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Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
American Idol 2: Your views
Finalists Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard
The pair have very different styles
Ruben Studdard became the second American Idol on Wednesday after 24 million people voted in the final.

The 25-year-old soul singer beat fellow contestant Clay Aiken by just 130,000 votes.

So what did you think?

Did Ruben deserve to win?

This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

I think Clay should have won, as he was the one with the personality. Rueben has zero personality. He couldn't even smile when he wasn't singing. I don't see the draw to him as the only thing he makes me want to do is hit the fast forward button. Clay is my American Idol.
Stacy, USA

I think Clay has a better voice but I am glad that Ruben won. I think Simon was right Clay would be a great Broadway/Westend star. I can't see him on MTV. I hope Kimberly Locke gets a record contract. I would buy her CD's before I would buy the guys. Her voice really moved me.
JoAnne Farley, USA

Well, Ruben won. But, let's be honest, who is a better singer? Clay, of course! He transmits emotions that boring Ruben never will. Personally, you were robbed, Clay. I'll buy all your records. I am so impressed not only by your voice, but by the kind of person you are. Trying to make a difference with autistic children. Clay, you are the winner and the idol to me. Clay all the way!
J.P., Canada

I tried to get through a vote for Ruben for two hours and the phone lines were busy.
Mary, USA

I felt that Clay should have won as he is more versatile. This is what should be in an American Idol.
Ling, Singapore

HELL NO, Clay should have won. He can sing circles around Ruben. Clay was never in the bottom two during the whole show, Ruben was. I watched from beginning to end there is no comparing the two. Clay is the best and always will be!!!
Anna Paul, USA

Ruben may have won the show, but Clay won my heart and when it comes time to purchase CD's, it's Clay's I'll be buying, not Rubens.
Renee, USA

Me and my friends have wanted Ruben from the start - he is so lovely!!! His voice is amazing and so sorry |America but didn't quite get the "Clay " thing! Top three were the best though but Ruben just had to win - much better than the first series -Well done Ruben - please release CD in England too!
Heather, England

Clay is the true 'Idol' here. He put up with criticism every week by the judges and actually utilized the changes. Ruben never had one negative thing said about his performances which were most of the time dry, slow placed, horsed throat and boring. I don't get why America wants to listen to a singer whose musical style is a thing from the past. It's 2003 time for change time for something new and exciting...time for Clay Aiken!!
Angela, Canada

Given the way the British treated their own non-boy-band looking Pop Idol finalist, I'm delighted to see Ruben won. Shows an appreciation of his voice rather than whether he fits into a certain mould. America should be proud. Besides, I much prefer Clay with my eyes shut! All that winking and Elvis-imitation lip movements made me wince! Corny! But a beautiful voice.
Jenni, England

Clay is so much of a better performer, singer and person! He will always be our idol. Every single pole has showed that the USA wanted him to be the idol. I would never purchase a single Ruben anything!
Kristin, USA

Both of these gentlemen are extremely talented and are already in the studios recording. I loved hearing both of them sing, but I am partial to the blinding passion and charisma of Clay.

He just busted the seams of every song - I cannot imagine he has an under-appreciation for anything in his life. Although I'm disappointed he did not "win" the competition, the vote was so close that it really doesn't matter. I'll buy his album when it is released and so will 20 million other people.
Jen, USA

I think six months from now Clay will be the big hit. Rubin will have run his course of fame. Rubin's 1st album will sell, just because of his win on AI. But after that he will drop off. Where as Clay, his 1st album I believe will out sell Rubin and continue to sell to a ever growing fan base. Rubin's fan base is at its peak right now.
John A. Muir, USA

Although Ruben has a good voice and great personality, Clay has way more vocal range and control.
Steve, USA

Clay Aiken should have been named the American Idol because that's exactly what he is.
Kristine Wulz, USA

I think Clay deserved to win more than Ruben. The American Idol contest is based on talent and that I think Clay has more than Ruben. When you watch Clay perform on TV, it is almost as if he is singing to you face to face. You can feel his emotions just by seeing and hearing him perform. Although he did not win the title, he has won the hearts of many people in the world.
Michele, Singapore

It has to do with the voting. I tried for 3 hours, and could not get through once. I have my ideas of why. But anyways, I think that the voting should have been done differently. There should be one number to call, no matter who you are voting for, then after you get your call through, you then punch in the number of the person you are voting for. (1,2,3,etc.) That way nobody on the other end knows who you are calling your vote in for.

