Twelve American finalists (six men and six women) compete in a singing contest.


Simon Fuller
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The top three finalists perform and the winner is announced; scheduled performers include Lindsey Buckingham, Alessia Cara, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Fall Out Boy, Mickey Guyton, Chaka ...

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Sunday, May 16

Artist FINNEAS mentors the finalists, who are grouped to perform two of his songs; the top four perform two additional songs each; FINNEAS performs with Ashe; the top three finalists ...

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Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 46 wins & 156 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Ryan Seacrest ...  Self - Host / ... 584 episodes, 2002-2021
Mark Thompson ...  Announcer / ... 493 episodes, 2002-2015
Randy Jackson ...  Self - Judge / ... 474 episodes, 2002-2016
Simon Cowell ...  Self - Judge / ... 358 episodes, 2002-2016
Paula Abdul ...  Self - Judge / ... 319 episodes, 2002-2021


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. Written by Gary Richard Collins II (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Did You Know?


There has been contestants that have auditioned multiple times for the show, only to place in later seasons. They include: -Carly Smithson: auditioned and made it to Hollywood in Season 5, but was disqualified because her visa paperwork was delayed. She placed sixth on Season 7. -Gina Glocksen: auditioned in Season 5, and was cut in Hollywood. Placed ninth place in Season 6. -Chikezie: auditioned and was cut in Hollywood in Season 6. Finished tenth on Season 7. -Pia Toscano: auditioned and was cut in Hollywood in Season 6. Finished in ninth place on Season 10. -Lacey Brown: auditioned and cut during the Green Mile in Season 8. Placed twelfth on Season 9. -James Durbin: auditioned for Season 8 but didn't make it to Hollywood. Placed fourth on Season 10. -Candice Glover: auditioned for Season 9 and was cut in Hollywood. She also auditioned online for Season 10, but was cut before she could meet the judges. She won Season 12. -Haley Reinhart: auditioned for Season 9 but didn't make it to Hollywood. Placed third on Season 10. -Hollie Cavanagh: auditioned and cut during the Green Mile in Season 10. Placed fourth on Season 11. -Colton Dixon: auditioned and and cut during the Green Mile in Season 10. Placed seventh on Season 11. -Caleb Johnson: auditioned and cut in Hollywood in Season 10. Won Season 13. See more »


[says it at times during the auditions]
Randy Jackson: Singing is not your thing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Portions of this program not affecting the outcome have been edited. See more »


Spoofed in Reno 911!: Released from Prison (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Used to be good.
5 January 2019 | by blimeystoneSee all my reviews

The new super short format sucks. It gives zero time for the audience to fall in love with the singers. Fix it.

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Release Date:

11 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Idol See more »

Filming Locations:

Asheville, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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