A funny thing happened the other night as I was watching Constantine Maroulis perform “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.”
First, like fine wine poured into a plastic beer glass, delicious strains of big-bodied, bring-the-house-down flavor coursed in and out of Constantine’s voice. Robust, yet delightfully accessible.
Secondly, Constantine poured his whole self, body and soul, into the music, which had the effect of enticing his listeners, likewise, to immerse themselves completely in the groove.
Then it happened.
Constantine, rocking Blood, Sweat and Tears, finished belting out a hook with a stomp step and a sort of a sideways leg kick. Lightning struck. Those who know, know what I mean.
Suddenly, a “Raven” moment. It all became clear: Constantine---the man on whose forehead AI had taped a “I’m A Rocker” sign---the man whose mere long hair was regarded by the supposedly sophisticated judges as conclusive proof of Metallica genes---the man whose band, Pray for the Soul of Betty, was assumed to be a proxy for anti-Top 40 passion----actually has a secret life as . . . Clay Aiken?
Well, not exactly. But before I explain, let me give a shout-out to the assembled tribes of the Clay Nation: Idol found. Game Over.
It’s not that Constantine and Clay look alike or sing alike. In fact, as I have said, Constantine reminds me of no one so much as Spongebob, and I mean that in the very best and sweetest of ways. The curly dimples, the big, radiant grin, the toothy marvels. It’s all good. And like Clay, Constantine is a man who is going to photograph well, very well. (Google Clay Aiken photographs on the web and see for yourself.)
This season the judges have gotten their jollies claiming Anthony is “this year’s Clay Aiken.” (I repeat paragraph. 7.)
That’s because their reasoning processes are so advanced: Anthony = Different appearance. Different appearance = Geek. Geek = Clay Aiken. Do the math.