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Ryan Seacrest & Brian Dunkleman (2002)
American Idol.png
FOX: 6/11/2002 – 4/7/2016
ABC: 3/11/2018 – Present
FremantleMedia North America (2002-2016, 2018)
Fremantle (2018-present)

American Idol is a famous singing competition where many people compete on live TV to see who can win. After passing the trials with the three judges, the finalists compete live to earn the viewers' votes. Whoever wins becomes the next American Idol. It is one of the longest-running American talent shows along with Star Search.


Each season premiered with the audition round, taking places in different cities. The audition episodes typically features a mix of potential finalists, interesting characters and woefully inadequate contestants. Each successful contestant received a golden ticket to proceed on to the next round on Hollywood. Based on their performances during the Hollywood round (Las Vegas round for season 10 onward) 24 to 36 contestants were selected by the judges to participate in the semifinals. From the semifinals onward the contestants performed their songs live, with the judges making the critiques after each performance. The contestant were voted for by the viewing public, and the outcome of the public votes was then revealed in the results show typically on the following night. The results shows featured groups performances by the contestants as well as guest performers. The top-three results show also featured the homecoming events for the Top 3 finalists. The season reaches its climax in a two-hour results finale show, where the winner of the season was revealed.

With the exception of seasons one and two, the contestants in the semifinalists onwards performed in front of a studio audience. They performed with a full band in the finals. From season four to season nine, the "American Idol" band was led by Rickey Minor, from season ten onwards, Ray Chew. Assistance may also have be given by vocal coaches and song arranges, such as Michael Orland and Debra Byrd to contestants behind the scene. Starting with season seven, contestants may perform with a musical instrument from the Hollywood rounds onwards. In the first nine seasons, performances were usually aired live on Tuesday nights, followed by the results shows on Wednesday in the United States and Canada, but moved to Wednesday and Thursday since season ten. Sunday and Monday since season sixteen.


Idol Christmas - is a Christmas television special for the TV shows: American Idol, American Juniors and Canadian Idol but mostly focuses on American Idol.

Idol Gives Back - a special charity event started in season six featuring performances by celebrities and various fund raising initiatives. This event was also held in season seven and nine and has raised nearly $185 million in total.

Idol Extra - a television show on the FOX Reality Channel and Star! and commonly billed as "the show that picks up right where "American Idol" leaves off". The series features the first full-length interview with the most recent eliminated contestant and various "behind-the-scenes" material. Hosted by Jillian Reynolds and Ace Young.


American Idol Rewind - a syndicated television series that ran from September 30, 2006 until May 15, 2010. The hour-long series was a repurposed edition of the hit reality series featuring present day interview with the contestants, semi-finalists and rejected auditions in addition to extra audition, Hollywood Week and finals footage never previously aired. it featured the first five seasons of the original series.


Potential NBC/FOX Reboot[]

In 2017, FremantleMedia was once in negotiation to reboot the show for either its original network (FOX) or for its new home (NBC) according to an article from (originally posted on February 9, 2017)[1]However, because of a dispute between the show's producer, Fremantle and Core Media Group it was later reported that the reboot[2]will not be moving forward.

ABC Reboot[]

It was announced that ABC will revive American Idol.[3] Additionally, the network made its bid to be slated to return in March 2018.[4] The show returned on Sunday, March 11, 2018[5]

The new judges for the new show are Katy Perry, Luke Bryan & Lionel Richie.


Judge Trivia[]

Before the 2018 Idol reboot, Lionel Richie was originally supposed to be one of the mentors for the short-lived singing competition reality series that also aired on ABC called Duets in 2012 but due to a scheduling conflict he was replaced by John Legend at the last minute.


Notable American Idol Contestants[]

Kelly Clarkson
Justin Guarini
Ruben Studdard
Jennifer Hudson
Kris Allen
Carrie Underwood
Fantasia Barrino
Jordin Sparks
Chris Daughtry


Based on the British show Pop Idol by Simon Fuller.


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CBS Television City

In Popular Culture[]

  • Carrie Underwood, American Idol 2004, appeared in television commercials for The Hershey Company.
  • Carrie Underwood signed a deal with Universal Music Group Nashville's Capitol Records Nashville label in 2017. Her first country-music track as a UMGN artist in 2018 was "Cry Baby." Visit Miss Underwood at
  • Idol was parodied on Sesame Street as "The American I". The judges had to find the real American "I", or in this case, the letter I. The judges choose Prairie Dawn, the host, instead.
  • Idol was also parodied on MadTV. The judges made appearances on the show. Idol was parodied twice on MadTV.
  • On the FOX show, The Lang Report, American Idol was parodied as "All Star American Idol" where celebrities dressed up as other singing artists.
  • Idol was mentioned in the 2015 film Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (as of Season 14 ) where The Chipettes were the guest judges.
  • Following more than 15 years as an RCA recording artist, in 2017, Kelly Clarkson signed with Warner Music Group-owned Atlantic Records. Visit her Web site at

Other Trivia[]

At Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York City, there was an exhibit in the museum called "American Idol at Madam Tussaud's". The exhibit was similar to the show but it had karaoke singing on it. The judges were shown but they were realistic animatronics.

Spin-Offs & Similar Shows[]

American Juniors — Spin Off show with kids shown in 2001.
Idol Puerto Rico - Version for Puerto Rico
Idol Kids Puerto Rico - Puerto Rican version of American Juniors
New Hampshire Idol - Regional version for New Hampshire
World Idol - World version
America's Got Talent
Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento
The X Factor



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