Created by Simon Fuller - founder of 19 Entertainment - in 2002, American Idol is a very popular Emmy Award-winning reality television competition. The show continues to be today a big favorite with TV audiences world-wide.

The program is currently at its ninth season, with Ryan Seacrest as the host and Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and newcomer talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as the show's judges. Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson have been judges right from the beginning of the series. As viewers and judges together decide who will be America's next singing superstar, the show is all about interaction.

Contestants perform each week for TV viewers and the studio audience. Voting begins after each performance show and the result is revealed during the following broadcast. The winner of the show is guaranteed a record contract. However, other contestants have been signed too by different record labels. Winners as well as contestants who have been eliminated have a chance to become major stars.

Past winners Kris Allen, David Cook, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia Barrino, Ruben Studdard and Kelly Clarkson have made their mark on the music industry. The show is directed by Bruce Gowers and executive-produced by Bruce Gowers, and Cecile Frot-Coutaz.


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