Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard Announce 2023 Tour, Talk ‘American Idol’ Comeback

Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images

Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard recently announced that they will head back to the road next year. They also revealed that they will perform on the season 21 Finale of American Idol.


In their latest appearance in The View, Aiken and Studdard treated the studio audience with a joyous rendition of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.” Undeniably, these two still possess the same chemistry they exuded back in their early days. After their performance, the American Idol alums grabbed the chance to announce what they are up to in 2023.

Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard Will Hit the Road for Twenty The Tour

To honor the friendship they formed since their 2003 stint in American Idol, Aiken and Studdard will be embarking on tour next year. Twenty The Tour is a 24-date concert which will kick off on April 12 in Troy, New York. The same will wrap up on May 16 in Wausau, Wisconsin.

“We’re getting old, Ruben. We are about to celebrate our 20th anniversary from the year we were on Idol,” Aiken said. “And so, Ruben and I are hitting the road together with a 20th anniversary tour, all across the country throughout the year.”


The singer-turned-politician explained that Twenty The Tour will signify the “music and friendships we’ve gotten to make along the way.”

For those who may not know, Aiken and Studdard made American Idol history in 2003 when they became the first two male contestants to compete in the Finale. Studdard won the show with over a hundred thousand-vote difference against Aiken. Interestingly, this is the closest finale vote winning margin ever recorded in the show’s history.

They Will Perform in American Idol Season 21 Finale

For years, fans have wondered if the duo will ever come back in the American Idol stage. As the series prepare for another intense season in 2023, Aiken and Studdard teased their role in the Finale.


“We will be in the finale of American Idol this coming season,” said Aiken.

Their upcoming performance in the show are just weeks after Twenty The Tour. Amazingly, their return to American Idol next year will mark the two decades since Studdard won season 2 on May 2023. This is perhaps the best way to take pride in “one of the greatest friendships of my life,” as cited by Aiken in his recent Instagram post.

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