American Idol Officially Turns 10

We might have just finished the 11th season of American Idol, but the popular singing competition show turns 10 today.

It was June 11, 2002 when the first season aired as a summer replacement on Fox. The show was such a success Fox started the second season in January 2003, which is why they’re a season ahead of the show’s own age.

Of course that year Kelly Clarkson took the crown and has remained the most successful American Idol winner, along with season 4 winner Carrie Underwood. That first season also featured a second host Brian Dunkleman. Remember him?

From Ruben Studdard all the way to Phillip Phillips, the winners have been an eclectic group. Who is your favorite winner? Who has been your favorite judge.

Happy Birthday, American Idol! Bring on season 12!

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121 Comments

  1. without a doubt, the most versatile and talented performer to come from idol has to be none other than ADAM LAMBERT!!!!!!!!  talk about singing the phone book, he can sing it in a half a dozen different genres and be brilliant in each one.  as far as the judges, there is only one simon cowell who told it like it was, brutal though he could be.  i also liked kara as she was straight to the point with no gimmicks.  where have ten years gone??

  2. Singers top 3:  1.Jessica Sanchez, 2.David Archuleta, 3.Adam Lambert

    Judges top 3: 1.Randy Jackson, 2. Jennifer Lopez, 3. Simon Cowell

    • My favorite of all times is The Amazing Adam Lambert! But I also love Daughtry, David Cook, Allison Irehata and Kris Allen. From this season I loved Colton Dixon, Phillip Phillips and Hollie! Favorite Judge was Simon. Didn’t like him in his last season because you could tell he didn’t care anymore!

  3. my top favorite 5: jessica, adam, fantasia, de andre, david archuleta
    my judges: randy, steve, paula

  4. The Best Singers EVER on American Idol in 10 years:
    Carrie Underwood
    Adam Lambert
    Jessica Sanchez
    Jennifer Hudson
    Kelly Clarkson
    Thank u AI for these 4 Insanely talented Singers you’ve introduced to the Music industry!

  5. My favorite judge is Steven Tyler. I will go to bat for Taylor Hicks as favorite winner. However, Katherine McPhee is surely making a name for herself in SMASH. I love the show so much and actually could find something about everyone that I liked. Of course those who are succeeding the most, we know who they are. I do have to agree Adam Lambert is one heck of a talent. But so are so many of the others. Hard to pick just one out of the talented bunch.

    • Everyone rags on Taylor Hicks, but he was funny as hell and SOULFUL!  I knew he would beat out McPhee.  That was the best season ever.

      • Chris Daughtry should have won that season easily. It should have come down to him and Katherine McPhee.

      • @Pally 45:  Absolutely, Daughtry was amazing…Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman, he was sitting down and looked so good and sang so sweet, but I knew Taylor would win…it’s like it was his destiny.  Good ole boy!

      • I saw Daughtry in concert a few years ago.  They were the warm up for Bon Jovi. I have never seen a stadium so packed for a warm up band before…and they were awesome!!

    • With everyone naming Jessica Sanchez as their favorite all time idol, it makes you wonder why she was eliminated so soon (then ceremoniously saved) only to lose the whole thing to Phillip Phillips…I don’t know.

      • Season 11 was awarded to Phillip after he auditioned then the show went on just for formality. The other contestants are just fillers! The save was done just to increase viewership. It was Elise who had the lowest votes.

  6. Top 4… 
    Joshua Ledet 
    Fantasia B
    Jessica Sanchez
    Jennifer HudsonJudge top 2 … Randy, JLo

  7. Favorite Contestants/Winner: Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Elliot Yamin, Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson

    Favorite Judge: Simon Cowell, hands down, no competition.

  8. Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, and Judge JLo…  you’re all awe-some… You have made the Idol engaging and inspiring for my family in Philly.

  9. My favorites: David Archuleta, Jessica Sanchez, Adam Lambert, Charice Pempanco, Kelly Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy “dude” Johnson

  10. Most Beautiful Singer: Haley Reinhart
    Most Handsome Singer: Scotty M.
    Most Powerful Vocal-Singer Female: Jessica Sanchez
    Most Powerful Vocal-Singer Male: Joshua Ledet
    The Prettiest and Cutest Female SInger: Hollie C.
    The Prettiest and Cutest Male Singer: De Andre B.
    Most Charming and Inspiring Singer: David Archuleta
    Most Audacious and Engaging Singer: Adam Lambert
    Most Charming with Most Violent Song: Carrie Underwood

    Most Honest and Sensible Judge: Simon C.
    Most Unique in Attire: Steven Tyler
    Best Dressed Male Judge: Randy
    Best Dressed Female Judge: Jennifer L.
    Best Male Judge Singer: Steven Tyler
    Best Female Judge Singer: Paula Abdul
    Most Hilarious and Loveliest Judge: Ellen DG

