After some initial confusion surrounding the vote tallies, Ruben Studdard, the “big” winner on FOX’s “American Idol,” will spend his holiday weekend in the recording studio, the Associated Press reports.
The 25-year-old Studdard, who edged out competitor Clay Aiken in the final round of the wildly popular TV talent contest on Wednesday, was signed to J Records and a first pressing of his single “Flying Without Wings” is already available.
But the newly minted star is getting right down to business with his album, in a move to capitalize on his popularity.
Nearly 34 million viewers tuned in for the final face-off between Aiken, 24, and Studdard. That trumped last finale by 10 million viewers. Kelly Clarkson was the winner of the first “American Idol.” She has since released a No. 1 single and album, and is due to appear in the upcoming film “From Justin to Kelly,” with runner-up Justin Guarini on June 13.
J Records founder Clive Davis said Studdard, who is likened to Luther Vandross, will record a pop, R&B and hip-hop-influenced album, and may collaborate with rapper Fat Joe. “We want to make it as exciting (as possible),” Davis tells AP.
In other “Idol” news, the margin separating the top two finalists wasn’t as slim as host Ryan Seacrest announced on television. Seacrest first said that 13,000 votes separated Studdard and Aiken, and later amended that to about 1,300 votes.
In reality, 130,000 votes divided the two, FOX spokesman Scott Grogin said Thursday.
“It was simply a case of some misspeaking on live television,” Grogin said.