Twenty years ago, Fox launched a little singing competition show. Originally programmed as a summer fill-in, no one involved had any idea exactly what American Idol was, or what they were walking into. The show's U.K. version, Pop Idol, had proven hugely successful on its home turf, but Fox spared any expense when bringing the show stateside. With just ten final contestants vying for the title, it soon became must-see TV. Be it the caustic honesty of British import Simon Cowell in his critiques; the unexpected, frustrated outbursts at Cowell by Paula Abdul, or the wealth of knowledge from Randy Jackson, the first season of Idol was mostly all about the judges. Kelly Clarkson, who today remains a prominent fixture on television, would be crowned the season's winner, and future seasons would highlight talents like Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson, to name a few.
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