A spinoff from entertainment executive Simon Fuller's British reality television show Pop Idol, American Idol first debuted in the United States June 11, 2002 on Fox network. It is a reality television show whose primary purpose is to identify the music artist that most defines who will become a singing sensation, or "American Idol," by holding nationwide auditions to select contestants to appear on the show.
Contestants are restricted to ages 16-28, can't currently have a record deal or management agreements, and can't have formal training to sing in the past. Thousands of contestants show up at each audition, and must make it through two cuts by producers before auditioning for the show judges. Judges determine which contestants are invited to the competition during Hollywood Week. Of the thousands who audition, only forty or so make it through to Hollywood, and those numbers are reduced to 12 male and 12 female contestants for the semi-final rounds.
Seasons one through seven were judged by Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson. In season eight, a fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi, will be added to the show. The judges give critiques of the performances in the final rounds, but it is the American public who decides the winner by phoning in votes for the finalists.
Okay, Justin is cute, but come on, his singing is really flat and without dimension. He is going to win of course, cause the girls of America don’t care if he is lame. They only see those dimples, those eyelashes and that smarmy charm. Ooh gawd, give me the lead singer of The HIVES NOW! I want Billy Jo of Greenday to beat Justin’s ass before I spew bile.
Okay, Kelly is up, Jeebus please help lord, please make it stop. These songs suck. Kelly is pretty, but needs a different stylist, dress is inappropriate and and the airy singing and Whitneyesque vocalization shit must die. This is just torture, but she is way better than Justin. That is it, she really should win. I mean they both suck but she is less sucky.
Picking up phone. Screaming “Die” over and over again. Ooops wrong number, sorry Mom.
Justin I can reach you with my fist and pummel you continuously. Why does this anger me so. I want to be nice, I really do, I realize it isn’t their fault, it’s just cruel. There are artists in the world who are so great and no one will even know they exist, but these mediocre talents are plastered the world over.
It’s very wrong. American entertainment is wrong. Okay I am hooked. When is the next episode?
The suspense, if you can call it that, ends tonight, when the Fox summer hit, “American Idol,” bestows the program’s hopeful title on one of two finalists: Justin Guarini or Kelly Clarkson.
Viewers phoned in votes after the two singers performed during last night’s installment, and the results will be announced near the conclusion of what the network hopes will be a grand finale tonight. The special two-hour episode airs at 8 on Fox-owned WJW Channel 8.
Two questions will linger in the pop-culture air after the winner is crowned. First, will either Guarini or Clarkson endure as an American “idol” once this much-hyped star search is completed? Second, will “American Idol” endure as a prime-time series?
The champion will get his or her chance. The show’s contract with RCA Records mandates the release of the winner’s first single on Sept. 17. That’s right. The idol won’t be idle for more than a few seconds. His or her first album will follow on Nov. 26.
It’s too early to tell if either Guarini or Clarkson will be flashes panned by music critics. And defenders of the talent-search reality show argue that Britney Spears and Rosie O’Donnell were among the future American “idols” who launched careers on the 1983-95 version of Ed McMahon’s “Star Search.”
It all gets dumped into the “who knows?” category, of course, and some of the “losers” might become stars before the winner. A few are being courted by major recording labels, and the entire field of 30 will perform on a two-hour Fox special, “American Idol in Las Vegas,” which will air at 8 p.m. Sept. 23 on Channel 8. Taped at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the reunion show will feature the winner’s single.
The bigger question for Fox is whether “American Idol” can generate ratings heat past this summer. The last two decades of TV history have seen many a summer hit that cooled and withered when fall winds started to blow, and it faced the “real” competition of new and returning shows. “Survivor,” another reality series, is a notable exception. Fox is hoping that “American Idol” is on track to become the next breakout reality hit. Well, they have to keep that hope alive. The network is in desperate need of some good news.
No Fox show ranked among the nation’s 30 highest-rated programs last season…..
If you thought, as I did, that it’s only 14-year-old teeny-boppers doing the dialing, forget what you were thinking. Read this e-mail from Kim Johnson of Salisbury, Md.:
“Couldn’t reach my 72 year old mother at 10 p.m. She was trying to vote for Kelly!”
Another of the many e-mails still coming in was from Irving Gilbert, of Augusta, Maine. He’s fed up:
“I understand that with your column being tagged ‘Latest entertainment and art news from the Web’ it’s inevitable that a few columns would be devoted to ‘American Idol.’ But, please find something a little more newsworthy than the dreck that is ‘American Idol’ — and any other ‘reality’ show for that matter. The sooner that whole genre is relegated to the TV scrap pile, the better.”
Hang in there, Irving, it’s almost over. After tonight it will not be all “Idol” all the time.