‘American Idol’ Alums Clay Aiken & Ruben Studdard Talk Christmas Favorites Ahead Of Broadway Holiday Show

Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard dressed in Christmas sweaters and holding holiday packages.
RubenAndClay / Instagram

Fifteen years after Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken came in first and second place, respectively, on American Idol, the two singers have teamed up for a limited-engagement holiday show on Broadway, Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the show will be staged at New York City’s Imperial Theatre from December 7 to 30 and will feature the odd couple providing family-friendly holiday entertainment, including singing Christmas classics and performing comedic sketches.

While doing press for the show, the two entertainers spoke to Playbill about some of their favorite things about the holiday season and their close friendship.

Studdard told the publication that his favorite Christmas song “to hear” is Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” while Aiken said he loves listening to his Broadway co-star’s version of the tune.

One of 40-year-old Studdard’s best Christmases was the year he received a dual cassette and record player combo along with Bobby Brown’s multiplatinum Don’t Be Cruel album. “I had really bad conduct grades [in school], but I got a really great present,” he recalled.

Aiken’s most vivid childhood holiday memory isn’t so warm and fuzzy. The 39-year-old remembered buying a Christmas tree with his family one year when he was a teenager and having to drive home, about 20 miles, in the freezing cold with the car’s windows down because the tree was so large that it didn’t fully fit inside the vehicle.

“We about all got hypothermia for that. That’s probably my favorite Christmas memory — almost dying,” he joked.

Although the two guys recalled spending a Fourth of July together in the past, this will be their first Christmas spent together. What are they excited about?

“I’m just looking forward to being here with Clay,” said Studdard.

“Performing is performing — getting onstage and having a good time. I’m looking forward to the little quirky things that’ll probably happen that nobody else will catch that go on between him and I.”

Aiken — who previously starred on Broadway in Monty Python’s Spamalot in 2008 — is most excited about being back on the Great White Way. “We’ve both done film and TV stuff and I don’t like doing it,” he explained.

“We both like performing live and having that live audience. Broadway, specifically for me, even as we do press, you can see that there’s something very different about the Broadway community. People are very respectful of each other. There’s not that overly competitive spirit. People are very supportive of each other and I like that about it. I’m kind of excited to be able to have that camaraderie again.”

Tickets for Ruben & Clay’s Christmas Show range in price from $39 to $129. In keeping with the holiday spirit, portions of the three-week show’s proceeds will benefit the National Inclusion Project, a non-profit organization co-founded by Aiken devoted to making sure that children with disabilities can participate in various community programs. For more details, visit the show’s official website at RubenAndClay.com.