Ruben and Clay set to bring a taste of 2003 to the new year

Ruben and Clay set to bring a taste of 2003 to the new year

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two decades ago, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard were the stars of the second season of American Idol. Together, they became the faces of that season, and in 2024, the duo plans to continue working as a team to bring joy to those who come to their Twenty Years, One Night tour.

“I think the show that we are doing right now is […] musically and artistically where Ruben and I enjoy being,” Aiken said, adding that he could see the duo taking on a Vegas residency. “One day, whenever Ruben’s ready to get off the road himself, […] Ruben loves traveling. When Ruben’s ready to get off the road and sit still, I’ll talk him into doing it.”

Studdard laughed in agreement at Aiken’s assessment of their tour, which has dates scheduled into 2024 up and down the East Coast. Aiken says the show is very similar to the American Idol tour, the series of concerts that followed the second season of the Fox show.

“We sing songs that we did when we were on Idol,” Aiken said. “We do medleys, sort of like we did when we were on Idol.”

Both of the artists look back on their Idol days fondly, saying that neither of them could have predicted what the competition would lead to.

“We didn’t know that this was going to turn into the rest of our lives,” Aiken said.

Studdard calls Idol a “little summer camp experience,” recalling the work that went into putting on the show.

“They were asking a lot of us, but now, when I look back on it, they weren’t asking enough,” Studdard said. “We really could have given them more for the amount of exposure that we were given.”

Still, the performers love to bring their 2003 American Idol sensibilities into the 2020s, delighting fans who take in their shows.

“Here we are putting 2023 behind us and heading into 2024, but Ruben and I are still in 2003 with this show,” Aiken said.

Get a glimpse into Ruben and Clay’s tour during Las Vegas Countdown to 2024, a live New Year’s Eve special on Sunday, December 31, 2023, with coverage from 8:58 p.m. to 12:35 a.m. PT. Other headliners include 98 Degrees, Bowling for Soup, the Texas rock band the Vandoliers, and Bri Bagwell; with appearances by Berlin, Air Supply, Foghat, Pauly Shore, and Micky Dolenz. For more information on how to watch, check out this page.

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