While some things change, others stay the same. Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard donned their old threads in their new stage show, “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show,” People is reporting.
Aiken and Studdard went head-to-head on Season 2 of the singing competition American Idol back in 2003, where the pair had ended up as the top two contestants. In the end, Studdard ended up winning the title, but Aiken still had a successful career of his own. Now, the two are trying on their old wardrobe as part of their show, which is a night of sketch comedy and holiday songs.
In the show, Aiken puts on a striped button-up and khakis, which was his signature look back in the day. Studdard opts for his iconic red “205” jersey, which he would always wear as a shout-out to his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.
“Ruben looks great in his,” Aiken said of the wardrobe change.
“But I’m not gonna lie… Mine probably had to be let out a little.”
This is understandable, seeing as both men are now 40-years-old. While the men have aged, their vocals don’t sound a day older than they did on the show. Their friendship also appears to have withstood the test of time.
“We all have just one or two people in our lives who, no matter how long we may be away from them, make coming back together feel like we had only been apart for a few days,” said Aiken.
“Ruben is like that for me. He’s easily the person who I feel the most kinship and natural rhythm with on stage. So even though it’s been so many years since we have sung together, it really feels like putting on favorite slippers.”
See Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard Slip Back Into Their American Idol Gear, 15 Years Later— Entertainment Access (@eaccessjm) December 19, 2018
Aiken also added that they were never really “rivals” on the show like many would like to believe. The two were supportive of each other, and Aiken said he was genuinely happy for Studdard when he ended up winning the whole competition. While the two are very different in many ways, Aiken says he knows that he and Studdard share “trust and loyalty.”
“I feel — and I hope and believe Ruben feels the same — safe and protected with Ruben,” Aiken revealed.
“We still argue all the time, but on stage with Ruben, I never worry. We always look out for each other. If I drop a line, he’ll cover for me. If I hit a bad note, he’ll change what he’s singing to make me sound like I was right. He knows I’d do the same for him.”
Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show will be running at New York City’s Imperial Theatre until December 30. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the National Inclusion Project, an organization that fights for the acceptance of children with disabilities.