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American Idol is an American singing reality competition show created by Simon Fuller, produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, and distributed by FremantleMedia North America. It began airing on January 14, 2015.

American Idol employs a panel of vocal judges who critique the contestants' performances. The judges, for season one were musical artist and record producer John Legend, pop singer Lady Gaga, and music executive and manager Simon Cowell. The first season was hosted by radio personality Ryan Seacrest.

The winners of American Iodl, as chosen by the viewers, are Kane Reilly, and Natalie McConnell.

Selection processEdit

In a series of steps, the show selected the eventual winner out of many tens of thousands of contestants.

Contestant eligibilityEdit

The eligible age-range for contestants was fifteen to twenty-eight years old. The contestants had to be legal U.S. residents, could not have advanced to particular stages of the competition in previous seasons, and must not have held a current recording or talent representation contract by the semi-final stage

Initial auditionsEdit

Contestants went through at least three sets of cuts. The first was a brief audition with a few other contestants in front of selectors which may include one of the show's producers. Although auditions can exceed 10,000 in each city, only a few hundred of these made it past the preliminary round of auditions. Successful contestants then sang in front of producers, where more may be cut. Only then can they proceed to audition in front of the judges, which is the only audition stage shown on television. Those selected by the judges are sent to Hollywood. Between 10–60 people in each city may make it to Hollywood.

Hollywood weekEdit

Once in Hollywood, the contestants performed individually or in groups in a series of rounds. In the first round the contestants emerged in groups but performed individually. For the next round, the contestants put themselves in small groups and performed a song together. In the final round, the contestants performed solo with a song of their choice a cappella or accompanied by a band, depending on the season.

Audience votingEdit

From the semi-finals onward, the fate of the contestants was decided by public vote. During the contestant's performance as well as the recap at the end, a toll-free telephone number for each contestant was displayed on the screen. For a two-hour period after the episode ends (up to four hours for the finale) in each US time zone, viewers may call or send a text message to their preferred contestant's telephone number, and each call or text message was registered as a vote for that contestant. Viewers were allowed to vote as many times as they can within the two-hour voting window. However, the show reserves the right to discard votes by power dialers. One or more of the least popular contestants may be eliminated in successive weeks until a winner emerges. Over 110 million votes were cast in the first season, and by season ten the seasonal total had increased to nearly 750 million. Voting via text messaging was made available in the second season when AT&T Wireless Services|AT&T Wireless joined as a sponsor of the show, and 7.5 million text messages were sent to American Idol that season. The number of text messages rapidly increased, reaching 178 million texts by season eight. Online voting was offered for the first time in season ten. The votes are counted and verified by Telescope Inc.

Season finaleEdit

The finale was the two-hour last episode of the season, culminating in revealing the winner.

Rewards for winner and finalistsEdit

The winner received a record deal with a major label, which may be for up to six albums, and secures a management contract with American Idol-affiliated 19 Management (which has the right of first refusal to sign all contestants), as well as various lucrative contracts. All winners will receive a prize of $1 million.

Series overview and season synopsesEdit

Season 1Edit

American Idol (season 1)

The first season of American Idol premiered on January 14, 2015, beginning in auditions in Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, Pittsburgh, New York, Tallahassee, and Omaha. It was hosted by Ryan Seacrest.

Of the auditions, 171 made the Hollywood rounds out of 10,000 people. These were cut to twenty-four for the semi-finals, with twelve going on to the finals.

The final showdown was between James Vaughn, the "dark horse" contestant, and Kane Reilly, one of the early favorites. Reilly auditioned with his two brothers, Brett and Kasen, but both were cut in the first Hollywood round. In the end, Reilly claimed the first ever American Idol crown on May 21, 2015.

Season 2Edit

American Idol (season 2)

The first season of American Idol premiered on January 13, 2016, beginning in auditions in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Portland, Baltimore, Kansas City, Houston, and Charlotte. It was hosted by Ryan Seacrest.

Of the auditions, 177 made the Hollywood rounds out of tens of thousands of people. These were cut to twenty-four for the semi-finals, with twelve going on to the finals.

The final showdown was between two favorites, Marcus Cady, and Natalie McConnell. In the end, McConnell became the second American Idol by more than ten million votes.