VIDEO: Clay Aiken on New Political Career: 'People Need to See Me in a Different Light'

Former "American Idol" contestant Clay Aiken, who recently won the Democratic primary election in North Carolina, stopped by this morning's TODAY on NBC and shared that he believes his celebrity status has been both a blessing and a curse in his run for Congress.

"It's both. We have to get people to see me in a different light," he told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie. "It's a blessing in the fact that it gets me in a room, but I have to overcome the fact that people see me in one way and not the other."

Aiken was declared the Democratic winner last week in a close three-way race, ultimately defeating his main rival, Keith Crisco, who tragically suffered a fall at his home and died before the election results were announced.

About Clay Aiken:

Clay Aiken became a household name while appearing on the second season of American Idol, turning millions of viewers into instant fans. Following American Idol, his debut album Measure of a Manskyrocketed to multi-platinum status. Mr. Aiken has launched ten national concert tours, authored a New York Times best-selling memoir, Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, and released several albums including, Merry Christmas with Love, A Thousand Different Ways and On My Way Here, all of which debuted in the top five on the Billboard chart. Mr. AiKen Starred in a televised Christmas special, A Clay Aiken Christmas and a live concert special in 2010 on PBS Tried & True Live! He has appeared on many popular television shows including Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva, Scrubs,30 Rock and Saturday Night Live.

A frequent talk show guest, particularly on The Tonight Show andJimmy Kimmel Live!, he recently competed in the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice. Mr. Aiken garnered broad critical acclaim for his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in the Tony Award winning production of Spamalot in 2008 and 2009.

VIDEO: Clay Aiken on New Political Career: 'People Need to See Me in a Different Light'