American Idol

American Idol is an American television show based on singing. Simon Fuller, Fremantle US created this television show whereas 19 Entertainment produced it and Fremantle North America distributes it. For 15 seasons from the 11th of June, 2002, to the 7th of April, 2016, Fox aired the show. Since the 11th of March, 2018, ABC aired a revival of the series.

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American Idol became one of the most successful shows in the history of American television after it started as an addition to the Pop Idol from the British television based Idols format shows. The series also shows the process of discovering recording stars from unsigned singing talents, where American viewers determine the winner using various voting methods through phones, the Internet, and SMS text voting.


The winners of the first seventeen seasons, chosen by the audience are hence as follows:

  1. Kelly Clarkson
  2. Ruben Studdard
  3. Fantasia Barrino
  4. Carrie Underwood
  5. Taylor Hicks
  6. Jordin Sparks
  7. David Cook
  8. Kris Allen
  9. Lee DeWyzeamerican idol
  10. Scotty McCreery
  11. Phillip Phillips
  12. Candice Glover
  13. Caleb Johnson
  14. Nick Fradiani
  15. Trent Harmon
  16. Maddie Poppe
  17. Laine Hardy

American Idol has a panel of vocal judges that hence critiques the contestants’ performances. The original judges for eight seasons from the start were:

  • record producer and music manager Randy Jackson
  • singer and choreographer Paula Abdul
  • music executive and manager Simon Cowell.

The judging panel for the last three seasons includes singers:

  • Keith Urban
  • Jennifer Lopez

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  • Harry Connick, Jr.

The new judges were introduced in the sixteenth season who were singers:

Host for the first season was a famous radio personality Ryan Seacrest and comedian Brian Dunkleman. American Idol is also credited for the spawning of about 345 Billboard chart-toppers and various pop idols like:

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  • Clay Aiken
  • Adam Lambert
  • Jordin Sparks

Either the performance or the show is hence ranked number 1 in U.S television ratings for an unprecedented eight consecutive years, from the 2003–04 television season through the 2010–11 season.

Selection Process

In a series of steps, the show hence selected the eventual winner out of many tens of thousands of contestants.

Contestant eligibility

Contestants aged from sixteen to twenty-four were able to participate in the first three seasons which later became fifteen to twenty-eight.

Initial auditions

Initial auditions

Contestants go through at least two sets of the audition before they go the judges round. The first is a brief audition in front of selectors which could include one of the show’s producers. Successful contestants then sing in front of producers and only then can they proceed to audition in front of the judges and are sent to Hollywood if they pass.

Hollywood week and Las Vegas round

The contestants also perform individually or in groups in a series of rounds and perform for the judges.

Audience voting

From the semi-finals onward, the fate of the contestants was hence decided by public vote.



The finals are also broadcasted in primetime from CBS Television City in Los Angeles.


The winner receives a record deal with a major label,  which could be for up to six albums and also secures a management contract with 19 management.