American IdolAmerican Idol is a television show on the Fox Network, based on the popular British show Pop Idol. The show is a contest to determine the best young singer in the United States.
In the show, people first audition before three judges (Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson). Eventually, the performers are narrowed down to twelve finalists. After that, each contestant performs live (on the East Coast) in primetime a song from a weekly theme, which have included disco and Billboard #1 hits. Viewers have several hours following the broadcast of the show to phone in their votes for their favorite contestant. Callers are allowed to vote as many times as they like for any number of contestants. On the following night's episode (live again), the contestant with the fewest votes is sent home.
In the first season, Kelly Clarkson won, with Justin Guarini coming in second. Numerous television specials starring the ten finalists followed, as well as a movie entitled From Justin to Kelly.
In season two, Ruben Studdard was the winner with Clay Aiken as runner up. Out of 24 million votes cast, Studdard finished just 130,000 votes ahead of Aiken.