American Idol, Season Two: Where Are They Now?

The hit television show, American Idol, will be ending its fifteenth (15th) and final season this May. Wildly popular, American Idol has seen a slew of their contestants shoot to stardom and see great success in the music scene, and in some cases, on stage and screen.

This is the second in a series of reflective posts, showcasing some of the contestants from each season, and where they have ended up in their entertainment career. Did you miss our Season One post? 

The second season of American Idol premiered on January 21, 2003, and continued until May 21, 2003. The title of show was shortened fromAmerican Idol: The Search for a Superstar of Season 1 to just American Idol. Brian Dunkleman quit after the first season, and Seacrest therefore became the lone host in Season 2 as well as all subsequent seasons. Kristin Holt was a special correspondent.

The winner of Season Two was “The Velvet Teddy Bear,” Ruben Studdard, with the popular Clay Aiken as runner up.

The last time we saw some new music from Ruben was back in 2014, when he released his CD, Unconditional Love. That being said, we did see Studdard show up on the hit television show, “The Biggest Loser,” in 2013-2014. Studdard has also appeared on the final season of “American Idol,” which you can check out below:

Keep up with Ruben Studdard at the following links:

Website | Facebook@RubenStuddard

The runner-up, Clay Aiken, has also seen some stardom since his appearance on American Idol. He went on to release six studio albums, and launched eleven tours along with the releases. Additionally, we saw Aiken hit Broadway as Sir Robin in the popular musical, Spamalot.

Non-musically, Aiken has authored a New York Times best seller called Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life with Allison Glock, and was the executive producer for a 2004 televised Christmas special, A Clay Aiken Christmas and his televised live concert special in 2010 on PBS Tried & True Live!. He has been a frequent talk show guest, particularly on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He appeared as a guest star on Scrubs, Drop Dead Diva, 30 Rock and participated in comedy skits on numerous other shows. He also competed in the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice and placed second in the finals to Arsenio Hall.

Aiken created the National Inclusion Project (formerly the Bubel/Aiken Foundation) in 2003, accepted a UNICEF ambassadorship in 2004, a position he held for 9 1/2 years until 2013 when he gave it up in order to run for Congress. He was the “UNICEF Ambassador of Education for All Children Worldwide”; he traveled extensively on their behalf in this role. In 2006 was appointed for a two-year term to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

In 2014, Aiken announced his intentions to run for Congress in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district. He won the Democratic primary held on May 6, 2014, but lost to Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Whew. Did you get all of that? Clearly, Clay Aiken isn’t just a pretty face, and his “Claymates” would agree!

We can’t end this segment without pointing out some recent news regarding Clay, who recently had some not-so-savory things to say about the show that gave him his big break. Just check out this article from TMZ from January: HERE.

Keep up with Clay Aiken at the following links:

Website | Facebook@clayaiken

Hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane, I think as we get further into this series, we’ll see a lot more familiar faces.

Who was YOUR favorite contestant during Season Two? Give them a shout out in the comments below.

Kelly Murphy
Owner, writer, and editor of Indie Minded; Social Media Marketing & Relationship Consulting via Indie Minded Media; Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @IndieMurphy or @IndieMindedMedia