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Clay Aiken, Season 2
Clay was a semi-final Wild Card pick, but in his defense, the two people who advanced out of his initial semi-final group were Ruben Studdard, the eventual winner, and Kimberly Locke, the third-place finisher.
Apr. 11, 2013
Clay advanced out of the WC as the public vote winner -- and rode that public vote popularity to the finals, where he finished second.