Watch American Idol


Series Length:14 Seasons, 542 Episodes
Schedule: Wednesday & Thursday 8:00 PM et/pt on FOX

The reality television show American Idol chronicles an annual singing competition from the initial auditions to the final selection of each seasons chosen winner. The show premiered in 2002 on the Fox network and has remained popular ever since. Winners get a recording contract. Some winners, like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, have become major stars after their wins.

Each season of American Idol begins with three weeks of auditions in various cities across the United States. Thousands of hopeful contestants come to these initial casting calls. Talent scouts and producers select those who will audition onscreen before the program's three celebrity judges, producer Randy Jackson, rock and roll icon Steven Tyler and actress and singer Jennifer Lopez.

The judges award golden tickets to worthy contestants who then progress to the next stage of the competition in Hollywood. In Hollywood, the contestants must sing in groups as well as individually. Over the course of several weeks, the judges eliminate contestants until they whittle the number down to 24 semi-finalists.

From this point on, the celebrity judges do not choose which contestants to eliminate. The public votes by calling a toll-free number, texting or going online. Millions of viewers select their favorites each week, and the 24 semi-finalists get reduced to 12 finalists. The 12 finalists then get reduced to two finalists and, after that, a single winner is chosen.

Themed weekly shows require the contestants to sing songs from a certain era, or perform the tunes of a certain pop star or singing group. Previous winners and guest stars make appearances also.

From the amusing auditions of some of the less talented contestants at the beginning of the season to the inspiring performances of the finalists, American Idol provides endless entertainment. It has become an American tradition and has jumpstarted the careers of numerous talented performers.

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Status: Returning Series
Genre: Music, Reality
Rating: 6.9/10
American Idol
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American Idol Full Episode Guide

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  • Following the viewers' votes, one contestant is eliminated.

  • The 7 remaining finalists perform LIVE for your vote.

American Idol News

Fox Cancels 'X Factor'; Simon Cowell Goes Home
Harry Connick Jr. to Join 'American Idol'

Just when it looked as if no one wanted to be the third judge on "American Idol" next season, Harry Connick Jr. has stepped up to take the job. After a long list of candidates chose not to sign on to the show, Connick is set to become the final judge on the panel. Isn't an 'American Idol' Judge

We know that Keith Urban will be an "American Idol" judge next season. We're pretty sure that Jennifer Lopez will be, too. We thought that was probably going to be the third judge. We were wrong.

Demi Lovato Joins 'Glee' Cast
Jennifer Lopez Likely to Return to 'American Idol'

After last season's disappointing ratings, "American Idol" is in a rebuilding phase, and producers are reportedly looking to former judge Jennifer Lopez for help in returning the show to its old glory.

Mariah Carey Says Goodbye to 'American Idol'

It's official-- Carey will NOT be returning for season 13 of the singing competition!

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