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Clay Aiken Speaks Out

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Jan. 16 2008, Published 8:15 a.m. ET

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During a recent interview to promote his appearance in Monty Python’s Spamalot on Broadway, American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken dished about Britney’s drama and the show that made him famous.

Aiken also defended his refusal to answer questions about last year’s incident with Kelly Ripa, in which Ripa appeared to make disparaging comments about Aiken’s rumored homosexuality.

The sandy-haired singer told Entertainment Tonight that he was shocked that Newsweek brought up the incident. “There are so many other things in this world that are more important. Newsweek usually does hard news. I think it’s the press that cares about dirt, so that’s what they print.”

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Aiken also slammed the news media for paying more attention to Britney Spears than politics. “We have a presidential election going on, and for whatever reason this is what people are interested in. I think that is probably the saddest thing. Leave her alone, just leave her alone.”

Aiken admits he hasn’t kept up with American Idol, but appreciates what it has done for his career, “I haven’t watched American Idol in three years now. It stresses me out so much. I compare it to high school. I needed college to understand and know what I know now. Most people wouldn’t be where they are if it weren’t for their education. I see Idol in the same way and I wouldn’t be where I am without it, but I don’t still go to my high school football games.”

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