American Idol Host:Radio and E! Network host Ryan Seacrest
American Idol Judges:
- Record executive Simon Cowell
- Record producer Randy Jackson
- Singer/choreographer Paula Abdul
- Also see: American Idol Poll: You Judge The Judges
Past American Idol Winners:
- Pop-rock singer Kelly Clarkson (2002)
- R&B singer Ruben Studdard (2003)
- R&B singer Fantasia Barrino (2004)
- Country singer Carrie Underwood (2005)
- Soul singer Taylor Hicks (2006)
- Pop singer Jordin Sparks (2007)
- Rock singer David Cook (2008)
All About American Idol:
- Months before a new season of American Idol begins, auditions are held in cities nationwide to find a group of singers who will move on to semifinals in Hollywood.
- In Hollywood, judges pick the top 24 singers from the semifinalists and they move on to next level of competition. The top 24 perform for America on live shows. Viewers vote for their favorite performers after each episode. The performers with the least amount of votes are eliminated until the top 12 remain.
- The top 12 compete each week by singing songs chosen from different music genres. They may be singing country songs one week and Broadway show tunes the next.
- On each live episode, judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson offer their critique of each contestant's performance, but the judges do not choose who will be eliminated.
- At the end of each live episode, viewers at home vote for their favorite singers by calling a toll-free number or sending text messages to Fox.
- A live results show is aired the following night. The contestant with the least number of votes is eliminated from the show.
- At the end of the season, the top two finalists face off on the final performance show. The singer with the most votes is crowned the new American Idol.
The Prize:The winner of American Idol gets a recording contract and a management contract.
Quiz: Test your American Idol knowledge.