American Idol TV Show Facts

Ryan Seacrest hosts American Idol, where hopeful contestants get judged by Simon, Paula and Randy.
Courtesy of Fox

Since American Idol began back in 2002, contestants have auditioned with hopes of becoming the next undiscovered singer in the United States. Though the judges meet really amazing performers, they also come face to face with some of the most talentless peeps they've ever seen! Get the scoop on this hugely popular reality series!


Ryan Seacrest - Ryan Seacrest is one of the busiest guys in show biz - with one of the most stylin' hairdos! He hosts American Idol and ultra popular radio show American Top 40. Ryan and Simon have been known to fight in some of the funniest Idol moments.

Simon Cowell - Simon Cowell is the nastiest judge on American Idol. His comments may be cruel - but they're also what keeps millions of viewers tuning in every week. His brutal honesty has brought people to tears, turned him into a household name and made the show a smash hit.

Paula Abdul - Popular '80s pop star Paula Abdul is a kind judge who gives positive feedback to all the AI hopefuls. In 2008, Paula released a single, performed at the Super Bowl and plans to release a new album!

Randy Jackson - This slick dawg is a Grammy Award-winning producer who was once a member of Journey. He tends to take the middle road of criticism between Simon and Paula and is producing an album this year.

Past Winners

Kelly Clarkson - Since being crowned the first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson has gone on to a highly successful recording career with hits like Since U Been Gone and Behind These Hazel Eyes from her platinum-selling album, Breakaway.

Ruben Studdard - Though Ruben Studdard emerged as the winner in Season Two, runner-up Clay Aiken has enjoyed more success and popularity.

Fantasia Barrino - The feisty Fantasia shot to fame by winning in the third season. Her first single, I Believe, was co-written by former Idol contestant Tamyra Gray and entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #1!

Carrie Underwood - Simon Cowell predicted Carrie Underwood would win and claimed she had the it factor to make her a star. Well, the country crooner did take the AI title and her first album Some Hearts, has had five number one hits. Including her recently released second album, All-American Girl, she has sold 11 million records since winning Idol!

Taylor Hicks - Taylor may have made his first Idol impression because of his now famous grey hair, but the leader of the Soul Patrol proved he could sing too and won the Idol title on Season 5. Lately, Hicks hasn’t had much success in the US and been touring over-seas.

Jordin Sparks - The youngest idol winner so far, 18 year old Sparks has been busy since winning in 2007. She has released her self titled album and even sung the National anthem at the 2008 Super Bowl. Now, her latest single, No Air, featuring Chris Brown is quickly climbing the charts.

Fun Facts

  • Season Seven of American Idol will feature auditions in San Diego, Dallas, Omaha, Atlanta, Charleston, Miami, and Philadelphia.
  • American Idol is the highest rated television program in America behind only the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl.
  • American Idol is the US version of the British hit TV show, Pop Idol. Other versions of the show include Canadian Idol and Australian Idol. In fact, many countries now have a version of the Idol show.
  • Celebrity mentors have included Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, and Gwen Stefani.
  • American Idol will be on the air until at least 2011.

  • Quotes

    "My advice would be, if you want to pursue a career in the music business, don't." - Simon Cowell

    "If your lifeguard duties were as good as your singing, a lot of people would be drowning." - Simon Cowell

    "There was one great part to your song - it was the end!" - Simon Cowell

    Related Stories:

  • American Idol Winner Bios
  • American Idol Runners-Up Bios
  • Quiz! The Ultimate American Idol Trivia Test!
  • >

    readers voted!



    Lovegreen1 wrote:

    I like American idol but it sometimes gets boring.
    commented: Wed Jul 04, 2012


    Haskins2001 wrote:

    Well that's you r opinion. I think it rocks but if you have nothing to say good then ke...
    commented: Sun Jul 01, 2012


    Haskins2001 wrote:

    I luv American idol it rocks. but I wonder if I can get in
    commented: Sun Jul 01, 2012

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    Fave American Idol Judge?

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