American Idol

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American Idol is a reality television show produced in the United States in which a group of singers compete for the title of American Idol and a recording contract. The singers are chosen by auditions in several cities throughout the United States. After nearly 100,000 hopeful singers audition in several locations throughout the U.S., a group is chosen by a panel of judges to continue in the competition. These singers appear on the television show.

The panel of three celebrity judges, who are largely responsible for choosing the contestants, are currently Randy Jackson (a music producer), Paula Abdul (a pop singer popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s) and Simon Cowell (owner of the music publishing house Syco).

The show runs for several weeks. Each week viewers are given the opportunity to phone in their vote for their favorite singer during a (typically) 2-hour period following the conclusion of each show. The results are announced the following night, and each week the singer with the least number of votes leaves the show. The group of singers decreases each week, and finally the one singer who remains wins the title of American Idol.

The producers of American Idol adapted the format and style of the show from similar successful shows in the U.K. called Pop Idol and X-Factor.

The winners to date:

Season Winner
Season 1 Kelly Clarkson
Season 2 Ruben Studdard
Season 3 Fantasia Barrino
Season 4 Carrie Underwood
Season 5 Taylor Hicks
Season 6 Jordin Sparks
Season 7 David Cook