  11. Best Idols for me~Haley Reinhart~ You Outta Know & Skylar Laine~ Gun Powder & Lead & Carrie Underwood~Before He Cheats

    Best Judge~Steven Tyler~Love  Everything he sings~ He’s the reason I watch Idol
    Honorable Mention~ Stephano Langone

  12. Jessica Sanchez for Best Singer
    Aerosmith/Steven for Best JudgeI don’t Wanna Miss a Thing by Jessica for the Best Idol Song

    • I agree with Adam lambert I was is biggest fan and he has and amazing voice but nobody has has mention James Durbin I love him to me should had won Phillip.Phillips what can I say about the guy I Love Is Music he’s so different and my pick finally won

  13. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood in that order. And now Phillip. 🙂 Kelly and Carrie are queens! There’s a reason men keep winning, none of these girls compare to Kelly and Carrie. Period! 🙂

      • OMG…seriously? You just said that? LMAO!  Jessica is nowhere near the singer Kelly or Carrie is. She might be someday but to say that statement at this time is beyond ridiculous. It’s downright delusional!

      • Dang Pally45 – can’t anyone have an opionion without  you ripping them to shreads.  You sure get made at people when they do it to PP.  Just because you saw what Jessica did on AI – you haven’t seen all she has to offer yet.  For me Carrie is a good singer, I just don’t care for her kind of music.

      • @Bella, sorry if you feel I ripped you or anyone else to shreds. But to compare an unproven 16 year old to 2 artists who have grammys and plenty of other awards on their belts is ridiculous.

      • Not even close.  It’s not fair to compare this girl to two woman who have proven themselves.   Kelly and Carrie are both sweet girls who have sold millions of albums.   Sanchez hasn’t finished high school.  Get real.  I remember Carrie went back to finish college after winning Idol…do you really think Jessie will finish her education.   I sure hope so…she will regret it later on in life if she doesn’t.

      • @BELLA…Even Jessica would laugh if she read that she was neck and neck with Kelly Clarkson.   Reality check time#?!!

      • no way, you are rediculous,  Jessica is way to young and will never sell as many CD’s as Carrie or Kelly,  nor will she head-line a concert as big as Carrie or Kelly  get over Jessica please, she did not win and is not the best, good yes, but best no way

    • You’re so right.  Kelly and Carrie are in a league of their own.  No guy in Idol has come close to their sales and honors, grammys, etc.  And this is exactly why guys keep winning, K and C set the bar very high.

  14. Best Idols ever started with Kelly Clarkson, then Clay Aiken with a voice all his own, Carrie Underwood and I’m sorry…….loved, loved Taylor Hicks and still do.  Scotty is my favorite in the last few years, but David Cook was wonderful too.  Best Judge I have to give to Simon.  Might be harsh but except for Clay and Taylor, is usually pretty accurate.  Jennifer and Steven drive me NUTS!  PLEASE, PLEASE this next year stop trying to tell us who we should like and stop telling the screamers how wonderful they are…..just sayin!

  15. The very best and most enjoyed of all the idols for me is Phillip Phillips. Next comes Carrie Underwood and I love Scotty McCreery. I also love Casey James. I can hardly wait to see Phillip develop his career. It’s going to be big. Really really big. He’s a super star.

  16. Joshua Ledet, Scotty Mc Creery, Lauren Alaina, Adam Lambert spring to mind though there are many more and for different reasons, like HeeJun who I loved as a personality more than as a singer. I think all of the judges were good except Simon who was just a pompus twat and Ellen who was just out of her natural zone………..I also don`t get why everybody says that season 11 was not good. I think they had the greatest top 10 ever this year.

  17. My favorite of all times is Adam Lambert (should have won)
    Favorite winners Carrie Underwood< Kelly Clarkson
    Favorite Actresses…Jennifer Hudson, Katherine McPhee and The up and coming Jordin Sparks (Sparkle)
    Cutest Idol…David Archuletta
    Best Judge…Simon Cowell (told it like it was…noBS)
    Best Female Judge….Paula Abdul
    Best Non-Winners….James Durbin & Daughtry

  18. Happy Birthday to American Idol.  Here’s to many more years to come!  My favorites from the past 10 years are Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert.

  19. David Archuleta and Jessica Sanchez for my favorite Singers.

    Jennifer Lopez for my favorite Judge.

    Viva Latinos Y Latinos…

  20. Most impressive and memorable idol graduates for me have been Kelly, Clay, Jennifer, Fantasia, Carrie, Bo, Constantine, Mandissa, Chris, Elliot, Jordin, David Cook (and little David), Adam,  Casey, Lauren, Scotty, Elise, Joshua, Jessica, Phillip, so far. And my favorite idol judges, without a doubt, are  Simon, Steve, Paula and Randy. Oh, and Katy, because though she was just a guest judge, she really did her thing and left a great taste in my mouth.

