Performer Clay Aiken says he thinks his American Idol experience helped contestants appreciate his comments when he was a judge in an episode of America’s Next Top Model due to be aired tonight.

“It was interesting to be on the other side of the table and think of all these things that I went through in 2003,” Aiken said, referring to the year he finished second to Ruben Studdard during the second season of Fox’s hit reality show.

“I think the girls kind of appreciated that, the fact that I had been in a similar position,” Aiken, 30, said in the Friday interview. “I was going to be a judge, yes, but be a judge who understood a little bit about what they’re going through.”

Aiken’s stint as a judge and performing opposite the contestants in an acting scene airing on the CW Network. He said he was selected to judge acting because of his time in Monty Python’s Spamalot on Broadway and because the competition focused on stage acting.

It also didn’t hurt that the show’s host and creator, Tyra Banks, has been a friend since Aiken appeared on her talk show in 2006.

Aiken appears with the contestants in a quick scene designed “to show their ability to act in a large and comedic way,” he said. “A lot of the struggle for these contestants is to be able to come out of their shells.”

He doesn’t know who won the season, although he does know who gets voted off Wednesday. One clue is that the women who stay are “the people who are willing to be themselves and not worry,” he said.

Aiken, who was famously remade during his time on Idol, said he was out of his element for the fashion part of ANTM.

“I’m wearing a UNICEF T-shirt and University of Tennessee pyjama pants,” he said. “I can’t judge that.”

Latest From ...