The 'Invisible' singer spoke to Billboard about his upcoming tenth anniversary of competing on the Fox reality series, stressing that the show was more focused on music back in 2003.
"Idol back in those days was about the contestants," he insisted. "Kelly [Clarkson] and Justin [Guarini] and Tamyra [Gray] and Nikki McKibbin, they were all the stars of the show."
Aiken - who finished as a runner-up on the series - continued: "When I was on, Ruben [Studdard] and myself and Kimberley Locke were the stars of the show. Now Idol is about the judges. I don't even know if they remember there are contestants anymore."
The current American Idol judging panel made headlines in September when leaked footage from auditions showed a heated argument between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.
Minaj caused further controversy last month when she accused ex-American Idol judge Steven Tyler of making a "racist comment" for saying she would send Bob Dylan "to the cornfield" if he auditioned.
American Idol premieres its new season in January 2013 on Fox in the US.
Watch Clay Aiken's 'Invisible' music video below: