With three performances each, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard showed the world their singing prowess on the Finale of American Idol, Season II. The competition, held on May 19, 2003 was the last chance to swing the final votes over to their side. Their performances blew the roof off the place.
The performances for the night were:
1. Ruben Studdard–“A House Is Not A Home”
2. Clay Aiken– “This Is The Night”
1. Ruben Studdard, “Imagine”
2. Clay Aiken–“Here There and Everywhere”
1. Ruben Studdard– “Flying Without Wings”
2. Clay Aiken–“Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
Ryan Seacrest started the show by stating that it started with 70,000 contestants and came down to two southern boys who are the most unlikely people in the world to be there. He also reminded the audience that they would have 3 hours to vote and how important the vote is this evening.
After a video journey of Ruben’s American Idol trip, Ruben sang “A House Is Not A Home.” Paula and Simon were excited about the performance, but Simon only said “it was good.”
In the second round, the audience got Lennon and McCartney performed by Clay and Ruben. Ruben’s interpretation of “Imagine” was all positive to the judges; however, no mention was made of the microphone malfunction that lasted throughout the entire first verse.
Clay sang “Here, There and Everywhere.” The judges comments ranged from …you are still the bomb to very pretty to not blown away. The lighting for this song was odd and many people thought it made Clay look “scary.”
The final round of the night was amazing. Singing “Flying Without Wings,” the judges and the audience delivered an outstanding performance. The judges commented that it was the best performance of the night.
The night produced beautiful performance, two very different vocal styles, and both performers left it all on the stage.
The next night started with a red carpet and ended with the crowning of a new American Idol. The last night was a 2-hour show so there was a lot of “filler.” Ryan joined Ruben in his dressing room and showed both Ruben and the audience the cheering throngs in Ruben’s hometown. Ruben was his cool self.
Ryan dashed across the hall to visit Clay in his dressing room. He introduced Clay’s fans in Raleigh. There were over 8,000 people in the RBC Center to cheer and support Clay. Clay seemed shocked and amazed by the support.
The evening was filled with celebrities who had to give their opinions, former idol performances, goofy films of the judges and much prattle from Ryan.
A medley of songs was performed by all the finalists which included songs originally performed by the celebrity judges.
Then Ruben, Kimberley Locke, and Clay performed a medley of “Superstar,” “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” and “On the Wings of Love,” respectively.
Ruben performed “Flying Without Wings” with the choir again. Then, Ryan took us back to Birmingham, at Ruben’s church. They were very proud.
Clay performed “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”. Then, it was back to Raleigh. They were proud, too.
In all reality, there were 2 winners that night. Both of the singers were talented young men who were ready to step into the world of pop music. And, as we all know, coming in second just didn’t matter.
Enjoy the videos of Clay’s performances and then watch the group numbers from the finale.