One can only wonder if there is anyone reading this article that thought on May 19, 2003 that they would be reading and writing information on the successful star, Clay Aiken. Little did the audience of American Idol II know that they would be watching the rise of a true musical star.
May 19th was a Monday on 2003 and it was a special night before the finale that focused on Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, the two American Idol finalist of Season II.
The judges were there and so were all the Season II final contestants…..well, Josh was not there since he was back on duty with the Marines. Corey Clark was not even mentioned. All the finalists sang together one more time to “What The World Needs Now” and they sounded fantastic.
Ruben’s journey on American was featured next. Ruben talked about going home, seeing his band, his friends and his former teachers. Ryan also talked to Ruben’s brother, Kevin who gave Ruben a bad time. Ruben performed “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.”
After Ruben, Clay walked out and we got to see Clay’s journey on American Idol. Ryan and Clay talked about Clay being a wildcard entrant, his hair and appearance, and how the entire experience was surreal.
Ryan pulled a Claymate from the audience and Clay commented on her “Clay-mate” shirt. Erin was asked 4 or 5 questions about Clay and she seemed to know each answer. Clay seemed shocked that she knew so much about him.
Clay then sang “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” the song that helped him advance from the Wildcard Round.
After a bit more chit-chat, Ruben and Clay met Ryan in the middle of the stage for the coin toss to see who would sing first in the finale. Clay won the coin toss and chose to let Ruben go first.
To end the program, the finalists performed “God Bless The USA.
There are two videos of this night. The first is Clay’s performance and the second is the coin-toss. Do not miss this fun video. It shows a bit of Clay’s humor.