But new photos of the 33-year-old, who is now competing on Celebrity Apprentice 2012, has his public wondering: Did this Southern boy get plastic surgery?
And this isn't necessarily a flattering question even though it is on the minds of bloggers and social media types around the Net. And the rumor is nothing new, just reoccurring. In fact, this suspicion has been around for a long time, having died down in recent years.
So why resurrect such personal viewpoints about this private personality again just now?
Most pundits are referencing the Celebrity Apprentice cast photo as proof--or not.
Always having brought a baby face, Clay Aiken seems to have somehow turned into a person who appears to be at least a decade older than his actual years, or at least that's the public outcry. Wearing a business suit instead of any hipster attire, Aiken sits behind a desk looking more corporate than artsy. But that's to be expected since the Donald Trump TV show in which this crooner will appear come February appeals to the contestants' more savvy side, at least when it comes to business.
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As for the reemergence of those plastic surgery rumors, Clay Aiken never did say whether or not he had taken that (drastic) path. But he did take part in a People makeover about nine years ago when the magazine said about this redone American Idol alum: "A dye job and a flatiron made his 'do less dorky. His green eyes got better exposure when he traded in his glasses for contacts."
And so Clay Aiken was nabbed back then and made to appear more appealing for some sensibilities. Now, while plastic surgery rumors have returned, at least one social media follower is being kind about the image. @JessieMcV123, who was retweeted by @clayaiken on Twitter said, "Dear #CelebrityApprentive WHY did you choose that shot for Clay?!? #yourefired"
A softer, gentler Clay Aiken appears in a Twitpic shot (shown here) posted on January 4, 2012 by @showbiztonight where the caption reads: @clayaiken @lisalampanelli on set with A.J! Ready to dish on @realdonaldtrump and #CelebrityApprentice!
And so, with both pictures showing up at approximately the same time, which do you think is the more authentic Clay Aiken? The one where plastic surgery seems to be the only explanation or the one where the 33-year-old looks, well, 33. And nerdy yet appealing, for sure.