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Overheard: Aiken Acolytes Ready for Their Close-ups

The fact that a group of New Yorkers has announced plans to pour time and energy into staging an Off Broadway musical about a group of small-town kids who’ve built a barn shrine to former American Idol Clay Aiken is truly the stuff of which Vulture dreams are made. We headed to the scene yesterday to find out just who was trying out — and why. NB: Several references to Aiken’s song “Invisible” follow. You can be excused (even congratulated) if you’ve never heard the song, in which Aiken assumes the persona of a creepy stalker type bemoaning his inability to be a “fly on the wall” in the bedroom of his beloved.

Philip Deyesso, 24

“I actually bought Clay’s CD, his first CD. I mean, he’s talented, but I don’t know. I feel like Clay as a person, it kind of destroys his natural ability. After the whole Regis and Kelly thing, I was just like, ‘Baby, what are you thinking? Really?’”

Alison Rabiej, 21

“Oh, gosh. I just think his ‘Invisible’ song is so ridiculous. It’s so creepy, so insanely creepy that it’s funny.”

Alyssa Rittorno, 19

“I used to watch American Idol. I auditioned for it. I got cut.”

Lauren Vaughan, 19

“I sadly was a Clay Aiken fan. I like ‘Invisible,’ when he was stalking that girl. Well, she was me, just no one realized that.”

Patrick Bell, 22

“I auditioned, um, because I need a job.”

—Brett Amelkin

Overheard: Aiken Acolytes Ready for Their Close-ups