Toward the merciful end of “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Show,” or as it is also called, “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show,” gifts are exchanged. Out come the ugly Christmas sweaters, that cutesy sartorial staple of the holiday season. Unfortunately, those sweaters might serve as garish woolen metaphors for the show itself: you might smile indulgently at them for a bit, but pretty quickly you just want to look away.
Ruben and Clay, for the unfamiliar, are Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, onetime competitors and finalists on the second season of “American Idol.” Studdard ended up winning, with Aiken the runner-up. Both have since gone on to successful recording and performing careers, with Aiken even staging a quixotic run for Congress in his native North Carolina. (Runner-up again! He won the Democratic primary but lost the election.)