NEW YORK – There's talk of American Idol finalists Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken doing a movie together after this week's final showdown.
And why not? Last season's winners, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, are slated to release a big-screen beach-party film next month.
"We both would really like to do a movie like Justin and Kelly did," Aiken told reporters. "Maybe some kind of Laurel-and-Hardy type of thing."
After more than 10 weeks of intense scrutiny, Studdard and Aiken -- direct opposites in both appearance and singing styles -- are the last two left standing on the monster-hit, Fox talent show.
And when one loses on Wednesday night -- as is inevitable -- it is becoming clear that it won't exactly be a devastating loss.
The two have become so popular at this point that, besides a co-starring role in an Idol movie, the runner-up is almost surely guaranteed to land a record deal too.
(It's been rumored that if Studdard doesn't win, R&B producer Babyface has already offered to do an album with him.)
The winner, voted by telephone poll, will get a $1-million recording contract with a label controlled by Idol judge Simon Cowell.
As the big night approaches, Aiken and Studdard say they are still caught off-balance by stars who visit them looking for a little piece of Idol magic.
The pressure of performing each week in front of millions of viewers has not phased him, but Ruben admits he was nervous when Oprah Winfrey stopped by the show's set last week to meet the contestants.
"Even Ruben, who doesn't ever lose his cool, had his draw drop," said Aiken.
"I think everybody was nervous when they met Oprah," said Studdard. "She's Oprah."