Twelve American finalists (six men and six women) compete in a singing contest.


Simon Fuller
1,686 ( 43)


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Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 46 wins & 156 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Ryan Seacrest ...  Self - Host / ... 587 episodes, 2002-2021
Mark Thompson ...  Announcer / ... 493 episodes, 2002-2015
Randy Jackson ...  Self - Judge / ... 474 episodes, 2002-2016
Simon Cowell ...  Self - Judge / ... 358 episodes, 2002-2016
Paula Abdul ...  Self - 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 (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The rapping male nanny featured on the 2005 San Francisco auditions was actually comedian Chris Wylde in disguise. Wylde adopted a nerdy persona as a nanny, donned clunky black glasses and auditioned under his real name, Christopher Noll. Instead of singing, he performed a humorous original rap about judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and guest judge, Brandy. Abdul and Brandy praised his performance, which was panned by Cowell. After getting rejected, Wylde spewed out a mouthful of obscenities. According to the New York Post, Idol producers were unaware the audition was a stunt. See more »


Simon Cowell - Judge: [Repeated line] And I'm not being rude.
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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 Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.126 (2012) See more »

User Reviews

The Only Reason I Have Not to Commit Suicide
7 August 2002 | by MAdams15023See all my reviews

I live for this show. Seriously. If this show wasn't on, I wouldn't have a single reason not to kill myself. The chicks are so hot. It's funny to see washed up Paula Abdul pretending to be Pam Anderson. IT'S GOT A BRITISH GUY ON IT TOO! People come on and sing and we vote on our favorites. Then whoever gets the fewest votes is eaten by Randy Jackson, a very fat man who supposedly knows something about music. My legs sweat just thinking about AMERICAN IDOL - the Jesus of television shows.

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Release Date:

11 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Idol See more »

Filming Locations:

Asheville, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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