Reality show or campaign for Congress? ‘American Idol’ candidate’s donors feel duped

You can file this story under: “You get what you ask for.”

With the news that Esquire Network had been producing a documentary about his campaign, supporters of former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken now question his true intentions, according to Variety.

Aiken, running as a Democrat, came up short last week in a bid to represent North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district.

Actor-producer Steven Tyler organized a Los Angeles fundraiser for Aiken’s campaign, and when he found out about the project he sent the singer a letter saying he felt “duped.”

“I am sorry for the loss on your bid for Congress, but apparently you had yourself covered with a reality TV show deal the entire time, just in case you didn’t win,” Tyler wrote. “I cannot speak for the NC Voters or contributors, but I can speak for myself and many of your Los Angeles supporters when I say we feel duped, taken advantage of and lied to.”

Tyler added that “had the LA donors known you would personally benefit from their donations and appearance at the event — they would not have donated to your campaign,” Variety reported.

Donors who attended the fundraiser say they were asked to sign release forms by a film crew with Aiken, and were told that the crew was filming a reality series for the BBC that would not air in the United States, according to Frontiers LA.

The donors are asking that the footage not be used.

As for the documentary, Esquire Network’s Matt Hanna said it was “a raw and honest look at American politics through an incredibly unique and compelling candidate.”

Which may be a true statement, considering many Americans compare our elections to American Idol. But can you honestly say you’ve been duped when you support a candidate whose only qualification appears to be that he was a runner-up up the program?

H/T The Right Scoop

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Tom Tillison


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