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American Idol 

American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (original title)
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Airs Sun. Mar. 25, 8:00 PM on ABC

Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star ... See full summary »


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Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 46 wins & 142 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
 Announcer / ... 493 episodes, 2002-2015


Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star Search" clone. After each song that was sung, the judges, Abdul, Jackson and Cowell, then critique that finalist's chosen song. After each show's ending, America must vote for a finalist to whom they really think their performance is good using this AT&T (now Cingular Wireless) or any other cellular phone to cast votes with. Once the votes are locked in, the judges and America decides who has the most and the least amount of votes, and the contestant with the least amount of votes is eliminated, and it goes on each week's show until the winner is crowned as "American Idol," where he/she wins a recording contract worth up to $1,000,000. The rest of the other finalists to whom they have been voted off before (the runner-up) also get recording contracts, too. Written by Gary Richard Collins II (gcollinsii@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everyone dreams. Idol delivers. See more »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Idol  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Season One is the only season to have a Top 10, every season after that had a Top 12. Season Eight is the first season to feature a Top 13. See more »


The judges are inconsistent on which contestants they allow to sing one song or multiple songs. See more »


Simon Cowell - Judge: [Repeated line to contestants after their initial audition] Honestly, one of the worst I ever heard in my life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Portions of this program not affecting the outcome have been edited. See more »


Referenced in The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Absolutely Ridiculous

It is wholly inexplicable and mystifying that a nation could be so obsessed with a show like this, a worthless, fifteen-minutes-of-fame, trashy-so-it's-bad piece of garbage that captivates more collective attention than the average Presidential race. Constantly, I am forced to hide in my room when this show comes on because it overrides all other shows where I live. With paper-thin walls, I can hear every minute of it: the generic pop voices, the horrible auditions at the beginning of every season that throw pathos out the window, and the growing absurdity of the judge's sweetness, complacency, and ruthlessness. It is by far a more rewarding experience to watch unintelligent programs mock this show than it is to watch it itself-- "Shrek 2," anyone? And "American Idol Rewind," a vapid expansion of the show's early years, is even more heinous and pointless. Yet people continue to watch the competition, from talentless winners (Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Taylor Hicks, etc.) to unique, worthwhile losers (Daughtry!) But guess what. Even Chris Daughtry hates it when people mention his appearance on this show. Because it is, in its own, Idol way, a puerile, infantile, mindless and banal exercise in finding the next unlikely hero to throw through the ruthless pop culture gum-ball machine. A word of advice to the people who actually tune in every January: go and watch the classic 1981 movie musical "Shock Treatment." Once you see its town overwhelmed to Orwellian proportions by TV shows like this, you will see the error of your remote-controlled ways.

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