Don't expect to hear former "American Idol" star Clay Aiken breaking into song very much in his campaign for U.S. House.

"I'm on sabbatical," the North Carolina Democrat  said in a Wednesday appearance on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."

Host Stephen Colbert, who plays a faux-conservative pundit, tried to get Aiken to join him in singing the national anthem. But Aiken wasn't having it.

"I'm going to leave it to you tonight," he told the host, later adding: "I have had a great 11 years singing. And this is the new chapter for me. I think it's more important than singing. And so, I have put that on the back burner."

Aiken is challenging Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), whom he said "has completely ignored the people who she was elected to represent."

An Ellmers spokesperson responded, "While Clay Aiken is running around on the Colbert Show, the Congresswoman is doing the work of the people in the Second District."