Then And Now - Archives

American Idol

Then & Now

If there has been a television show that has changed the lives and fate of aspiring performing artists in a revolutionary way, it would have to be American Idol. Since 2002, your average Joe or Josephine can indeed become a superstar. Not by sweating night after night onstage in hopes that they will be scoped out by an industry rep, but by the vote of the people. Check out the videos created by past Idol contestants, some who have had marginal success while others have used their Idol status as a launchpad to climb even higher. 

For More music videos by past Idols, check out the American Idol Video Station:

American Idol Video Station

2011 Season 10

Idol has reached its 10 year anniversary! The show has only one of its original judges (Randy Jackson), though it now includes the much adored Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman, Steve Tyler. Contestants have been allowed to submit auditions via Myspace, in addition to the anticipated in-person auditions. Check out Reality Rocks each day after the episode for the latest talk on American Idol!

2010 Season 9

Season 9 saw the replacement of veteran judge Paula Abdul with TV-personality Ellen DeGeneres, and winning contestant Lee DeWyze takes the stage. During the audition episodes, General Larry Platt's rendition of "Pants On The Ground" went viral. Runner-up Crystal Bowersox has also enjoyed success following her appearance on the show.

2009 Season 8

Kris Allen took the gold in the season weighed by four judges (Kara DioGuardi was the fourth). Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert have enjoyed domestic and international success, respectively. 

2008 Season 7

David Cook and David Archuleta were the two final contestants of this season. Cook is American Idol's first "rocker" contestant to take home a win!

2007 Season 6

The sixth season featured winner Jordin Sparks and runner-up Blake Lewis.


2006 Season 5

Season 5 is perhaps the show's most successful season in both ratings and the number of recording artists it produced. Although the last contestant standing was Taylor Hicks, it is Chris Daughtry who has reveled in the most success. Chris turned down an offer to be band Fuel's front man and instead has gone off to a lucrative career with his rock band, Daughtry.

2005 Season 4

This season's winner was country singer Carrie Underwood, who is thus far the most successful Idol winner in terms of albums sold (over 12 million!). The runner was rocker Bo Bice, who proved that rockers could be top idol contestants.

2004 Season 3

The year of the infamous William Hung "She Bangs" audition. Fantasia took the gold, and her rendition of "Summertime" is Simon Cowell's favorite moment during his nine seasons on the show. One of the final contestants Jennifer Hudson is now an Oscar-winning actress.

2003 Season 2

Due to its success from season 1, Idol was set to air in January 2003 instead of summertime. Ruben Studdard took home the gold by a narrow margin (only 134,000 votes more than runner-up Clay Aiken out of 24 million). Both went on to become recording artists.

2002 Season 1

American Idol first aired as a Summertime replacement program. Little did anyone know how successful the show and its contestants would go on to be. The show was first co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkelman. Merely 10,000 auditioned for the first show, and the final contestants were Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson. During the final episode, Kelly performed her coronation song (now an Idol tradition), "A Moment Like This," a single that went on to break the Beatles' 38-year old record for quickest jump to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Kelly enjoyed international success and has sold more than 23 million albums. Shortly after, the musical film From Justin To Kelly was filmed and released, featuring the aformentioned contestants.


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