AMERICAN IDOL returns for the much-anticipated eighth season. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the No. 1 hit series empowers contestants and viewers to share their voice in deciding who will be America's next singing superstar. This season promises to be one of the best yet with new talent, a new judge and plenty of surprises along the way.
Every year, tens of thousands of hopefuls from across the nation audition for a shot at stardom. The show's judges – Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and recent addition Kara DioGuardi - traveled to East Rutherford, NJ; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Louisville, KY; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, CA; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, in search of the next American Idol. They winnow down the competitors to a select group of semifinalists who sing their hearts out each week for a studio audience and television viewers.
The judges have their say after every performance, but it's the viewing public that determines who will advance to the next round of competition and who will go home. Voting via telephone and text-messaging begins immediately after each performance show, and the results are announced during the following night's broadcast.
Eventually the competition is narrowed down to two finalists who compete for a major recording contract and the American Idol title. Past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and recently crowned David Cook have become household names and have risen to the top of the recording industry.
Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment. The series is executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.