American Idol

American Idol

infobox Television
show_name = American Idol

caption = "American Idol" logo
rating = TV-PG
picture_format = 480i (NTSC),
720p (HDTV) (since season 5)
format = Interactive reality game show
runtime = Varies
creator = Simon Fuller
executive_producer = Nigel Lythgoe (2002-2008)
Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
director = John Pritchett (live shows)
Bruce Gowers (live shows, 2002-2008)
Nigel Lythgoe (audition shows, 2002-2008)
Ken Warwick (audition shows)
presenter = Ryan Seacrest (2002 - present)
Brian Dunkleman (2002)
judges = Simon Cowell (2002 - present)
Paula Abdul (2002 - present)
Randy Jackson (2002 - present)
Kara DioGuardi (from 2009)
bandleader = Rickey Minor
location = Various locations (Auditions)
Orpheum Theatre, Ontario, CA (Hollywood)
CBS Television City (Semi-finals and finals)
Nokia Theatre (Finale)
country = United States
network = FOX (repeats on Fox Reality)
first_aired = June 11, 2002
last_aired = Present
num_seasons = 7
num_episodes = 272
list_episodes = List of American Idol episodes
website =
imdb_id = 0319931
tv_com_id = 11307

"American Idol", with the full title "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" for the first season only, is an American reality-competition show airing on Fox. It debuted on June 11, 2002, and it has since become one of the most popular shows on American televisionFact|date=May 2008. Part of the "Idol" franchise, it is a spinoff from the reality program "Pop Idol" created by British entertainment executive Simon Fuller, which was first aired in 2001 in the United Kingdom.

The program seeks to discover the best singer in the country through a series of nationwide auditions. The outcomes of the later stages of this competition are determined by public voting by phone. The format features four judges who give critiques of the contestants' performances: record producer and music manager Randy Jackson; pop singer and choreographer Paula Abdul; music executive and music manager Simon Cowell and singer/songwriter and record producer Kara DioGuardi . The show is hosted by former children's game show emcee and television personality Ryan Seacrest; comedian Brian Dunkleman co-hosted with Seacrest during the first season. The American Idol band is led by Rickey Minor.The show usually airs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the US and Thursday and Friday nights in the UK (two days after the US airing). In its seven seasons, its winners have been Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and David Cook. The runners-up have been Justin Guarini, Clay Aiken, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice, Katharine McPhee, Blake Lewis, and David Archuleta.

Initial Auditions

Before contestants get the chance to see the show's judges, they go through two rigorous sets of cuts: the first consists of a brief audition in front of one or two of the show's producers with three other contestants. Contestants are then either sent through to the next round of producers or are asked to leave. Only about 100-200 contestants in each city make it past this round, which is a staggering statistic considering that tens of thousands of people show up to audition in each city.

Those few contestants who make it through to the next round of auditions sing in front of another panel of producers, who then narrow the remaining contestants down to about forty singers. The remaining singers (again, only about 40 out of 10,000 to 20,000) then audition in front of the show's official judges for a chance to make it to Hollywood week. For season 8 the judges are Simon, Randy, Paula and Kara.


Singers are not permitted to have any current record deals or talent management agreements (though they may have had one at some point in the past). They must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents eligible to work full-time and, for the first three seasons, had to be 16 to 24 years of age on October 19 of the year of audition. Since the fourth season, the upper age limit was raised to 28 with an earlier cutoff date, August 4, to attract more mature and diverse contestants.

Others who are ineligible to compete include those who have made it into the top 40 contestants in past seasons (or the top 50 of season 7), and people employed by affiliates of Fox, FremantleMedia or 19 Entertainment (including sponsors, subsidiaries and parent companies). Even if a person is eligible, he or she may not have a chance to audition or be seen because the show can see only a limited number of people in each city.

Auditioning contestants must bring with them to the audition a valid proof of age and work eligibility, such as a birth certificate and driver's license or a passport, and minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All auditioning contestants are required to print out a copy of the release form (available on the show's web site) to fill out and turn in at the audition in order to grant permission to be seen and heard by the producers' cameras. Contestants who are found to have given false information are disqualified. After auditioning - regardless of the outcome (even if eliminated on the very first cut) - contestants are under contract with the show until three months after the final episode. [ [ Top 24 finalists named; rejects may be restricted by Idol’s contract] ]

In an interview with Anderson Cooper on the CBS TV current affairs show "60 Minutes" on March 17, 2007 (repeated in extended format on CNN's "AC 360" program on March 27, 2007), judge Simon Cowell openly declared that the underlying primary purpose of the Idol franchise (including "American Idol") was for 19 Entertainment (the parent corporation that produces the Idol TV shows) to discover new singing talent that can be signed to recording agreements that the corporation maintains with a major record company (Sony/BMG), and benefit from the record sales of contestants and winners who are exposed to the worldwide marketplace through the TV shows. Cowell indicated that revenue from recordings by performers associated with the Idol franchise has already exceeded US $100 million. 19 Entertainment also retains exclusive right of refusal for management and merchandising of any contestant. Exercising management rights is at the sole discretion of 19 Entertainment; in the alternative the contestant performer is free to pursue his or her own career.

