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.
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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
Even though the judges know its unprofessional to argue with each other in front of the contestants, the show partially depends on conflict and controversy, it's what sells and creates interest, hence Simon's insulting comments. See more
[Repeated line to a contestant that they are not eliminated
You are safe.
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