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AMERICAN MORNING

Idol Winner

Aired May 22, 2003 - 07:50   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Now to the really, really important story of the day, the "Velvet Teddy Bear" is living large this morning. Ruben Studdard is America's newest idol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner of "American Idol" 2003 is Ruben Studdard!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Ruben Studdard defeated Clay Aiken in a final face-off; 24 million people took part in the viewer voting. And Ruben's prize is a million dollar recording contract.

Our own panel of experts is back with a morning-after look at the "American Idol" finale.

B.J. Sigesmund is the entertainment reporter for "Newsweek," Lisa Bernhard, deputy editor of "TV Guide," and Toure, the contributing editor to "Rolling Stone" magazine.

Thanks so much for being here, guys. I know there are a couple of sad faces this morning, the Clay people over here and the Ruben person over there.

TOURE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE" MAGAZINE: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINS: We were thinking about vanishing to the over of the room.

TOURE: I'm with the majority of America. So, why am I getting banished?

COLLINS: Well, but now, wait, let's talk about that.

LISA BERNHARD, DEPUTYH EDITOR, "TV GUIDE": Yes, the majority of how big?

B.J. SIGESMUND, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER, "NEWSWEEK": Heidi, I have something in my pocket that I'm going to take out and I have one word for you all: recount. We spent a lot of time...

(CROSSTALK) SIGESMUND: You know, Ryan Seachrist (ph) said it first, that 13,000 votes separated them.

TOURE: Yes.

BERNARD: Yes, I know.

COLLINS: Right.

SIGESMUND: And then he said later in the show 1,300 people separated them. And now, you know, Reuters is reporting it's 130,000.

COLLINS: Yes.

SIGESMUND: Now, at "Newsweek" we spent a lot of time during 2000 talking about the non-election between Bush and Gore.

COLLINS: Indeed you did.

SIGESMUND: And I think maybe this deserves at least a little bit of cover treatment...

COLLINS: Right.

SIGESMUND: ... you know, possibly.

COLLINS: Good point. But, Toure, I have to give you a second or two here. How did this go down? What do you think?

TOURE: Well, the brother with the soul won. He had humility. He had some cool to him. He's got a great -- nice pipes. You know, I mean, I think the right thing happened here. And you guys...

BERNHARD: OK, OK, yesterday...

TOURE: ... need to admit that.

BERNHARD: ... he was trashing the show. And today...

TOURE: Well, he's still trashing the show.

BERNHARD: ... he is all about Ruben. He is a flag-waving...

(CROSSTALK)

TOURE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) about Ruben yesterday...

BERNHARD: ... Ruben supporter.

COLLINS: Let's go ahead and listen in. Just in case people did not watch last night or they missed it somehow, let's go ahead and listen in to Ruben's final performance.

Something about those gospel singers behind him...

BERNHARD: I know. COLLINS: ... was just so incredibly powerful.

TOURE: Yes, yes.

COLLINS: Overall, I'd like to hear from you all on this, what was your opinion of the performances, Toure?

TOURE: Well, I don't know. I mean, I looked at this show, and I'm, like, are these the best unsigned singers that we have in all of America?

SIGESMUND: No!

(CROSSTALK)

BERNHARD: There is probably a waiter on the next block or a waitress...

(CROSSTALK)

TOURE: OK, so why aren't they -- so, why aren't they in the contest?

BERNHARD: You have (UNINTELLIGIBLE) out in the cold, and they waited and certain people get through. That's, you know, the way of the world, Toure.

TOURE: Right.

SIGESMUND: That is the beauty of the show (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COLLINS: Yes.

SIGESMUND: ... 70,000 people if they have a -- you know, a kid has a good performance and he makes it one cut, and then he makes the next cut, and there is luck and there is good fortune in there, and there's tragedy and drama in there.

TOURE: Yes, there is.

COLLINS: And there is always Simon. Hey, let's go ahead and listen to Clay as well, because of the two finalists we've got to hear from both of them. Let's hear about his last performance last night.

Once again, I mean, he nailed it. He nailed it the night before with this same performance.

BERNHARD: That's right.

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINS: I'm not going to have an opinion.

(CROSSTALK)

BERNHARD: I would even go back and change my vote, not to say Ruben, but Kimberly, judging from last night, also I thought should have won.

TOURE: I know.

BERNHARD: She was terrific.

SIGESMUND: If Kimberly, if she had a CD out, I would buy it today.

COLLINS: Really?

SIGESMUND: Yes, I like her voice so much.

BERNHARD: Clay still has, you know, the better voice. But talking about CDs, I don't feel like I have emotional closure here. I feel like -- I feel like because both of them have record deals, you know, Clay and Ruben...

TOURE: Right.

BERNHARD: ... it's like there was no tension.

SIGESMUND: Right.

TOURE: Yes.

SIGESMUND: It's like "Survivor" in that way.

BERNHARD: They're like they both know that they're on their way to stardom.

TOURE: They had (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to each other.

BERNHARD: Yes.

SIGESMUND: They have become really close friends. The two of them both said to me over the phone, you know, we have become -- we have been good friends. I know, I've been talking to them...

BERNHARD: And now they're obviously good friends of yours.

TOURE: Yes, yes.

SIGESMUND: Exactly. But seriously, they have known each other since they were in all in the group of eight, and they were all...

COLLINS: They do get...

(CROSSTALK)

TOURE: On making the band on MTV when Puffy was running it properly the way you run one of these things.

COLLINS: Oh, my goodness.

BERNHARD: Yes.

TOURE: They are competing with each other.

COLLINS: Hey...

BERNHARD: Yes.

TOURE: That's how you do it.

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINS: Thanks so much to all three of you for being here. B.J. Sigesmund from "Newsweek," Lisa Bernhard from "TV Guide," and Toure, the guy who likes Ruben, from "Rolling Stone" magazine, thanks so much to you all.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com.




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