  21. Most impressive and memorable idol graduates for me have been Kelly,
    Clay, Jennifer, Fantasia, Carrie, Bo, Constantine, Mandissa, Chris Daughtry,
    Elliot, Jordin, David Cook (and little David), Adam,  Casey, Lauren,
    Scotty, Elise, Joshua, Jessica, Phillip, so far. And my favorite idol
    judges, without a doubt, are  Simon, Steve, Paula and Randy. Oh, and
    Katy, because though she was just a guest judge, she really did her
    thing and left a great taste in my mouth.

  22. Oopsie doopsie, almost forgot to say a very Happy Birthday to you American Idol. What a wonderful decade it has been! Many Happy Returns, AI! XOXO

  23. my favorites are Jessica Sanchez , Adam Lambert.Chris Daughtry and Scotty M. favorite judge ,JLo……….

    •  iknow that jess,adam and chris were not winners but in my heart they were…happy anniv. to AI!!!!!

  24. Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Adam Lambert are my favorite top 3, in that order from the left.

    Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Paula Abdul have been my favorite judges.

  25. Simon Cowell, no doubt, for The Judge. Likewise, indubitably, Jessica Sanchez for The Singer

  26. Jennifer Lopez (judge) and Jessica Sanchez (singer) are the best in the Idol, not to mention Ryan Seacrest.

  27. I guess my all time favorite American Idol winner would have to be …hmmmm….I don’t have a favorite winner. My favorite has never won American Idol. Of all the winners the only winners single I have ever purchased is Ruben Studdard’s  “Flying Without Wings”. So I guess my favorite winner would have to be Ruben. 

    Other Favorite Finalists:

    David Archuleta
    Kimberly Locke
    Melinda Doolittle
    Frenchie Davis
    James Durbin
    Paul McDonald
    Lauren Alaina
    Crystal Bowersox
    Michael Lynche
    Siobhan Magnus
    Anoop Desai
    Chris Daughtry 
    As for favorite judge it would probably have to be a tie between Ellen Degeneres, Kara Dioguardi, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. I liked Paula and Ellen’s honesty and I liked Kara and Simon’s insight. 

  28. Congratulations to Phillip Phillips – a #1 ong on Billboard – in less than 2 weeks after winning Idol.

  29. Ruben Studdard, Jessica Sanchez, Fantasia, and Jennifer Hudson for me.

    Randy Jackson the best Judge

  30. Jessica Sanchez, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert.

    Judge: Steve Tyler, Simon Cowell, Jennifer Lopez

  31. American GPS (greatest performer-singer): Jessica Sanchez
    American CD (celestial diva): Kelly Clarkson
    American IPOD (intense performer of duets): Joshua Ledet
    American IPAD (international performer and dancer): Jennifer Lopez
    American HAIR (hair at its rapture): De Andre Brackensick
    American FLAG (feminist lobbyer against graffiti): Carrie Underwood
    American CAR (charming and riveting): David ArchuletaAmerican PC (prince charming): Philip PhillipsAmerican MAC (most artistic/cute): Scotty MccreeryAmerican DJ (divulging judgment): Ryan Seacrest

    • If I am coming back pal, you must be too if you see my posts.  The whole point of my post was this is American Idol not the Jessica Sanchez Show which you would understand if you read these things.

    • And…I do have a favorite, the first idol ever Kelly, she was the best with the best judges.  I loved Adam to death but now he’s starting to change, fame does that sometimes.   The current idol hasn’t had the chance to see what will happen, but I think he will do well….albeit not in the teen world, ie, Justin Bieberish….!

      • Kelly might be my favorite also. I like Kelly, Carrie, Daughtry, and Adam..but that Breakaway CD is one I always seem to go back to.  I think Phillip’s music might be too grown up for the teeny boppers.

  32. Commulative Score/s of Favorites based on the Comments, as of 1 am today, June 12th, where the favorite is given a score of 3, 2nd favorite 2, and third and the rest mentioned 1. About a third of commenters are die-hard Jessica’s fans, making her as the # 1 Idol “winner;” followed by Adam Lambert and Kelly Clarkson.  Below are the scores:
    1. Jessica Sanchez ,70 points2. Adam Lambert, 283. Kelly Clarkson, 214. Joshua Ledet, 175. Carrie Underwood, 166. David Archuleta, 137. Jennifer Hudson, 118. Philip Phillips, 89. Fantasia Barrino, 710. Chris Daughtry, 6For the Judges:1. Randy Jackson, 30 points2. Jennifer Lopez, 253. Steve Tyler, 204. Simon Cowell, 175. Paula Abdul, 4Vanessa is fuming that Jessica’s fans are coming back again and again, and in droves, to support her. Well, Vanessa, it goes without saying that a Diva cannot become one without a solid FAN BASE. Take it or leave it; move on and live in peace!

