​Clay Aiken reveals how he came out to Ruben Studdard following 'American Idol'

Clay Aiken Ruben Studdard The Masked Singer FOX
Clay Aiken Ruben Studdard The Masked Singer FOX

The nostalgia is kicking in!

Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken are the iconic finalists who sang their way into everyone's hearts on season two of American Idol.

Over 20 years later, the stars reunited for a singing competition as a duo instead of opponents in the current season of The Masked Singer.

"The Masked Singer was far more fun and caused way less arguments between Ruben and I. It was fun to do because it's just stupid! Ruben was just thrilled to finally get to be on stage with me and not have to look at my face," Aiken tells PRIDE.

"We tried our best to disguise our voices even though we failed miserably. It was fun to be able to be in those costumes trying to fool a group of panelists," Studdard adds.

Many people will remember that Aiken was just one of the few people representing the LGBTQ+ community on reality television in the early 2000s.

Since his appearance on American Idol in 2003, visibility for queer people has skyrocketed, and there's way more representation seen in media today.

"I didn't have my first boyfriend until I was on Idol. I didn't admit to myself that I was gay until week four of Idol. I look back and realize I did that whole thing on TV and on magazine covers. I look at where we are in 2024 and I'm incredibly thankful that America has progressed in the way it has," Aiken says.

Studdard was one of the first people Aiken ever opened up to regarding his sexuality.

"I was able to come out to Ruben on tour that summer. The response he gave me was exactly what you hope for. It was very nonchalant and I would argue the progress we've made is because of allies like Ruben as well."

The Masked Singer airs Wednesday nights on FOX. Check out the video below to see the full interview with Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken.

Ruben Studdard & Clay Aiken Talk 'The Masked Singer' & Reveal Who Would Have Won as Solo Contestants youtu.be