It’s no secret that money is helpful if you’re looking to break into politics. Also helpful? Having famous friends. That’s why Clay Aiken called in his fellow American Idols Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino during his Congressional run in North Carolina last year. That mini-reunion is seen in this clip from this week’s episode of The Runner-Up, a documentary series currently airing on the Esquire Network.
When he embarked on his campaign, Aiken intended on avoiding his celebrity past. But that was before financial reality set in, and he changed his tune fairly quickly. Fortunately, Studdard (who famously nabbed the American Idol crown from Aiken way back in Season 2) and Barrino were happy to provide a little help for a friend, dropping by a fundraising event at a swanky art gallery. “Clay has always been passionate, and I’m so glad that he’s going to bring that to you all,” Studdard told the crowd. His endorsement might has secured Aiken a few dollars, but it didn’t bring him victory — the aspiring politician lost to his rival, Renee Ellmers, in the November elections. On the upside, that leaves his schedule clear for a Studdard/Aiken reunion tour.