American Idol may have ended this year, but this holiday season, the show is the gift that keeps on giving. Thursday morning on The View, one of the series’ most beloved duos, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, reunited for a sweet “This Christmas” duet that surely even TV Scrooge Simon Cowell would enjoy.
While Ruben and Clay both appeared on this past April’s big Idol series finale (in a group number alongside Katharine McPhee, Jessica Sanchez, Casey James, Carly Smithson, and Amber Holcomb), this performance was actually their first televised duet since they competed on Idol Season 2 way back in 2003.
Although it’s been 13 years since the Velvet Teddy Bear became a household name and Aiken’s second-place finish riled up a nation of Claymates, the two didn’t miss a beat during their Christmas performance. They later told The View’s hosts that they’ve remained close all these years, “FaceTiming once every week or so,” according to Aiken. Said Ruben: “[Clay] is one of the first people I met during Hollywood Week, and we’ve been friends ever since.”
— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) December 15, 2016
The two singers did tour together in 2010, but their careers have obviously taken very different paths since their Idol heyday. Aiken, whose last studio album came out six years ago, has become a political activist, and he even ran for Congress in 2014; Studdard has released six studio albums, the last being 2014’s critically praised, David Foster-produced Unconditional Love, and he’s currently working on a children’s TV show, Uncle Ruben’s House.
However, when asked on The View if the two would ever consider another join concert tour, Aiken mused, “Maybe one day we’ll do that again.” Now, that would be a Christmas miracle!