Clay Aiken – Celebrating 17 Years

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Season 2 Finale of American Idol.  It is hard to realize that it has been 17 years since that fateful night.

It was fun to see that yesterday, Clay got a message on Instagram from a girl who remembered the date.  She said: 

17 years since the finale that shattered my heart.  #Claymate for Life!

Clay answered:

 If you think YOUR heart was shattered, girl…what was mine?

Why don’t you give Clay a quick tweet today.  It’s a great way to let him know how much we still support him and love him. (Facebook and Instagram is OK too).


To me, there were two winners on the finale night in 2003.

Both Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard were amazing and ready to Reach for the Stars.

Let’s have a toast to the show that introduced Clay Aiken to the  world!!


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 20, 2003 was the last chance to swing the final votes over to their side. Their performances blew the roof off the place.

The next night was May 21st, the finale night. 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.

The final round of the night was amazing.  Singing Flying Without Wings, Ruben  delivered an outstanding performance.  The judges commented that it was the best performance of the night.

Clay then performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and did a tremendous job.  Accompanied by a choir, Clay knocked the song out of the park.  It left all three judges with big smiles on their faces.

The night produced beautiful performances and two very different vocal styles. Both performers left it all on the stage.

Finally, Ryan said “it’s the closest vote in American Idol history, the American Idol is…….Ruben Studdard.”

 The 2 winners that night 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.

I hope you enjoy the videos of Clay’s performances and then also watch the group numbers from the finale.

WOW!  So much talent!

OK, Clay!!!  We need 17 more years of your talent, singing, humor and compassion!

 I can’t wait to see the 20th Anniversary!


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4 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Celebrating 17 Years

  1. Thank you so much for writing this article praising both Clay and Ruben. They both won and stayed lifetime friends. They may have been the most unlikely guys to go as far as they did – but both deserved the win. I would have loved to see Clay as #1 but he did and still is doing great! I will never be sorry for getting on the Clay-Train 17years ago – it has been the time of my life in so many ways.

    Congratulations Clay and Ruben!

    Thank you so much for the photos and the videos. All of our “clack” is very precious!!!

  2. Thank you for all the pictures and the videos. WOW. It has been 17 years.I believe that Clay should have won . In all that time Clay voice became better in time. I miss him him singing. Thank you for all the memories. I do listen to the podcast Politicon every week. The past 2 weeks have been crazy. I was thinking how can it be better.

  3. omg 17 years ago it was ruben and clay when it was time to announce the winner I was hopping it was gona be clay but no such luck I herd ryan seacrest say and the winner of americian idol is ruben stuaard I was so sad and broken hearted when clay lost idol I miss clay and his amazing singing well any way congradulations clay and ruben

  4. The anticipation that last night was beyond belief! I was so sure Clay would win hands down! My hopes and dreams were shattered! My spirits were lifted when his singing career took off! Clay was everywhere! Thank you, CANN, for the videos!

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