Spend a minute on the horn with American Idol 2's Clay Aiken, and you'll find it hard to believe that the freckle-faced 24-year-old didn't win the whole shebang. Seriously for a runner-up, the kid sure is being run around! On the day that TV Guide Online connected with him, he was en route from one promotional appearance to another. And after his debut power ballad, "This Is the Night," drops June 10, his datebook will only get heavier. So, while the carrot-topped heir apparent to Rick Astley still remembers the little people, let's (quickly) ask him the big questions.
TV Guide Online: How's the publicity blitz going?
Clay Aiken: (Laughs) Oh my goodness, blitz is the exact word to use. It's crazy.
TVGO: Okay, set the record straight: Did you or did you not know beforehand that Ruben had won?
Aiken: I simply saw that there was a long name on the card and made the assumption that it was him and not me.
TVGO: Is that why you didn't look surprised?
Aiken: It was really a look of indifference. We were both very happy with where we were in the competition and being in the top two. Winning the competition was simply icing [on the cake]. It wasn't something that we necessarily had to have. We were both very happy with being where we were.
TVGO: Was there ever a moment afterwards where you went, "Hey, I didn't win. Darn!"
Aiken: No, not at all.
TVGO: Your fans are crying conspiracy, saying the voting was somehow rigged.
Aiken: There was absolutely no rigging, absolutely no problem with the voting. Everything was legit.
TVGO: What's the latest on a Clay/Ruben feature film? Is that really going to happen?
Aiken: We hope so. There's talk about that.
TVGO: What else can you tell me about it?
Aiken: I can't tell you anything about it because it's just preliminary talks.
TVGO: Maybe a buddy comedy?
Aiken: I think that's probably what it's going to be.
TVGO: What's been the highlight of the past week?
Aiken: Just being here in New York. It's my first time in New York, so that's kind of exciting for me.