American Idol

Season 2 Episode 39

I Bet It'll Be Ruben! Or Clay!

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 21, 2003 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
25 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

I Bet It'll Be Ruben! Or Clay!

The Winner of the second season is finally announced, but not until after some stellar special performances, as the Top 12 reunite.

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  • this is the final episode in the American Idol series, its Clay Aken vs. ruben Studdard, only one will win.

    I enjoyed this episode a lot and not only because the person i wanted to win won.I enjoyed the music of both clay and Ruben, but i wanted Ruben to win because i liked his music more. Me, my mother, and my sister sat together and watched this episode. We were very anxious to find out who would be the next american idol. The person we wanted to win won, and after that i just kinda stopped watching american Idol. I had no idea that it went ti so many seasons, ive lost touch with the American idol world, but i will remember this as the best and last episode, to me.moreless
  • It 's about time!

    The seaoson is finally over leaving another winner. This time it was Ruben Vs. Clay. And the winner is Ruben Studdard!! In my opinion it was about time that Clay Aiken went home, I know it is just my opinion, and I am not intending to insult all of you Clay fans, but how in the world did he make it this far?! In my opinion I would have taken anyone else to the final two but him, to me he was just not as good of a singer as Ruben, this is why I knew that Ruben would win.moreless
Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul


Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest


Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell


Kristin Adams

Kristin Adams

Special Correspondent (Season 2)

Julia DeMato

Julia DeMato

Tenth Place (Season 2)

Charles Grigsby

Charles Grigsby

Eleventh Place (Season 2)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • The following is a list of all the special performances, with notes on some of them. Josh Gracin and Corey Clark were not at the Finale. Josh didn't appear because he had to return to active duty in the Marines and Corey because he disqualified. When it says Top 12 it is excluding them. The songs sung were:
      Top 12 and Kelly Clarkson-"One Voice" by Barry Manilow
      Kelly Clarkson-"Miss Independent" After her performance, Clive Davis came out and presented Kelly Clarkson with a plaque to represent her certified platinum debut album. She did it in just 5 weeks.
      The Top 12 sang a medley in honor of the guest judges this season, with each song being either performed or written by one of them. The songs in the medley were: "Let's Groove" by Earth, Wind & Fire (band member Verdine White was judge on Disco (first Top 8) week), "Baby Love" by The Supremes (written by Lamont Dozier who was guest judge on Motown (Top 12) week), "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson (guest judge on Billy Joel (Top 7) week), "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight (guest judge on Movie songs (Top 11) week), "Words" by Neil Sedaka (guest judge on 60's/Neil Sedaka songs (Top 5) week), "Physical" by BeeGees (band member Robin Gibb guest judged on BeeGees (Top 4) week), "That's Where The Music Takes Me" by Olivia Newton-John (guest judge on Country Rock (Top 10) week), "Hello" by Lionel Richie (guest judge on Billboard #1 (second Top 8) week), and "Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge (written by Diane Warren who was guest judge on Diane Warren songs (Top 6) week).
      The Top 3 performed a medley. Ruben Studdard performed "Superstar" by The Carpenters, Kimberley Locke performed "Over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland, and Clay Aiken performed "On the Wings of Love" by Jeffery Osborne.
      Ruben Studdard-"Flying Without Wings" by Westlife
      Clay Aiken-"Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkle
      Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken-"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" by McFadden & Whitehead
      Ruben Studdard-"Flying Without Wings" by Westlife

    • After winning Ruben sang "Flying Without Wings" which would become his first single.

    • There were 24 million votes. Ruben got 50.28% and Clay got 49.72%

    • Early in the episode, Ryan says that Clay and Ruben were separated by 13,000 votes. Later he says that only 1,330 votes separated them. Later, on the news, it was stated that both of these numbers are wrong and 135,000 votes actually separated the two performers, still causing there to be less than a 1% difference between them.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (8)

    • The Ford music video that won was "Ride wit Me".

    • When doing the recap they had Sugar Ray Leonard do it as if he were recapping a boxing match.

    • Unlike last season the winners first single is not an original, however the runner ups was. It is possible they assumed Clay would win and therefore gave him the original, but there has never actually been an explanation as to why.

    • Ruben becomes the first Winner of American Idol to have been in the Bottom2/3. Clay becomes the first Runner Up (and second person in total) to never be in the Bottom 2/3.

    • Surprisingly enough, this was a true underdog story. According to TV Guide, all signs pointed to Clay Aiken. Beyonce of Destiny's Child said that if she were at a Clay Aiken concert, she would scream with joy. But if it were a Ruben Studdard concert, she said she would fall asleep. Hope prevailed, and Ruben won!

    • Ruben vs. Clay, the culmination of this episode was named number 80 on TV Guide/TV Lands 100 Most Memorable TV Moments in December of 2004.

    • Ruben beat Clay by only 1,135 votes. However, on the Lycos Top 50, Clay Aiken seems to get many, many more searches then Ruben. On Lycos Top 50, he has been crowned "Fan Favorite."

    • Despite Ruben Studdard's (close) win, Clay Aiken's record sales have been much larger. When their singles were released on the same date, Clay's "This Is the Night" made #1 (selling 393,000 copies in its first week), while Ruben's "Flying Without Wings" took the #2 (286,000 copies) spot (the first time in Billboard Hot 100 history that the top two songs were new entries). Although their debut albums had different release dates, Clay's opening week sales for "Measure of a Man" (613,000 copies) far exceeded Ruben's "Soulful" opening week sales (416,000 copies). However, both debuts were greater than Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson's "Thankful" sales (297,000 in first week).