Idol Deathmatch: Clay Aiken v. Adam Lambert

'03 runner-up disses this year's No. 2 and show that made him


Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken was a lot tougher than Simon Cowell on this year's second-place finisher, saying Adam Lambert's singing was so awful he thought his "ears would bleed." 

Offering his brutal critique on the subscription-only portion of his website, Aiken said he rarely watches the show that launched his rapidly fading career. But Aiken did catch the androgynous Lambert's interpretation of a Johnny Cash classic, and said listening to Lambert's strained warbling was painful, according to Access Hollywood.

"This year, I happened to turn it on during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing 'Ring of Fire' and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed," Aiken sniped. "Contrived, awful, and slightly frightening!"

"Now that it's all over, and for the record…. I couldn't be happier about the way AI ended this year," Aiken continued, referring to the surprise victory by Kris Allen -- who Aiken admits never having heard sing.

Not satisfied with trashing a fellow runner-up, Aiken went on to explain how much better the show was way back in his day.

"The show was different then, and folks made it in seasons 1-3 because they were 'real' people who happened to sing/entertain well," Aiken wrote. "But, somewhere along the way, AI stopped being about real people."

Noting repeatedly that he doesn't watch the show, Aiken continued on. And on. And on. He seemed especially miffed that the judges on a show he doesn't follow at all seemed to decree Lambert the singer to beat.

"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," Aiken wrote. "I don't think I am alone."

His theory for why Allen won is that voters just want the show to be like it was when, well, Clay Aiken was on it.

"Those votes for Kris were also votes to return the show to its roots of finding 'real' contestants with undiscovered talent and giving them the chance to grow and shine," he groused. "Enough with the pretention(sic). More Rubens, more Clays, more Fantasias and Tamyras and Kellys please."

It must be puzzling for Lambert to hear Aiken's withering review, especially since the Chicago Sun-Times reported Aiken tried to get Lambert to do a duets album and tour with him.

Aiken, who showed up unannounced on the show's set earlier this month expected VIP treatment, according to the Sun-Times. But it turns out, he's not well-liked by the show's production staff, after dumping the management company that handles tours, licensing and sponsorships for the show.

"Everyone knows -- and certainly Clay knows -- that he's persona non grata around here," a staffer told the newspaper.

Yeah, but that was before he told the world he doesn't watch the show and it stinks, anyway.

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