Michael Becker/FOX

The Masked Singer took Us back to the early aughts with an all-time delightful reveal during the Group B Finals.

The Beets were unmasked as — spoiler alert — American Idol’s Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken during the Wednesday, May 1, episode of the Fox reality competition series, and the panelists couldn’t get enough.

The duo performed “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes with Gumball in an attempt to save themselves in the final moments of the show but were ultimately unsuccessful despite none of the judges accurately guessing their identities.

“It’s been amazing, we had a good time. It’s a lot of fun and the audience is amazing. It’s good to see everyone, it’s a good time,” Studdard said, while Aiken gushed over being compared to some of the judge’s guesses like Boyz II Men and K-Ci & JoJo.

Aiken and Studdard, both 45, competed on season 2 of Idol, which aired in 2003. Studdard was crowned the victor, but the narrow margin of his win — just 134,000 votes — caused controversy at the time. Since then, however, the two singers have remained friends. In 2023, they embarked on a joint tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their time on Idol.

The Masked Singer Beets Reveal Is a Delightful Blast From Reality TV Past

Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken
Walter McBride/Getty Images

Last year, Aiken admitted that he didn’t like it when attendees told him they voted for him or vice versa.

“We occasionally will see somebody in the audience with an old Ruben shirt, like a lady last night … and I joked with her,” he told The Washington Post. “But I don’t even like it when we do a meet-and-greet and someone says, ‘I voted for you,’ when [Ruben] is in the room. It pisses me off! And if someone says that to him, then [he] better be pissed too.”

Studdard countered that interactions like that didn’t bother him because fans are the reason they were able to do the anniversary tour in the first place.

“It doesn’t make me mad,” he explained. “Because we wouldn’t be here if somebody hadn’t voted for him, and vice versa, so he needs to calm down.”

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Who is that? It’s the question asked by panelists on The Masked Singer multiple times in each episode, and the answer is: everybody. Since the show debuted in January 2019, the celebrity contestants have included Joey Fatone, Michelle Williams, Tori Spelling, Mickey Rourke, Patti LaBelle, Kelly Osbourne, Bret Michaels, Lil Wayne, Jordyn Woods, Wendy Williams, […]

In previous weeks, Masked Singer panelists guessed that Beets could be Arrested Development alums Jason Bateman and Will Arnett or Only Murders in the Building stars Steve Martin and Martin Short. In hindsight, however, all clues pointed to Studdard and Aiken.

The 40 million eyes on Beets hint referred to the fact that nearly 40 million people tuned in to watch the season 2 finale of Idol. The duo also mentioned the fact that the world was determined to pit them against one another even though they see themselves as brothers.

“We don’t get to choose our family. Most family is predetermined by blood; some are predestined by God to come into our lives,” Aiken wrote via Instagram in December 2022. “I’ve got one brother who was born into my family and one brother who the good Lord introduced me to in 2003. … If you have the blessing of knowing Ruben Studdard, you understand: There aren’t many humans more selfless or gracious or loyal than he. America fell in love with him because his performances made them feel happy and welcomed; that’s who he is in real life too.”

The Masked Singer airs on Fox Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.


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