January 15, 2013 10:46 AM | By Emma Jones
American Idol History X

The storied past of America's favourite singing competition

The season one finale of American Idol (© FRED PROUSER/Newscom/RTR)
  • The season one finale of American Idol (© FRED PROUSER/Newscom/RTR)
  • Kelly Clarkson is crowned the first American Idol winner (© FRED PROUSER/Newscom/RTR)
  • Season two finalists Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard (© LUCY NICHOLSON/Newscom/RTR)
  • Frenchie Davis on The Voice (© NBC)
  • Corey Clarke (© FilmMagic/Getty Images)
  • favourites Fantasia Barrino, LaToya London and Jennifer Hudson (© Getty Images/Getty Images)
  • Mario Vazquez (© Henry Lamb/BEI/Rex Features)
  • Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, American Idol (© Getty Images/Getty Images)
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American Idol, though famous for launching the stratospheric careers of Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Lee DeWyze (who?), isn't without its fair share of controversial moments. For a show that hails itself as "family friendly," it's often riddled with voting disputes, shady contestants, nude photo leaks and judging drama, so much so that it's experienced more scandals than it has seasons. And that's a lot. As the Idol returns this week with season 12, we're looking back at the torrid history of this karaoke contest, from its phone hacks to its quarter pounder of beef between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj...

Jan 16, 2013 11:50AM
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj...two great reasons to NOT watch the show. Haven't got the time of day for either one of those idiot divas.
Jan 16, 2013 10:24AM
This show basically died between seasons 2 and 8. And Adam Lambert losing to Kris Allen, what a joke. It seems that the show has been nothing but a three ring circus and will continue to be. It's time to bury this joke of a talent contest and bring some good dramas and comedies back.
Jan 16, 2013 11:45AM

like whooo cares !!!! after Adam Lambert losing out to someone else.. i know that show is fixed !!!!


Jan 16, 2013 1:06PM
I agree to all the comments previous.  It's not a Talent Show, it's a popularity contest
Jan 16, 2013 12:08PM
I think this show is fixed, There have been alot of great singers that have not gone through... Makes you wonder.
Jan 16, 2013 12:26PM
I love the show but with the new M and N judges I just don't know yet. I think this could be the last season. I just can't ubderstand why they chose those 2 over all the available talent in the US.
Jan 16, 2013 2:52PM
I would much rather watch The Voice.  They have great talent, great judges and no fluff material in between, everyone is good.  It is a real talent competition. 
Jan 16, 2013 12:07PM

Such a shame, with all the talent in this world, they choose Mariah & Nicki Minaj.....total garbage!

What about Myley Cyrus, Adele, Shania Twain, ?

Jan 16, 2013 8:28PM
want to know why no one will have truly succeded through the auditions? because niki minaj is  a judge 
Jan 16, 2013 5:45PM
as always I'll be watching the auditions for the jokes then I check out during Hell Week when some sickly person makes everyone else sick and things go down hill from there....Mariah can sing (unlike Brittany) but i doubt she can be as a good a critic as she is a diva and well Nicki Minaj is just bizarre - she'll probably fit right in with the weirdo contestants... they should leave the real talent to The Voice and let the thing go - Sorry dawg - I mean Randy!
Jan 17, 2013 12:06AM
the holier than thou mariah , and im not getting the other one.ive watched since beginning.i am out this  season.
Jan 16, 2013 11:38PM

what a joke this show is getting to be.  what is this fued with Miraiah and Nicki.  I agree you should not watch.  They are taking away from the contestants who the show is supposed to be about.  Get over it you silly divas.   I want to enjoy the music not watch you fight like two little kids



I stop watching it few years ago .as  some one said it is not a Talent show but ,who can make their singer more batter then next ,as it is already said it is all planed , who is the winner . do not kid your self.


Jan 16, 2013 10:31PM
I think since Simon Cowel  has left , it's not picking good singers anymore, it's not like it used to be
Jan 16, 2013 4:27PM
I agree with all the comments - Adam lost out because of all the religious nuts in the US and no one wanted a gay winner.  By far, he has been the best vocalist on the show.  I'm dying to see what Nicki is all about - is she really a woman - looks more like a hermaphrodite (guy and girl combined for those of you don't know what I'm saying)  Mariah is so diva like, she'll ruin the show - just like Brittany did on the X Factor.  I'll still watch it because, let's be candid here, there is nothing else on TV to watch - pretty sad, I'd say.
Jan 18, 2013 1:39PM
I can't stand Nicki Minaj!! She is a ****. I've watched every episode so far but I think that's going to end as long as Minaj is there. She does not have enough star power to "dismiss" Mariah. Just who does she think she is??
Jan 16, 2013 6:49PM
I think it is better than X Factor. Simon is very vain and boring these days so I am glad he is not part of American Idol.  I enjoyed the last two seasons, as for the show being fixed, I doubt that, it is up to the public to vote for their favorite singer and it becomes the luck of the draw in some ways. Who ever gets the most votes wins. There will always be drama, this is a contest and it is meant to make money for the producers, record industry and everyone else involved with the show, drama sells the product or the person.  It is what it is, a talent show, people have dreams to make it big in the music industry and everyone makes a bundle of money. Hopefully someone will walk away happy!
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