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American Idol 

American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (original title)
0:31 | Trailer
Twelve American finalists (six men and six women) compete in a singing contest.


Simon Fuller
3,880 ( 246)


Season 19 Premiere

Most Recent Episode

Sunday, May 17

The top 5 perform a song that celebrates their induction into the top 5, and a previously performed song; America's vote determines the winner; special performances from music legends, ...

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Sunday, May 10



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Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 46 wins & 149 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Ryan Seacrest ...  Self - Host / ... 565 episodes, 2002-2020
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 / ... 318 episodes, 2002-2016
Learn more

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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 (gcollinsii@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everyone dreams. Idol delivers. See more »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Kara DioGuardi co-wrote the winning single for Season 8. See more »


The judges shouldn't display any form of reaction when a contestant is safe from elimination because it demonstrates favoritism. See more »


[says this catchphrase everytime before the intro credits begin]
Ryan Seacrest: This... is "American Idol"!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Version of Kochav Nolad (2003) See more »

User Reviews

With Its' Way Ups and Pretty Pathetic Downs
22 January 2003 | by BlackXSee all my reviews

This show is a reality show at heart. Thousands of people audition in front of three judges, the infamous (yet truthful. People, if they're bad singers, don't blame him!) Simon, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. They're mostly given the boot but some pass and go through many elimination rounds until we, the viewers, get to vote and slowly one-by-one toss out the final ten until we get one American Idol.

The first episodes are definitely the ones that spark its' popularity. As an exchange for a free contract deal, FOX is allowed to videotape and broadcast anyone they want.

This is the 5, 000+ auditioning stage. With so many people of so many cities, we've got to find at least a dozen people who think they can sing. I'm talking about the bad ones. Emphasize on THINK.

It's sad when they say they've always had a singing dream and are awful. But it's hilarious when people outburst because they now THOUGHT (or still think) they can sing. One guy on a recent season 2 episode thought he deserved to be the American Idol 'cause he thought he could sing and he stood out 5 days in the cold. Too bad he sounded like a bird being strangled.

There was another one of the same episode who said he had a dream(so far sad) of being a singer. He sings, and puts way too much into it(he's trying to sound like Enrique Glasias", and is turned down(still sad). He's OK, though, and walks out with a smile(right now confusing). He then walks out and proclaims to everyone he's going to Hollywood(the next round)(a little funny). About an audition later, the camera finds him sitting waiting for an audition. He explains to the security guard with the cameraman he's been invited back(now funny). As this never happens, the security guard doesn't hesitate to correct him and boots him out(kinda funny). He yells while leaving(the security guard lets him walk out himself) "I'll see you all in Hollywood!".(funny)

One last one, a girl couldn't believe they said she was just under average, good only hidden in a crowd of a choir. She denies being turned down, and when the host(with proof) asks her didn't she get refused Hollywood, she states she doesn't know, and tries to get back in to find out. One thing: she's a terrible liar. For ratings, she's allowed back in. Simon asks her hadn't they already seen her. She clearly wants a second chance, but strangely tries to start with (maybe the host was there) "I wanted to know if I'm going to Hollywood". "No, because you're terrible.". And it ends.

The second round is OK, as the crowd of about 200 is brought down to 30. The people who don't make it get a chance to speak out.

After that, we start voting, while the judges provide their thoughts. In a clearly planned move, you take away the bad singers now, and wind up with audience interaction. It's not the same, but you still see one vote and wonder how many people are trying to mess it all up by purposely trying to wind up with a bad singer winning.

I really enjoy the first parts more. But it's truly speechless. You have to see it to believe 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
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