Clay Aiken on 'American Idol' Ending: 'It Was About The Kid Next Door Making it Big'

Clay Aiken spoke exclusively to INSIDE EDITION about 'American Idol' coming to an end.

One of American Idol's most famous alums, Clay Aiken, reacted to the big news that the show is coming to an end.

He told INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander, "It had a good run for 10 to 15 years. The ratings have declined." 

Fox announced Monday that the network is canceling Idol next year.

Clay Aiken is a testament to the power of the show. He was runner-up on the second season, losing to Ruben Studdard. But he went on to huge success. Last year, he even ran for Congress in North Carolina.

Alexander asked Aiken, "What did American Idol do for you?"

He replied, "What did it not? I said to someone earlier that there is no contestant and no former contestant on American Idol who can begin to claim that they would be where they are today if it weren't for that show." 

Read: 'American Idol' to End in 2016 After 15 Seasons

At its most popular, in 2006, the show drew an incredible 36 million viewers. Compare that to this year when a series-low of nine million viewers who tuned in.

Alexander asked Aiken, "Why do you think viewership declined?"

"I think when we were on it, it was fresher. I think at the same time, it was also a little bit more about the kid next door making it big when there is no reason that I should have," he said.  

Over the years, the show has inspired plenty of imitators like The Voice and America's Got Talent.

Famous faces from Jennifer Lopez to Ellen DeGeneres have headlined the show as judges.

Who could forget Mariah Carey's on-air feud with Nicki Minaj?

Paula Abdul’s antics were also infamous.

And Idol made Simon Cowell, aka “Mr. Nasty,” a household name.

The American Idol honor roll includes the first winner, Kelly Clarkson and 2005 winner Carrie Underwood. 

Jennifer Hudson didn't win Idol but she went on to earn an Oscar for Dream Girls!

Read: 'American Idol's Sanjaya Found Singing in New York Subway

But who won the last season of Idol? Or the one before that? It was actually Caleb Johnson and Candice Glover. 

Alexander spoke to Glover and asked, "Anything you notice, whether in your season or in another season, where you did think, 'Gosh, it is just not there anymore?"

She replied, "I think as a contestant we never think that. I think that we are always excited. It doesn't matter if the views are down or what happens."

Aiken concluded, "I think the show was about the authenticity and about the innocence of the contestants. It has in year's past become more about the flash." 

But Idol will go down in TV history for ruling the airwaves for years as the first musical competition of its kind.

Producers say the final season, which will premiere next January, will be "a celebratory event."

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