Local News

Raleigh's Clay Aiken Taking Bite Out Of Big Apple

Posted May 26, 2003 4:24 a.m. EDT

— American Idol winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken of Raleigh took the "Today" show by storm Monday.

The finalists from the FOX TV talent show wowed a crowd of screaming fans who braved a downpour for a glimpse of their favorites.

The two teamed for a patriotic Memorial Day duet of "God Bless the U.S.A."

Studdard crooned his renditions of "Flying Without Wings" and "Superstar."

Aiken also spilled the beans on what he learned before taking the stage for the big announcment last week.

"Right before we went out on Wednesday night, Ryan [Seacrest] was over there reviewing his card, and I was standing beside him, and my eye shot over to the right and all I saw was the name on the card was long. My name is not very long and Studdard is pretty long. So I didn't see for sure that his name was on the card, but I did put two and two together and said 'If that's the card, then it's probably Ruben and not me,'" he said

Studdard and Aiken also appeared on "Larry King Live" this weekend.

Friday, Aiken spent the morning on CBS' Early Show and will soon appear on MTV's "TRL."

The Alabama native edged out Aiken by only 130,000 of 24 million votes cast by telephone.

Almost 34 million people watched the final show of the competition Wednesday night.

Both finalists got record contracts.