships can be closer than dating relationships sometimes. Dating relationships end and platonic relationships are going to be there no matter what."

On  biggest lesson he learned from the Americal Idol experience:

"Perseverance. I got cut twice. I got cut in Charlotte. I didnít have to go to Atlanta to audition. I could have said, ďIím not cut out for this.Ē But I said, ďI think Iím better than that, I can go try again.Ē So I went to Atlanta and I made it through. Then I got cut the first time around. I could have told them I didnít want to come back for the Wild Card show but I did and look how far I got."

On his fame and lack of privacy:

"There are many days where Iím willing to do it, to trade places with my friends who are teaching back in North Carolina. There are days where Iím ready to give it up." 

"I think there's a difference between appearance and image. An image is not how you look. It's what you do. It's what you portray. Your personality, the example you set, and that's huge for me."

"It's a pop-flavored album. I think there's a lot of people out there who may not be the best influence for kids. I wouldn't want my kids listening to some of the stuff out there. None of the stuff on the album is like that."

"The greatest glory never comes from falling, but from rising each time you fall."

"It's important that I make a difference in some way. It's not necessarily how I make a difference, but I want to make sure that I do."

Clay's on his definition of an Americal Idol: "American celebrities have an amazing amount of influence on the way America thinks, feels, and acts. I think that such an influence should be used in the most positive way possible." 
And:  "Someone with a talent that leaves a mark on American society and inspires people to think, feel, love, act."

"I enjoy singing and that's what I'm here to do. I know I'm not a model; I'm not going to be. I'm not the best lookin' person here, and that's fine. That's not what it's about to me."

"What comes out of this is what God wants to happen."

"I've always looked like this what are you talking about?" 
(Love his wicked sense of humor)

"I didn't get cut tonight; I just didn't win."  (You've won my heart)

From 'Rolling Stone' Magazine: "I'm really not that special. Really, I'm not. It was just a T.V show.

Album photo shoot: "I think I've broken three cameras today."

Oh his makeover: "I'm not different.  I'm not different at all. The wrapping is different but the gift is still the same." 

On the pressures of being in the public eye:   " long as you're living right, then you don't have 
to worry about what people see."

"It's not the money. It's not the fame. It's the influence."

"I know that I've got big ears and a big forehead and that my hair sticks up, but I'm happy with myself. I'm not necessarily trying to win a beauty pageant here."

"After I sang 'Somewhere Out There,' Simon said, 'You're the one to beat.' Getting a compliment from Simon is like getting water out of a rock." 

"I'm religious. I think this is something God had planned for me." 

"I don't understand why people like me! It doesn't make any sense!"

"It's important that I make a difference in some way. If it's performing and touching someone that way, that's great; if it's being a teacher and helping some kid understand something, that's even better..."

"One of the first things I'm gonna do is set up a foundation.  Since I'm not going to be teaching for a while, I'd still like to stay connected and use this platform to bring attention to autism awareness and to individuals with disabilities."

"I left Raleigh six months ago, and nobody knew who I was.  It's very hard to get used to."

"I'm  six foot one...".  "When you stand beside Ruben, you look short."

"We're extremely happy, cuz America didn't go with the image thing so much this year."

"It's a whole team of people working 24 hours around the clock to make me look like this." 

"I think Ruben and I will always be linked together in everyone's minds. I think we're a pair now."

"They told us to sing a song by our idol.  Well, my mother's really my idol, so I'm gonna sing her favorite song for me to sing: "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers."

"I don't take Simon too seriously either."

"I'm really not that special. Really, I'm not. I was on a big TV show, but it was just a TV show."

"I'm tired and I don't know what day it is." 

"I never knew that people made a club for me!" 

"Because I'm from North Carolina, you think I'm the Andy Griffith show, or something?"

"Half my butt is mac & cheese and the other half is Krispy Kreme..."

About biggest challenge: "Getting used to [my new contact lenses].  I'm sure I was looking at
Randy once when Paula was talking." 

"I'm not going to unpack, I'm just going to live out of my suitcase. I don't want to get too used to being here."

To 'The Jaded Journalist':  "Is this interview prepared at all,  or it is fly by the seat of your pants?"

"Can I be the next bachelor?"  "I never thought I'd be an object of affection. That's the biggest surprise 
of the whole experience!"

"In an interview with Disc Jockey "Java Joel":  Joel teasingly sang a bar of 'Unchained Melody',  trying to get Clay to sing with him...which Clay didn't do.  Afterwards, Joel asked Clay,"What is your favorite song to sing?"
Clay replied, "Well, it was 'Unchained Melody' until you sang it!"

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