On-Screen Q&A: ‘Idol’ icons Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken reunite on stage, 20 years since TV debut


The year is 2003. Over 38 million viewers’ eyes are glued to their TV sets anxiously awaiting Fox’s American Idol host Ryan Seacrest’s announcement of who will be crowned the singer-superstar: soulful Ruben Studdard or crooner Clay Aiken?  

That season finale – only the second season of the American singing competition – remains the most-watched episode in “Idol” history, and the highest-rated regularly scheduled, live, non-sporting television episode of the 21st century.  

Studdard won the title, but both singers experienced great music and career success following the show, selling more than 8 million albums worldwide, scoring legions of Billboard Awards and American Music Awards. Combined, both have been nominated for two Grammys, recorded 12 albums, toured the country 14 times, and starred together on Broadway.

The two have also remained dear friends. Now, two decades later, Studdard and Aiken are reuniting on stage to relive that special year and beyond for their concert “Twenty Years/One Night.” The tour will stop at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Nov. 17.

Jackie Moe chats and reminisces with “American Idol” singer Ruben Studdard.
Jackie Moe walks down memory lane with “American Idol” singer Clay Aiken

Ruben & Clay: Twenty/The Tour
Theater: Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos
Date: Friday, November 17, 2023, 8:00 PM
Ticket Prices: $89/$79/$69/$59/$39
cerritoscenter.com, (562) 916-8500.

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