Since after this American Idol voting, I have heard from several people that they think this was rigged. And they said they tried for 3 hours and could not get through once to vote for Clay Aiken. Something sounds funny here. Also they should have online voting too. So if you can't get through on the phone, you can still cast your vote. Clay should have won..... Thank you...
Vicki, USA

Good for Ruben winning. However, I think that Clay should have won by a landslide. I'm not going to sit here and put Ruben down because he's his own way. I wish good luck to both, and I'm going to buy Clay's CD the day it's released.
steph, canada

I, among all of my constituency are furious due to the circumstances of Tuesday's voting! Not one of us were able to get through to vote for Clay, after trying insistently to do so during the entire three hour allotment window! Where there an equal number of phone lines available to both finalists? It is apparent to us that the contestant so flagrantly favoured by the producers and regular AI judges (namely a Ruben Studdard) was preordained to be America's Idol even before Tuesday's show.

How obvious can it be that Clay is the guy with greater vocal talent and stage presence? He has a greater vocal range, perfect-pitch delivery and greater vocal dynamics than Ruben has and most probably will ever have! Thumbs down for the unsurprising outcome of Wednesday's show!

Sandy, USA

I think both Clay and Ruben are very talented. They have different styles in the way they sing. I'm glad that Ruben won, he reminds me of Luther Vandross. I love his deep soulful R&B style. He also showed he can carry a high note despite with others may think. Clay would be more suitable for Broadway. I can't picture him as a pop star. I will be the first in line to buy Ruben's album.
Marquetta, United States

I was rooting for Clay, so I was really kind of surprised that Ruben won on Wednesday! Clay was the showman of the show; he was able to do almost any song and successfully pull it off, whereas I felt that Ruben stuck with really similar songs throughout the series and didn't dare to be risque. It'll be interesting to see who gets the highest position in the charts when their debut singles are released; I have a feeling that competition from one another might just go in to Clay's favour!
Rachel, Canada

Clay is the true Idol. The show is supposed to be about finding the best singer so what happened? FOX wanted Ruben so there you go. We'll see who wins out on the charts.
Ellen P, USA

I've loved Ruben since the show began. I knew he would win. The competition was incredible at the end. But, it has been a long journey and Ruben has made it all the way. It's nice to see an African American win something for a change. It was America's vote and America voted for the right man; who just so happen to be Ruben. I just want to wish all the idols the best of luck. They all were extraordinary!
Tiffany, US

All of my friends and I working with 2-3 phones apeice tried for 3.5 hours and not a one of us got a single vote in for Clay. He would have won by a landslide had he had enough phone lines to accomodate all the people voting for him. This was rigged.
Janet Hilliard, USA

There is something very FISHY about this last voting time!!! 24 mil votes and only 1,334 different?? AWWWWW COME ON!!! In Houston, the phone lines were clogged for 3 straight hours! My family tried to vote on THREE lines for THREE hours NON-STOP. We got through FOUR times. There are seven in our family which means three were denied the right to vote!!! Whatever happened to democracy in America. People's voices to be heard, not strained by the constant busy signals trying to get through.
Angela Chapman Larson, USA

Ruben did not have the song variety (only had all ballards) nor the octive range. Clay had more talent and should have won.
Richard Watson, USA

Clay should've won! I cried when he lost! Ruben is an okay singer but Clay was the best! To me Clay won because he has personality, a great voice, and he cares. Plus one Ruben fan was wicked mean to me, she rubbed it in my face so much I started crying!
Sam, USA

What happened America?? Come on you were suppose to vote for the "BEST Performer" not the "velvetiest teddy bear". If you happened to tape the last two shows and go back and watch it is more clear then ever who has the greatest singing capabilities. Ruben is good and I won't take that away from him but if you really are suppose to pick who is the "best" then America clearly got it wrong. Clay you rock and will go far. God Bless you Clay our true American Idol !!!

Im glad Ruben won, both have great voices but i just preferred Ruben's!! good luck Ruben, hope you play a concert in Ireland sometime
Ruairi, Ireland

Who should be the next American Idol?
Clay Aiken
Ruben Studdard
685 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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