Where would we be without reality TV? Never knowing the joys of Jedward, Rylan, and of course, One Direction. Yet one of the biggest music talent shows, after 15 seasons, has finally come to an end. American Idol started way back when in 2002 (probably) to console us when we were all left crying after N’SYNC announced their “hiatus”. The final episode is airing on Monday with performances from J.Lo, Carrie Underwood, and even an appearance from Obama – who is definitely a huge Idol fan and not just wanting to speak about the upcoming election… But if you can’t wait till then, we’ve compiled a list of the seven best things to come out of Idol; and it’s not just Ryan Seacrest’s hairstyles.
7 Wonders: Goodbye American Idol
All the reality TV show’s best bits and LOLs in one place.
The Break-Up Classics
Who else, apart from Kelly Clarkson, could we dance around to, shouting about our shit ex-boyfriends? The Queen of Breakup Songs won the very first season of Idol. With hits like ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ and ‘What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)’ means she’s the go-to Valentine’s Day playlist for a Bridget Jones style sob for all us single people.
The Power of Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson
The film ‘Dream Girls’ showed Queen B and Jennifer Hudson to be an undeniable power pair. But without Idol, we may never have known who Jennifer Hudson was, who has since been showered with every award possible. Their medley performance at the 2007 Oscars was the biggest and best diva-off; and we have Idol to thank.
The Sound of Music… and Carrie Underwood
Winner of the fifth season, Carrie Underwood even tried theatre back in 2013. She played Maria Von Trapp in the live TV version of ‘The Sound of Music’. She would probably prefer us to focus on the fact that Rolling Stone called her “the female vocalist of her generation… of any genre”, but we can’t get her version of ‘Do-Re-Mi’ out of our heads.
What would reality TV be without romance? Luckily, with Idol, we don’t have to find out. That’s because Idol alums Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young got married back in 2013. Though they weren’t contestants on the same series (definite Romeo and Juliet vibes), they met when co-starring on Broadway. The best bit? Ace proposed to Diana on Idol with the help of Ryan Seacrest. And it was definitely (maybe) NOT rehearsed.
Adam Lambert and… Queen?
Sadly (?) not HRM the Queen, but the other one. The collaboration between Adam Lambert, who was a runner up in the eighth season, and the remaining members of the Queen was certainly one we never saw coming, yet always wanted. They even went on a worldwide tour and are expected to play festivals across Europe this summer. Turns out anything really is possible.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but …”
How could you talk about Idol and not mention Simon Cowell? The show helped make his name as the ‘mean judge’ with low buttoned shirts. He left in 2010 to return to the UK to produce X Factor, which was no doubt inspired by his time as a judge at Idol. Were we glad to see Simon Cowell back on our screens? No comment.
Every now and then Idol churns out a musical artist that is actually pretty incredible. Though Tori Kelly didn’t reach the top 24 of the show, considering she was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year, it’s fair to say she’s been doing pretty well. When Wonderland got to chat with her for our Horror Issue, it was clear we had a genuine pop princess on our hands. Tori Kelly serves to remind us why reality music shows perhaps aren’t so bad after all.