Clay Aiken, in a bitter diatribe he quickly removed from his own pay Web site shortly after posting it, said season eight runner-up Adam Lambert was overrated, and the show's judges clearly played favorites during the past season's competition.
"Now that its all over, and for the record," the North Carolina native wrote according to Gawker , "I couldn't be happier about the way AI ended this year. I only turn the show on once a season, and only to see what the set looks like each year. This year, I happened to turn it during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing Ring of Fire and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed. Contrived, awful, and slightly frightening!"
The second season's runner-up said the show's format and mission statement has veered far off target since the good old old days.
"Somewhere along the way, 'AI' stopped being about real people," Aiken wrote. "This year, there was an obvious bias. Not even having watched the show, I can tell you that I was WELL aware of the bias from the judges as to who should win. In my opinion, that is awfully unattractive. I don't think I am alone."
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He opined that the diet of gushy praised heaped upon Lambert each week was likely his very undoing with the voters.
"I think they voted AGAINST an American Idol that has, for four years now, been more about the slick productions and polished contestants than it has been about finding the raw talent that it did in its first three seasons," he said.