On May 21, 2003, American Idol aired its Season 2 finale. The top two contestants vying to be named champion were total opposites Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken. One was a large R&B powerhouse, the other a meek pop vocalist. With just 134,000 more votes, Studdard was crowned king.
Fifteen years later, the former rivals are joining forces to headline their very own Broadway limited engagement — Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show.
The holiday show — which will be staged at New York City’s Imperial Theatre from December 7 to 30 — will feature the odd couple singing holiday favorites, backed by a live band, and performing comedic sketches, according to a press release from the Shubert Organization.
This will be the first time the two talented vocalists have shared a stage since that infamous 2003 American Idol finale.
“Christmas is about family, friends, and fun,” explained Studdard, aka the Velvet Teddy Bear. “Clay and I can’t wait to bring all those things together on Broadway this December!”
“There are really only two things that could get me back on stage after taking a break for over five years — my buddy, Ruben, and Christmas,” added Aiken.
“It’s been 15 years since he beat me on Idol, and it’s taken an entire decade and a half for me to lick my wounds. But the holidays are about togetherness, so now that he is older, and I am wiser, I can think of no better way to celebrate 15 years of friendship than by spending this holiday season together on Broadway.”
In keeping with the holiday spirit, portions of the three-week show’s proceeds will benefit the National Inclusion Project. The non-profit organization devoted to making sure that children with disabilities can participate in various community programs was co-founded by Aiken.
Since winning American Idol, 40-year-old Studdard has released seven studio albums, and has won several prestigious music awards. Additionally, from 2008 to 2009, he played Fats Waller in a revival tour of the musical Ain’t Misbehavin.
Aiken has also put out seven records, and he’s appeared in several television programs, including Season 5 of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. The 39-year-old is no stranger to the Broadway stage — in 2008 he was a cast member in Monty Python’s Spamalot. The author of the 2004 best-selling memoir Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life also ran for Congress in North Carolina in 2014.
Tickets for the family-friendly Ruben & Clay’s Christmas Show are available now via Telecharge.
For more details, visit the show’s official website at RubenAndClay.com.