Clay Aiken & Ruben Studdard Reunite For ‘This Christmas’ Performance On ‘The View’

The 'American Idol' alums announced that they'd be going on a tour to celebrate 20 years since they both competed on the reality show.

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Image Credit: Lee Roth/STAR MAX, Inc./Newscom/The Mega Agency

One of the best parts about the holidays is reuniting with old friends, and former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken dropped in for a surprise performance on The View on Monday, December 12. Dressed in holiday sweaters, the pair gave a lively performance on Donny Hathaway’s classic “This Christmas,” before chatting with the co-hosts.

After Clay and Ruben, both 44, finished performing, the women complimented them on their holiday rendition, and Clay announced that the pair were commemorating the fact that 2023 will be two decades since they both competed in the second season of American Idol. “We are about to celebrate our 20th anniversary from the year we were on Idol. So, Ruben and I are hitting the road together with the 20th-anniversary tour all across the country,” he said. “We’re going to be celebrating the last 20 years since we did Idol and the music we’ve gotten to make, and the friendships we’ve gotten to make along the way.” Ruben also shared the tour dates on his Instagram.

Ruben and Clay have become a bit of a holiday tradition on The View. They first sang “This Christmas” together on the program back in 2016, per TV Line. They also performed “O Holy Night” in both 2018 and 2019, with the first year previewing their Christmas Broadway show. They also surprised a choir teacher during a virtual appearance in 2021.

Clay and Ruben rose to fame as contestants on ‘American Idol.’ (Lee Roth/STAR MAX, Inc./Newscom/The Mega Agency)

After some playful reminders that Ruben won and Clay was the runner-up, Sunny Hostin asked if there was a possibility of either of them returning to the reality show after all of this time. “We are both going to be returning to the show,” Ruben teased.

Clay revealed that they will indeed be appearing together to celebrate the special anniversary later this season.  “We will be in the finale of American Idol this coming season. Exactly 20 years from the day of our finale, so we’ll be singing together on the finale,” he said. “And we’ll be on the road too! So, so many opportunities to see Ruben and Clay.”

The Idol runner-up, who also notably ran for Congress in North Carolina, also reflected on his friendship with Ruben in a recent Instagram post. ” If you have the blessing of knowing Ruben Studdard, you understand:
There aren’t many humans more selfless or gracious or loyal than he,” he wrote. “Happy 20th anniversary, Rube. I love you to the moon and back.”

The two contestants aren’t the only ones who have made a recent return to Idol. Former judge Paul Abdul got emotional when she returned for a reunion episode in May. “I’m crying seeing all the contestants who are like my babies. It’s beautiful,” she said.

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