‘American Idol’ Winner to Appear at Auditions, Help Hopefuls

American Idol

ABC

The audition process for the upcoming season of ABC’sAmerican Idol” is being enhanced once again. Now, people who audition on Zoom will be helped by one of the most famous musicians from the show.

According to Alabama Life, season two “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard will be appearing at the Alabama auditions for the upcoming season. The show will be featuring two different types of auditions, virtual and in-person.

“Idol Across America” is a live audition process, meaning that people who audition are able to Zoom into a meeting with producers. The other option is auditioning from home by submitting a video online. The information for auditions is available online here.

Studdard will be joining the live Zoom option and answering questions from hopefuls who are waiting to audition. He will also be offering tips to the singers, according to Alabama Life.


What Happened to Studdard Following His ‘Idol’ Win?

Nearly 20 years ago, Studdard was crowned the second winner of “American Idol.”

Since his win, Studdard has released eight studio albums with the most recent being released in 2018 titled “Ruben Sings Luther.”

Though his tour for that album was canceled due to the coronavirus, Studdard still wanted to help the hopefuls on “American Idol.”

“My inspiration is always the same when it comes to aspiring professional singers,” Studdard told Billboard in early 2021. “It’s that I was once in their shoes and I know the road that lies ahead for them. Like many before me I had been trying to be a professional artist many years before my time on Idol. So understand how difficult it can be to continue pushing towards a goal that can sometimes seem unreachable.”

Studdard also appeared on “The Biggest Loser” and lost 119 pounds during his time on the show, according to Today.

“I [did] this for me; this was for my life,” Studdard shared at the time. “I’m so excited I got to take the time and do this. It was something I could do for me and nobody else. This show has given me a second chance to live the best life I can live. I am going to be the healthiest Ruben Studdard I can be.”

According to Billboard, in 2005, Studdard sued his ex-manager for identity theft. The outlet reported that the complaint filed stated that Ronald W. Edwards forged paperwork in Studdard’s name sometime between 2003 and 2004.

Edwards, according to the paperwork, used credit cards to take $105,000 from Studdard and wrote checks for $150,000.

Billboard later reported that Studdard was awarded $2 million, $500,000 for his losses and an additional $1.5 million in damages.


Studdard Was the Center of Controversy

During Studdard’s season of “American Idol,” he came in first with runner-up Clay Aiken following closely behind.

The star only won the vote by about 130,000, according to Reality TV World. The number was originally quoted to be around 1,300 or 13,000 votes, which fans thought was too close.

The outlet reported that there was a possibility that the phone service had been overloaded, meaning that as many as 230 million calls were dropped at the time of call-in voting.

In an interview years later, the then-showrunner admitted that Clay Aiken, the runner-up, had been leading in each of the votes up to the finale.

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