American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is struggling to cope with his new-found fame - he spends many nights crying in hotel rooms.

The singer - whose version of SIMON + GARFUNKEL's BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER is currently America's biggest-selling single of the year (03) - is beginning to tire of his constant schedule of appearances and recording and feels very lonely every night.

Although he doesn't regret his appearance on the hit TV talent show, Aiken often wishes he was back home in North Carolina teaching kids.

He reveals, "So much has happened in the past nine months that I haven't had time to think. Last night, I was sitting in the hotel room crying for about an hour.

"I had to call someone back in Raleigh to wake them up because I needed to talk. Certain things have just hit me. I felt trapped and miserable."

But Aiken's army of fans keep the singer going - especially when they hurl their underwear at him.

He adds, "I got seven one night."

14/09/2003 21:22