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American Idol 

American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (original title)
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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 43 wins & 138 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Host (520 episodes, 2002-2016)
 Announcer / ... (493 episodes, 2002-2015)
 Himself - Judge / ... (474 episodes, 2002-2016)
 Himself - Judge / ... (358 episodes, 2002-2016)
 Herself - Judge / ... (318 episodes, 2002-2016)


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:





Release Date:

11 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Idol  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Top 12 Rankings (2007):
  • Winner: Jordin Sparks,

  • 2nd place: Blake Lewis,

  • 3rd place: Melinda Doolittle,

  • 4th place: Lakisha Jones,

  • 5th place: Chris Richardson,

  • 6th place: Phil Stacey,

  • 7th place: Sanjaya Malakar,

  • 8th place: Haley Scarnato,

  • 9th place: Gina Glocksen,

  • 10th place: Chris Sligh,

  • 11th place: Stephanie Edwards,

  • 12th place: Brandon Rogers

See more »


When judges unintentionally laugh during a contestant's bad audition, this can create tension and also add insult to injury. See more »


Simon Cowell - Judge: [Repeated line] And I'm not being rude.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Production will have in place weekly monitoring procedures designed to prevent individuals from unfairly influencing the outcome of the voting by generating significant blocks of votes using technical enhancements. The producers reserve the right to remove any identified "power dialing" votes. See more »


Referenced in The Suite Life on Deck: Crossing Jordin (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Absolutely Ridiculous
20 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

22 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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