Audition sites

eason 2

In Season 2, Seacrest surfaced as the lone host. Dunkleman reportedly hated working on the show and the studio was dissatisfied with his performance. Kristin Holt was originally announced to be added to the show as a co-host to Ryan Seacrest, [ [ "Kristin Holt, who was a semifinalist on Fox TV's hit show "American Idol" last summer, will be back for the talent-search show's second edition -- as a host. Fox has announced that the toothy former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader has been selected to join Ryan Seacrest as "Idol" co-host. She replaces Brian Dunkleman. Holt, a Texas native, returned home after not making the final 10. After hearing that the show was still without a co-host for Seacrest, she says she decided to give the producers a call. "I said, 'I know you're looking for a new co-host, so since I can't be the American Idol, can I have a job?'" She says she sees her role on the show as more than "just saying 'Welcome back to American Idol,'" "I can be there to give advice, or be a shoulder to cry on," she says.: Reality TV World quoted from FOX press announcement] ] but upon airing, she was introduced as a special correspondent with all of the takes with her acting as a host cut out of the first few shows. This time, Ruben Studdard emerged as the winner with Clay Aiken as runner-up. Out of 24 million votes recorded, Studdard finished 130,000 votes ahead of Aiken. There was discussion in the communication industry about the phone system being overloaded, and that more than 150 million votes were dropped, making the voting suspect. [ [ American Idol Outrage: Your Vote Doesn't Count] ] Since then, the voting methods have been modified to avoid this problem.

In an interview prior to the fifth season, a statement by executive producer Nigel Lythgoe suggested that Aiken had led the fan voting from the wild card week onward until the finale. [ [ "It's Going to be a Very Strong Season, I Think": An Interview with American Idol Producer Nigel Lythgoe] ] Clay Aiken became the first "American Idol" non-winning contestant to have a U.S. Hot 100 number-one with "This Is the Night", written by British songwriter Chris Braide with Gary Burr and Aldo Nova. Studdard and Aiken both released albums in the fall/winter of 2003, 2004 and 2006. Third place finalist Kimberley Locke's debut album, "One Love" was released in 2004. Her second album, "Based on a True Story," was released in May 2007.

Fourth-place finisher and former Marine Josh Gracin became a country artist. His first album spawned three charted singles, including the number-one U.S. country song, "Nothing to Lose". He is signed with Lyric Street Records.

Sixth-place finisher Carmen Rasmusen signed with independent country record label Lofton Creek Records, and released her debut album and a single in 2007.

After a strong showing during the early stages of auditions, contestant Frenchie Davis was disqualified from the competition when topless photos of her surfaced on the internet. Shortly afterwards she landed a role in the Broadway musical "Rent", and continues to work on Broadway.

During the course of the contest, Studdard became known for wearing 205 Flava jerseys representing his area code. Shortly after the end of the contest, Studdard sued 205 Flava, Inc. for $2 million for using his image for promotional purposes. Flava responded by alleging that Studdard had accepted over $10,000 in return for wearing 205 shirts, and produced eight cashed checks to validate their claim. The allegations, if true, indicate a clear violation of the "American Idol" rules. [ [ 205 Flava claims secret payoffs to 'American Idol' winner Ruben Studdard] ] The lawsuit was settled out of court. [ [ Ruben Studdard settles lawsuit against Birmingham jersey-maker 205 Flava] ]

Rumor mills concerning Season Two contestants buzzed again when, in 2006, contestant Corey Clark (who producers kicked off the show because of him not disclosing a police record) alleged that he and judge Paula Abdul had an affair while he was on the show and that this contributed to his removal. Clark also alleged that Abdul gave him preferential treatment on the show because of their alleged romance. A subsequent investigation by an independent counsel hired by Fox "could not corroborate the evidence or allegations provided by Mr. Clark or any witnesses". [ [ After probe, Paula Abdul to remain on 'Idol']]

"American Idol Rewind" started re-airing this season in the fall of 2007.

