"I don't even know if they remember there are contestants anymore," says the former "Idol" finalist.
After a five-year break, Clay Aiken says he was long overdue to bring a Christmas show back on the road.
"It doesn't feel like Christmas for me if I'm not doing this," Aiken, who staged holiday tours from 2004-07, tells Billboard. "It was what made my year for me. It's what made Christmas feel like Christmas. This is what really puts me in the mood for the season." Aiken, who's playing with a full orchestra at each of his Joyful Noise 2012 tour stops, was waylayed first by his Broadway stint in "Spamalot" and then last year's runner-up appearance on "Celebrity Apprentice." But, he says, "The people who worked for me in the past on the Christmas tours kept saying, 'When are we gonna get back out for Christmas? When?!' Fans would ask when I was going to do another Christmas tour. So I just said, 'Y'know what? We need to do it again."
In fact, Aiken has gotten so into the spirit that he says a sequel to 2004's "Merry Christmas With Love" album and the "A Clay Aiken Christmas" DVD may well be his next recording endeavor. "I think that's the thing we've talked about most, doing another Christmas project," Aiken says. "I don't know that it will happen next year, but it's something I'd like to do. I think there's still some things out there I haven't done, and I like the fact that around this time of year people bust out their Clay Aiken Christmas album and it's part of their holiday."