Clay Aiken Gained an Absurd Amount of Weight By Eating Chicken at Bojangles'

Political ambition can and will make a man do ungodly things. In the case of certain singer-songwriters, campaigning just might cause you to gain an absurd amount of weight.

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Apr 28 2016, 7:00pm

Photo via Flickr user larry&flo

You don't have to be a bedbug riding atop Donald Trump's majestically flaxen locks to know that political ambition can and will make a man do ungodly things. Lips will be sealed, dresses will be soiled, and in the case of certain singer-songwriters, campaigning just might cause you to gain an absurd amount of weight in no time at all.

John Kasich may have devoured a ridiculous amount of pasta fagioli and capicola in an attempt to prove that he was in fact, not a pizza-hating replicant. Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, just so happens to have a body that—at this point—is largely comprised of condensed cream of broccoli. But Clay Aiken? The dude actually gained 30 pounds during his own political campaign from eating pretty much nonstop at Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits.

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Clay Aiken, of course, rose to fame during the second season of American Idol. The ginger-haired, former choir boy who hails from Raleigh, North Carolina didn't win his season, but he did propel his second-place finish into a singing career that took him to Broadway and beyond. Then, in 2014, Aiken surprised many by going back to North Carolina and running for Congress in North Carolina's second Congressional district.

He didn't win that race either, but he did gain something: "30 fucking pounds," he said in a recent podcast.

Anyone who has driven the highways of North Carolina can pretty much guess how this happened, but we'll let Aiken explain: "I ran in a very rural district… so pretty much every day [it was] Bojangle's." He's talking, of course, about the chain of chicken joints based in North Carolina that promises its biscuits are "baked fresh every 20 minutes." According to the Bojangle's website, a two-piece chicken dinner there will set you back 1,100 calories. Two sausage biscuits? Eight hundred and forty calories.

Aiken explains that while campaigning, "You don't get out of the car. I mean, you're in the car all the time. So it was fast food and then of course every event you go to, people have put food out for you. They've prepared food for you. And it is good. But if you don't eat it, you look rude."

The result? "I just had to keep stuffing my face. Thirty pounds."

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Aiken says his Bojangle's meal of choice that summer was a four-piece supreme dinner with dirty rice. And somehow, he said, "You convince yourself that it is healthy because it is chicken."

Aiken remains politically engaged. On Twitter he has revealed himself to be squarely in the #feelthebern camp; he is also a vocal opponent of North Carolina's controversial bathroom law. And, in the meantime, he seems to be steering clear of Bojangle's.

The extra weight? "It's gone now," he said.