*None of the bottom 3 on the April 20 results show were sent back to safety before the elimination announcement.

eason 5

The fifth season of "American Idol" began on January 17, 2006; this was the first season of the series to be aired in high definition. Auditions were in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco, with Greensboro, North Carolina and Las Vegas, Nevada included after the cancellation of the Memphis auditions due to Hurricane Katrina. The season used the same rules as Season 4. [wayback|url=] [wayback|url=]

Taylor Hicks was named "American Idol" on May 24, 2006; he was the fourth contestant to never fall into any week's "bottom three". His first post-"Idol" single, "Do I Make You Proud", would debut at #1 and be certified gold. [cite web | title = Deep in the bowels of J Records | publisher = Gray Charles: The Official Taylor Hicks Weblog | date = 2006-09-29 | url = | accessdate = 2006-12-21 ] Hicks' album, "Taylor Hicks", has sold 702,000 copies to date.

On May 30, 2006, Telescope announced that a total of 63.5 million votes were cast in the finale round. A total of 580 million votes were cast in the entire season. [ [ Telescope Inc ] ] Taylor Hicks is the second "American Idol" winner from the city of Birmingham, Alabama (the first being Ruben Studdard), and the fourth finalist with close ties to the city.

The fifth-season contestant with the most commercial success is fourth-place finisher Chris Daughtry, now lead singer of the band Daughtry. Their eponymous debut album has sold over 5 million copies to date - surpassing former winners Studdard and Fantasia's respective two-album totals - and produced two top-ten singles. The album, which spent two weeks at #1 in the US, is also the fastest-selling debut rock album in Soundscan history. [ [ Daughtry News + Blog | The Official Daughtry Site ] ]

Runner-up Katharine McPhee's debut album has sold 367,000 copies to date; she has two Top 40 Billboard hits to date. Also notable: sixth-place finisher Kellie Pickler, whose "Small Town Girl" reached #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and has sold over 700,000 copies to date. Strong early sales have also been achieved by mid-2007 eponymous album releases by third-place Elliott Yamin and eighth-place Bucky Covington.

1 None of the bottom 3 on the April 10 results show was sent back to safety before the elimination announcement.
2 From the Final 5 onward, only the names of the eliminated contestants were announced, with no mention of a bottom three or two.

eason 8

The eighth season of "American Idol" will begin in January 2009. Auditions began July 17. It has been revealed that this season will feature fewer drawn-out audition episodes and more half-hour result shows. [ [ OK! Magazine - First for Celebrity News - Less is More for Next Season of American Idol ] ] . Also this season will have a fourth judge on the panel: record producer and songwriter Kara DioGuardi. [ [ 'American Idol' adds fourth judge] ]

After Fox and producers promised changes to the show, on Aug. 4 showrunner and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe announced he was leaving "Idol" to focus on international versions of his other show "So You Think You Can Dance". [ [,,20216860,00.html Lythgoe Leaving 'American Idol'] Retrieved on 2008-05-08.]

The audition schedule was as follows: [ [ Who Will Be The Next Singing Superstar? - American Idol News ] ]

On a detailed note, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are the only two Idols to win at all three of these major music awards shows. Carrie Underwood is the only Idol to sweep up honors at all these awards ceremonies in the same season (2006-2007) (2007-2008), and the only Idol to win Best New Artist at the Grammys. Kelly Clarkson is the only "Idol" who has received a Grammy Award for an album, as opposed to new artist of the year. Jennifer Hudson is the first and only Idol to be nominated for and to win an Academy Award. She won the Best Supporting Actress category in February 2007 for her performance as 'Effie' in the hit film "Dreamgirls", based on the musical of the same name.

"American Idol" Hot 100 singles

"American Idol" video games

*"American Idol" - PlayStation 2, personal computer, Game Boy Advance, mobile phone
*"Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol" - PlayStation 2
*"Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol Encore" - PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
*"Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol Encore 2" - PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360


*"The Next Great American Band" [ [] dead link|date=September 2008]
*"American Juniors"
*"American Idol Rewind"
*"American Idol Extra"
*"An American Idol Christmas"
*"From Justin to Kelly"

Theme park attraction

On February 7, 2008, The Walt Disney Company announced the development of "The American Idol Experience", a live attraction based on "American Idol" to be built at its Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The show will be co-produced by 19 Entertainment. Set to open in January 2009, park guests will be able to audition and possibly perform in the live show. Winners will be selected by a combination of audience vote and input from a panel of judges, although the exact format has yet to be decided. Winners each day will have the chance to audition for the real TV series. [ [,0,5093676.story Topic Galleries - ] ]

ee also

* America's Got Talent
* America's Most Talented Kid
* American Juniors
* Idol Camp
* Idol Gives Back
* Kokhav Nolad
* Nashville Star
* Objetivo Fama
* One in a Million
* Star Search
* Superstar USA
* The X-Factor
* Star Academy
* You're A Star


External links

* [ "American Idol" Official Website] (owned by Fox Interactive Media)
* [ Producer Shop Talk With Exec Producer Nigel Lythgoe]
* [ homepage]

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