Ruben Studdard and Kelly Clarkson
Santa Claus may be coming to town, but another jolly fellow is ready to make some spirits bright in time for Thanksgiving. American Idol champ and velvet teddy bear Ruben Studdard will join fellow winner Kelly Clarkson, mega-selling runner-up Clay Aiken and the rest of their pop-music posse (including Tamyra Gray and even some American Juniors!) to serenade viewers for An American Idol Christmas, airing Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. on FOX.
Ruben and Kelly recently spoke to PEOPLE about their own holiday traditions and how they get cooking – on record and in the kitchen.
So, what holiday traditions does your family have?
We have the whole family coming over on Christmas and Thanksgiving (for) dinner and parties. I'm looking forward to that this year because I haven't had that much chance to spend time with my family, so it's going to be special.
Will you cook?
Oh I cook, man, I cook! I throw down, man. I just bought a new condo in Birmingham (Ala.), so hopefully I'll get a chance to cook a dish or two in my kitchen to take over to my mama's house. I make really good cornbread, and anything we eat for Christmas or Thanksgiving, I can make.
We hear Clay and fellow Idol contestant Kimberley Locke are now roommates. Have you been to their place yet?
No, man! And Kimberley has only been there for two weeks. All of us are so very busy that's it's hard for us to get any time.
How's your new album shaping up?
I love it. It's coming along and is actually done and getting mastered so they can ship it out. I'm very excited about the way it turned out, and it shows me and how much soul I put in my singing, so I'm excited.
Do you prefer singing live or in a studio?
I prefer to sing live with my band, but you know, whatever it is I try to do it 110 percent.