    • 1. Jessica 70; 
      2. Adam 28;
      3. Kelly 21;
      4. Joshua 17;
      5. Carrie 16;
      6. David A 13;
      7. Jennifer H 11;
      8. Philip 8;
      9. Fantasia 7;
      10. Chris D 6; 

      Judges:
      1. Randy 30;
      2. Jennifer L 25;
      3. Steve 20;
      4. Simon 17;
      5. Paula 4

      • Oh my, LordCalvinGeyKlein, Oh my, why must you be hard on yourself by evading reality. Just accept it GeyLordKlein, just come off your shell and see the splendor of the sky and the beauty of the flowers. Just be one of us and you will be happy and not gray, geylordklein!

  33.  @cra cra vanessa the topic  is IDOL WINNERS. Some posted even if their favorites were non winners. i think this is ok with Branden and Mr. Boyer.if you don’t like to see jessica’s name included here then shoo just go away….everybody ‘s having a good time posting their favs. then here you go again.Lenny is right. you’re the cra cra who comes back again and again with nothing good to say…..good day and have a nice life!!!!!!

  34. Fill the all the blanks with one word:
    ……. is the Cutest,prettiest,loveliest & kindest contestant ever. …….has the most powerful vocals.Everytime …….. gets on stage brings the house down. …….. is the most exciting contestant ever.You never get tired of watching …… and listening to …….
    In Conclusion: J…….. S………. is the Most Desired contestant EVER to appear on ANY singing show.

  35. My favorite winner is Jordin Parks. If almost every song of her in my Ipod.
    My favorite judge is Steven Tyler becoz he is the honest one of the panel.
    My other favorites were Adam Lambert, David Archuleta, DeAndre Brackensick, Hollie Cavanagh, Anoop Desai, Jason Castro, Jennifer Hudson and Mario Vazquez.

  36. First Jessica Sanchez
    Second David Archuleta
    Third Adam Lambert
    Fourth Pia Toscano
    Fifth Kelly Clarkson

    Judges 1. Jennifer Lopez
    2. Simon Cowell
    3. Randy Jackson
    4. Steve Tyler
    5. Paul Abdul

  37. De Andre Brackenshire, Rob Studdard, and Jessica Suarez for me.
    For Judges: Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Simon Cromwell

  38. 1Jessica Sanchez
    2Kelly Clarkson
    3Carrie Underwood

    1Simon Cowell
    2Jennifer Lopez
    3Randy Jackson

  39. Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Sanchez

    Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez

  40. My Top 10 in the Idol (both judges and contestants and all): based on popularity, voice, and personality.

    Steve Tyler (97%)

    Jennifer Lopez (96%)

    Jessica Sanchez (95%)

    Kelly Clarkson (92%)

    Adam Lambert (91.5%)

    David Archuleta(91%)

    Carrie Underwood (90%)

    Haley Reinhart (88%)

    Randy Jackson (87%)

    Ryan Seacrest (85%)

  41. I have to go with Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, Crystal Bowersox, Phillip Phillips, David Archuleta, Kris Allen

    Judges: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Steven Tyler

    • LordCalvinGeyKlein, all but one are men. Your choice, your love, your devotion. I hope they make you very happy, at least in your dream of dreams, LordCalvinGeyKlein.

    • Oh my, GeyLordKlein, you sound like someone I met from Manhattan last night. Oh my… Oh my…  mamamia, mamami, oh my…GeyLordKlein.

  42. JESSICA Sanchez and Scotty M. for judge, best for me was Simon Cowell…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO AMERICAN IDOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Me too, ditto, JESSICA Sanchez. Plus Carrie Under-the-hood before he cheats I love that song, Carrie, + Kelly Clarkson. Oh Kelly whatever won’t kill you will make you stronger.

    Randy Jackson, I like the way you carry yourself with those clothes you wear dawg… + Jennifer Lopez, you are fabulous, girl.

  44. Best Singers in AI: Jessica Sanchez, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Carrie Underwood, and Joshua Ledet.

    Best Judge: Hands Down, Simon Cowell, Most honest judge.EVER.

    (My opinion, no big deal.)

  45. Best Singers in AI: Jessica Sanchez, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Carrie Underwood, and Joshua Ledet.
    Best Judge: Hands Down, Simon Cowell, Most honest judge.EVER.
    (My opinion, no big deal.)

  46. Wow, I am a little behind on this, but my fave to watch and listen to is Adam Lambert. then of course Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Kelly Clarkson, love Clay Aiken, David Cook, James Durbin, Scotty and Lauren, Jordin Sparks, Katherine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Gosh there are so many i cant think, lots of talent.  Best and only Judge will forever be Simon Cowell,  Best comentator is Ryan

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