Clay Aiken, perhaps the most famous second-place finalist on American Idol (he was runner-up to Ruben Studdard in Season 2), came in second once again yesterday when North Carolina voters chose not to elect him to the House, opting to stick with incumbent representative Renee Ellmers. Had he won in the predominantly Republican 2nd Congressional District, Aiken, who ran as a Democrat, would have been the South’s first openly gay representative in Congress.
The drama of Clay Aiken’s improbable congressional campaign will be chronicled in a four-hour documentary series for Esquire Network, set to premiere on the cable channel in the first quarter of 2015 (it is untitled as of now). Oscar winner Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man) and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn (30 Days, American High) have been filming from the inside of Aiken’s campaign since his February candidacy announcement, through the May primary and last night’s final results. Via strategy meetings, debate prep, town halls, bus tours and door-to-door canvassing, the docu-series provides an intimate look at the hope of victory and, ultimately, the disappointment of defeat.
“We were granted incredible access during the making of this documentary, and in turn were able to capture the internal workings of an American campaign – the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Simon Chinn, in a release.
According to the Esquire Network release, “The series examines what it takes to run a campaign from the perspective of a candidate who is both a newcomer to the American political scene, and also a well-known celebrity. Throughout, Aiken struggles with his desire to be seen as a viable candidate and his need to convince voters (and America) to take him seriously.”
The Untitled Clay Aiken Campaign Project (title TBD) will air in First Quarter 2015 on Esquire Network.