Clay Aiken to Judge America’s Next Top Model Wednesday

RALEIGH, N.C. – Performer Clay Aiken says he thinks his “American Idol” experience helped contestants appreciate his comments when he was a judge in an episode of “America’s Next Top Model” due to be aired Wednesday.

Aiken told The Associated Press in a phone interview, referring to the year he finished second to Ruben Studdard during the second season of Fox’s hit reality show.

Aiken’s stint as a judge and opposite the contestants in an acting scene airs Wednesday night on the CW Network. He said he was selected to judge acting because of his time in “Monty Python’s Spamalot” on Broadway and because the competition focused on stage acting.

It also didn’t hurt that the show’s host and creator, Tyra Banks, has been a friend since Aiken appeared on her talk show in 2006.

Aiken appears with the contestants in a quick scene designed “to show their ability to act in a large and comedic way,” he said. “A lot of the struggle for these contestants is to be able to come out of their shells.”

He doesn’t know who won the season, although he does know who gets voted off Wednesday. One clue is that the women who stay are “the people who are willing to be themselves and not worry,” he said.

Except for his time in New York while performing on Broadway, Aiken has lived in Raleigh for the past three years. Right after “Idol” ended, he lived in Los Angeles, but was unhappy there.

Aiken demurred from answering any questions about his son, Parker Foster Aiken, who was born in August to his friend, Jaymes Foster. Her brother, music producer David Foster, told AP Radio last week that Aiken is a “spectacular father” and Jaymes is “a natural mother.”

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