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2002: 'American Idol' Makes its Debut
June 11, 2012  | By Christy Slewinski
 
This day in 2002 marked the debut of American Idol: The Search for a Superstar, which recently completed its eleventh season on Fox (with the since shortened title, American Idol). The singing competition show, based on Simon Fuller's UK show, Pop Idol, became an immediate television sensation.

As pretty much everyone knows, aspiring singers perform at open auditions nationwide to compete on the live, televised program. Once the field is narrowed to a select group of hopefuls, the show moves to its homebase, Hollywood, to perform in a series of live competitions. Their success is decided by a panel of judges as well as votes cast by the television audience.

The show's original judges were pop star Paula Abdul, music producer Randy Jackson and A&R executive (and Pop Idol judge) Simon Cowell. The show's current judging panel includes Jackson, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. singer/songwriter Kara DioGuardi and comedian/talk show host Ellen DeGeneres have also sat on the judging panel.

To date, American Idol winners are (in season order): Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery and Philip Phillips. Several Idol runner-ups have also achieved fame as a result of their participation on the show.

 
 
 
 
 
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