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Aiken And Studdard Keep The "Idol" Connection Alive

of the Oakland Press

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Clay Aiken claims to have “the worst memory in the world.” But he has a vivid memory of the final night of the second season of “American Idol,” when he and co-finalist Ruben Studdard were waiting backstage during the commercial break before the winner (Studdard) was announced.

“Right before we walked out,” Aiken, 31, recalls, “Ruben looked at me with the most serious look on his face and said, ‘Will you look at this. Look at the two of us — the two least likely people to be here ... ’

“I mean, no one looked at us on the first day or the second day or the fourth week and thought, ‘These two guys are pop stars. He was the big black guy from Alabama and I was the skinny white nerd from North Carolina. We were the odd couple in so many ways, and I think that we became friends because we both knew how lucky we were to be there.”

Now the two are together again as a touring act. Aiken — who’s promoting a new covers album, “Tried & True,” as well as a new concert DVD — says The Timeless Tour has been a long time coming, but well worth the wait.

“We’ve been talking for years about trying to do something together and had never really found the time to do it,” Aiken explains. “But both of us looked at our calendars around December of last year, January of this year, and said, ‘Wait a second, we don’t have anything this summer we’re dealing with.’ He’s working on an album right now, and mine will have just been released, so ... ‘Let’s just do this. It’s now or never.’ So it’s now.”

Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, 377 Riverside Drive East in Windsor. Tickets are $39.77-67 or visit www.caesarswindsor.com.

Web Site: www.caesarswindsor.com

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