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Clay Aiken came in second place in a tight race against Ruben Studdard in the second season of American Idol, but now he has taken on a whole new challenge: Facing Donald Trump as a contestant on the new season of The Celebrity Apprentice.

But the "Invisible" singer says that he actually respected The Donald more than that tough guy he faced on his previous reality show: Simon Cowell!

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Clay tells TODAY.com that "being in front of Donald is more intimidating than being in front of Simon. That’s because you realize his success is real outside of TV. Whereas with Cowell, I don’t deny him his value — but singing is not his expertise.”

Ouch! Could Clay still be bitter over some of Simon's negative critiques? Well, Clay, it was eight years ago.

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Going into The Celebrity Apprentice, Clay even admits that he had more respect for Donald than he ever did for the American Idol judge.

"I expected meanness from Simon, because I felt Simon's job was to be rough and brutal, and therefore it didn't matter as much what he said to me," says Clay. But with The Donald, "I really wanted to be the one person he liked, the one person who he thought, 'Well, he's not stupid.' "

The reality star even admits that this show is "10 times harder than Idol!" Wow!

Sounds like Clay is very serious about his gig on The Celebrity Apprentice. Do you think Clay will go far this season?

 

 

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