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American Idol

American Idol is a reality TV show that attempts to find the best young singers in the United States to see who will be the next singing superstar. It has become one of the most popular TV shows in the history of television being the number one most-viewed show for seven straight years. The show has produced some actual pop and country music stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, and Daughtry.

American Idol Format

Although the format gets tweaked slightly from year to year, the show has remained somewhat consistent over its 10 seasons.

American Idol starts the season by going to several cities in the United States to have open auditions. Thousands of singers show up and wait in line at these auditions hoping to get the chance to tryout before the judges. The episodes based on the auditions feature both the talented hopefuls as well as some of the worst singers an strangest auditions. The first few shows are almost as much about the bad auditions as the good ones. The top few hundred contestants get a "ticket to Hollywood" moving them on to the next stage of the competition which takes place in Hollywood California.

Hollywood week is next on the show. In this week there are generally two to three rounds of solo and group performances where the number of contestants is reduced each round until there are around 24 singers left.

Following Hollywood week is the semifinals. At this point the home audience takes over the judging and American votes to see who gets to remain. Generally two singers are removed at a time from the semifinals until there are 12 or 13 left. The judges often get to pick a wildcard or wildcards to continue on as well.

In the finals each week one contestant is eliminated. This is the contestant with the lowest number of votes. This continues until the last contestant is eliminated and the season's American Idol is crowned.

Who can try out for American Idol?

The contest is open to any U.S. resident between the ages of 15 and 28. In earlier years the age range was smaller, starting out at 16 to 24. Contestants must also not be under any sort of talent contract or representation.

American Idol Judges

The original American Idol judges were Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul. They each had their own unique style and opinions that helped to shape the show over the years. A fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi in 2009 and then Paula was replaced by Ellen Degeneres in 2010. In 2011 Simon Cowell left the show and two new judges, Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Jennifer Lopez, were brought in to work with Randy Jackson.

Ryan Seacrest has been the primary Emcee or presenter on the show since season one.

List of Past Winners
Fun Facts about American Idol Other kids TV shows to check out:

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