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The show grew into a phenomenon largely due to its personal engagement with the contestants by prompting the viewers to vote, and the presence of the acid-tongued Cowell as a judge. The show had originally planned on having four judges following the Pop Idol format; however, only three judges had been found by the time of the audition round in the first season, namely Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.

In the second season, New York radio personality Angie Martinez had been hired as a fourth judge but withdrew only after a few days of auditions due to not being comfortable with giving out criticism.

In a series of steps, the show selected the eventual winner out of many tens of thousands of contestants.

The eligible age-range for contestants was fifteen to twenty-eight years old. residents, could not have advanced to particular stages of the competition in previous seasons, and must not have held a current recording or talent representation contract by the semi-final stage Contestants went through at least three sets of cuts.

The first season was hosted by radio personality Ryan Seacrest and comedian Brian Dunkleman, but Seacrest remained as the sole master of ceremonies for the rest of the series.

The success of American Idol has been described as "unparalleled in broadcasting history".

Successful contestants then sang in front of producers, where more may be cut.

Only then can they proceed to audition in front of the judges, which is the only audition stage shown on television..The judging panel for the last three seasons on Fox consisted of singers Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr.The sixteenth season brought three new judges: singers Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan.American Idol is an American singing competition television series created by Simon Fuller, produced by Fremantle USA and 19 Entertainment, and distributed by Fremantle North America.It initially aired on Fox from June 11, 2002, to April 7, 2016, for 15 seasons.The concept of the series involves discovering recording stars from unsigned singing talents, with the winner determined by American viewers using phones, Internet, and SMS text voting.

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