Are You the Ultimate American Idol Fan?



9 Questions

What is American Idol based on?

Who are the current judges of American Idol?

What is the age range for contestants on American Idol?

What is the prize for the winner of American Idol?

What is the format of the American Idol finals?

What is the purpose of the Judges' Save?

Which season of American Idol was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Who was the winner of American Idol Season 4?

Who were the judges of American Idol Season 8?


American Idol is a singing competition TV series that first aired on Fox in 2002 and was revived by ABC in 2018. It is based on the British show Pop Idol and involves discovering recording stars from unsigned singing talents. The winner is determined by American viewers using phones, internet, and SMS text voting. The show employs a panel of vocal judges who critique the contestants' performances. The original judges were Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. The judging panel changed over the years, with Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie currently serving as the judges. Ryan Seacrest has been the sole host of the show, except for the two-year hiatus between 2016 and 2018. The contestants have to be legal U.S. residents, aged between 15 and 28 years old, and must not have held a current recording or talent representation contract by the semi-final stage. The show selects the eventual winner out of tens of thousands of contestants through a series of steps, including initial auditions, Hollywood week, and audience voting. The semi-finalists perform individually, and the top performers move on to the finals. The fate of the contestants is decided by public vote, with viewers calling or sending a text message to their preferred contestant's telephone number. Over 750 million votes were cast in the tenth season.American Idol Season Overview and Format

  • American Idol has been on the air since 2002 and is a singing competition show that airs on primetime TV in the US.
  • The show has a multi-stage format, starting with auditions in various cities across the country, followed by the Hollywood round where judges select the top 24-36 contestants to progress to the semifinals.
  • From the semifinals, contestants perform live on TV, with the public voting for their favorites. The results show features group performances by contestants and guest performers.
  • The finals are broadcast in primetime from Los Angeles, with contestants performing songs based on a weekly theme. Contestants usually work with a celebrity mentor related to the theme.
  • The most popular contestants are usually not revealed in the results show. Instead, typically the three contestants (two in later rounds) who received the lowest number of votes was called to the center of the stage.
  • The winner usually receives a record deal with a major label for up to six albums, a management contract with American Idol-affiliated 19 Management, and various lucrative contracts.
  • The first season had 10 finalists, with a wildcard round introduced in later seasons. From the fourth through seventh and ninth seasons, the 24 semi-finalists were divided by gender in order to ensure an equal gender division in the top 12.
  • The show has had various changes to its format over the years, including the introduction of a Judges' Save in the eighth season, the Fan Save in the fourteenth season, and the use of superstar celebrity singers as duet partners in the sixteenth season.
  • The season finale is a two-hour episode which is always the last episode of the season, culminating in revealing the winner.
  • The show has had three different venues for its finale, with the eighteenth-season finale conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All top 10 finalists earn the privilege of going on a tour, where the participants may each earn a six-figure sum.
  • The show has had several controversies over the years, including disqualifications of contestants and allegations of preferential treatment by judges.American Idol Seasons 2-10 Summary

Season 2:

  • Clay Aiken led the fan voting from wildcard week onward until the finale.
  • Aiken out-performed Studdard's coronation song with his single release from the show, "This Is the Night".
  • Season 4's Josh Gracin enjoyed success as a country singer.

Season 3:

  • Three black singers, Fantasia Barrino, LaToya London, and Jennifer Hudson, dubbed the Three Divas, received much media attention.
  • Hudson was controversially eliminated, and Elton John called the results of the votes "incredibly racist".
  • The prolonged stays of John Stevens and Jasmine Trias in the finals aroused resentment.
  • Fantasia was crowned the winner.

Season 4:

  • The age limit was raised to 28.
  • Carrie Underwood was announced the winner, becoming the most successful Idol contestant in the U.S.
  • Both Underwood and Bice released the coronation song "Inside Your Heaven".

Season 5:

  • This season remains the highest-rated season in the show's run so far.
  • Brittenum twins were later disqualified for identity theft.
  • Chris Daughtry's performance of Fuel's "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" was widely praised.
  • Taylor Hicks was named American Idol, with Katharine McPhee the runner-up.

Season 6:

  • Sanjaya Malakar was the season's most talked-about contestant for his unusual hairdo.
  • Idol Gives Back returned and raised more than $76 million in corporate and viewer donations.
  • Jordin Sparks was declared the winner with the runner-up being Blake Lewis.

Season 7:

  • The media focused on the professional status of the contestants, the so-called 'ringers'.
  • David Cook's performance of "Billie Jean" was lauded by the judges.
  • David Cook was taken to the hospital after the top-nine performance show due to heart palpitations and high blood pressure.
  • The finalists were Cook and Archuleta. David Cook was announced the winner.

Season 8:

  • This season featured the first major change to the judging panel, with Kara DioGuardi introduced as the fourth judge.
  • Kris Allen won the contest in the most controversial voting result since the second season.
  • Both Allen and Adam Lambert released the coronation song, "No Boundaries".

Season 9:

  • Ellen DeGeneres replaced Paula Abdul at the start of Hollywood Week.
  • Michael Lynche was the lowest vote getter at top nine and was given the Judges' Save.
  • The final two contestants were Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox. DeWyze was declared the winner.

Season 10:

  • Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler joined Randy Jackson as judges.
  • Karen Rodriguez was one of the contestants who auditioned online.
  • Casey Abrams was hospitalized twice and missed the Top 13 result show.
  • Pia Toscano was unexpectedly eliminated, finishing in ninth place.American Idol premiered in 2002 and became a surprise summer hit show, with the first episode drawing 9.9 million viewers.

Season 11 winner Scotty McCreery became the youngest male winner and the fourth male in a row to win American Idol.

Season 12 saw the disqualification of Jermaine Jones in 12th place for concealing arrests and outstanding warrants.

Phillip Phillips underwent eight surgeries during his Idol run due to kidney stones and considered quitting the show.

Jessica Sanchez was the first female recipient of the judges' "save" option.

Season 13 saw the introduction of Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. as judges.

Season 15 was announced as the final season of American Idol.

Season 16 was the first season of American Idol to air on ABC, with Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie serving as judges.

Season 18 was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the contestants performing from their homes.

Season 19 saw the return of Bobby Bones as a mentor.

Noah Thompson won Season 20, and the season premiered on February 27, 2022.

Season 21 was announced to premiere on February 19, 2023, with Ryan Seacrest returning as host and Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie returning as judges.

American Idol has consistently ranked as the top show in the 18-49 demographic and has held the longest winning streak in the Nielsen annual television ratings.


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