This was the first single released by Clay Aiken, who was the runner-up in the second season of American Idol
, coming second behind Ruben Studdard. On the May 20, 2003 episode of the show, Aiken and Studdard were the only contestants left, and each performed three songs. Aiken did this one, along with two classics from the '60s: "Here, There And Everywhere
" by The Beatles and "Bridge Over Troubled Water
" by Simon & Garfunkel.
"This Is The Night" was a new song, written by Chris Braide, Aldo Nova and Gary Burr. It didn't go over well with the judges - Randy Jackson said, "Whereas I hated that song and I hope they don't make it your first single, dude, you blew your brains out on that. Dude, you sang your face off." Simon Cowell was also underwhelmed by the song, saying it "was like American Idol
At the results show the next night, Aiken lost to Studdard and did "Bridge Over Troubled Water" as his send-off song. Jackson's fears were realized when "This Is The Night" was released as Aiken's first single - sort of. The single contained both songs and was packaged as "Bridge Over Troubled Water and This Is The Night." Marketed as a "double A-side," the Claymates bought nearly a million copies, and although the vast majority were buying it for "Bridge," for chart purposes "This Is The Night" was designated as the single, so that song got the glory of being the #1 single.