Clay Aiken, the American singer-songwriter who rose to fame on season two of American Idol, says he is rooting for 16-year-old contestant Victoria Huggins on the new series because he has known her for several years, reports USA Today. The 32-year-old says he has rarely tuned into the show since losing out to Ruben Studdard in the 2003 final but made an effort to catch Huggins' audition on this week's premiere.
Aiken said he first met the 16-year-old when they both competed in a gospel-music talent contest. Victoria was likely to have been around 4 or 5 years old at the time but Aiken said, "She won in her age category, and I won in my category. Her mother and my mother have stayed in touch. I knew to watch last night because my mother had heard from her mother that she might be on". Despite her age, Victoria has already amassed extensive experience in the entertainment business; she has appeared on 'Star Search' and 'It's Showtime at the Apollo' and has eight independent albums to her name. Aiken said, "She's that perky, she's that happy, she's just one of the sweetest girls in the world".
AMERICAN IDOL season ten premiered on Wednesday night (19th January 2011) showcasing an all-new judging line-up that includes singer Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman STEVEN TYLER.