Episode 12 82m. Episode 13 79m. Episode 14 77m. Episode 15 78m. Episode 16 74m. More Details. Watch offline. The "Fan Save" was introduced in the fourteenth season. During the finals, viewers were given a five-minute window to vote for the contestants in danger of elimination by using their Twitter account to decide which contestant will move on to the next show, starting with the Top 8. The finale was the two-hour last episode of the season, culminating in revealing the winner.
For the first, third through sixth and fourteenth through fifteenth seasons it was broadcast from the Dolby Theatre , which has an audience capacity of approximately 3, The second-season finale took place at the Gibson Amphitheatre , which had an audience capacity of over 6, In the seventh through thirteenth seasons, the venue was at the Nokia Theater , which holds an audience of over 7, In the sixteenth and seventeenth seasons, the venue did not change from the Finals.
The winner received a record deal with a major label, which may be for up to six albums,   and secures a management contract with American Idol -affiliated 19 Management which has the right of first refusal to sign all contestants , as well as various lucrative contracts. However, starting in the eleventh season, the runner-up may only be guaranteed a single-only deal. In the fourteenth and fifteenth seasons, the winner was signed with Big Machine Records.
All top 10 11 in the tenth and twelfth seasons, 5 in the fourteenth season, and 7 in the sixteenth season finalists earn the privilege of going on a tour, where the participants may each earn a six-figure sum.
Each season premieres with the audition round, taking place in different cities. The audition episodes typically feature a mix of potential finalists, interesting characters and woefully inadequate contestants. Each successful contestant receives a golden ticket to proceed on to the next round in Hollywood.
Based on their performances during the Hollywood round Las Vegas round from the tenth through twelfth seasons , 24 to 36 contestants are selected by the judges to participate in the semifinals.
From the semifinals onward the contestants perform their songs live, with the judges making their critiques after each performance. The contestants are voted for by the viewing public, and the outcome of the public votes is then revealed during a results segment. The results segment feature group performances by the contestants as well as guest performers.
The Top-three results also features homecoming events for the Top 3 finalists. The season reaches its climax in a two-hour results finale show, where the winner of the season is revealed. With the exception of the first two seasons, the contestants in the semifinals onward perform in front of a studio audience.
They perform with a full band in the finals. The current musical director is Kris Pooley , who has been with the show since the sixteenth season. In previous seasons, the American Idol band was led by Rickey Minor fourth through ninth and thirteenth through fifteenth seasons and Ray Chew tenth through twelfth seasons.
Assistance has also been given by vocal coaches and song arrangers, such as Michael Orland and Debra Byrd to contestants behind the scene. Starting with the seventh season, contestants may perform with a musical instrument from the Hollywood rounds onward.
In later seasons, the contestants were allowed to perform with a musical instrument in the auditions. During the first nine seasons, performances were usually aired live on Tuesday nights, followed by the results shows on Wednesdays, but moved to Wednesdays and Thursdays from the tenth through thirteenth seasons.
From the fourteenth season onward, there were no separate results shows. On the fourteenth season, the show aired on Wednesday nights, and on the fifteenth season, Thursday nights. From the sixteenth season onward, it aired on Sundays and Mondays. The first season of American Idol debuted as a summer replacement show in June on the Fox network.
It was co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman. In the audition rounds, contestants were selected from around 10, who attended the auditions. These were cut to 30 for the semifinal, with ten going on to the finals. One semifinalist, Delano Cagnolatti, was disqualified for lying to evade the show's age limit. One of the early favorites, Tamyra Gray , was eliminated at the top four, the first of several such shock eliminations that were to be repeated in later seasons.
Christina Christian was hospitalized before the top six result show due to chest pains and palpitations, and she was eliminated while she was in the hospital. The final showdown was between Justin Guarini , one of the early favorites, and Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson was not initially thought of as a contender,  but impressed the judges with some good performances in the final rounds, such as her performance of Aretha Franklin 's " Natural Woman ", and Betty Hutton 's " Stuff Like That There ", and eventually won the crown on September 4, In what was to become a tradition, Clarkson performed the coronation song during the finale, and released the song immediately after the season ended.
The single, " A Moment Like This ", went on to break a year-old record held by The Beatles for the biggest leap to number one on the Billboard Hot Guarini did not release any song immediately after the show and remains the only runner-up not to do so.
Both Clarkson and Guarini made a musical film, From Justin to Kelly , which was released in but was widely panned. Starting September 30, , this season was repackaged as " American Idol Rewind " and syndicated directly to stations in the U.
Following the success of the first season, the second season was moved up to air in January The number of episodes increased, as did the show's budget and the charge for commercial spots. Dunkleman left the show, leaving Seacrest as the lone host. Kristin Adams was a correspondent for this season.
Corey Clark was disqualified during the finals for having an undisclosed police record; however, he later alleged that he and Paula Abdul had an affair while on the show and that this contributed to his expulsion.
Clark also claimed that Abdul gave him preferential treatment on the show due to their affair. The allegations were dismissed by Fox after an independent investigation. Ruben Studdard emerged as the winner, beating Clay Aiken by a small margin. Out of a total of 24 million votes, Studdard finished just , votes ahead of Aiken. This slim margin of victory was controversial due to the large number of calls that failed to get through.
Both finalists found success after the show, but Aiken out-performed Studdard's coronation song " Flying Without Wings " with his single release from the show " This Is the Night ", as well as in their subsequent album releases.
The fourth-place finisher Josh Gracin also enjoyed some success as a country singer. The third season premiered on January 19, One of the most talked-about contestants during the audition process was William Hung whose off-key rendition of Ricky Martin 's " She Bangs " received widespread attention. His exposure on Idol landed him a record deal and surprisingly he became the third best-selling singer from that season. All three unexpectedly landed on the bottom three on the top seven result show, with Hudson controversially eliminated.
The performance of " Summertime " by Barrino, later known simply as "Fantasia", at Top 8 was widely praised, and Simon Cowell considered it as his favorite Idol moment in the nine seasons he was on the show. Fantasia released as her coronation single " I Believe ", a song co-written by the first season finalist Tamyra Gray, and DeGarmo released " Dreams ".
The fourth season premiered on January 18, ; this was the first season of the series to be aired in high definition, although the finale of the third season was also aired in high definition. The number of those attending the auditions by now had increased to over , from the 10, of the first season. Dance Moms. House Hunters. Minions 4. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 6. The Lion King 7.
Top 11 Highlights See All. Top 11 Highlights. Jovin Webb's Top 11 Performance. Just Sam's Top 11 Performance. Francisco Martin's Top 11 Performance. Louis Knight's Top 11 Performance. Arthur Gunn's Top 11 Performance. Julia Gargano's Top 11 Performance. Grace Leer's Top 11 Performance. Jonny West's Top 11 Performance. American Idol season 14 Episode 3 - Auditions No. American Idol season 14 Episode 4 - Auditions No. Watch as our judges and current contestants explain what Idol means to them.