15 Amazing 'American Idol' Auditions Over the Years (VIDEO)
Beginning 17 years ago on Fox, American Idol took the nation by storm, taking viewers on a journey like no other.
From auditions to Hollywood, fans got an up close-and-personal look at the contestants who're just regular Americans like them, but the first season's winner proves that one opportunity can turn into a lifetime of success — that's right, we're talking about Kelly Clarkson.
Clarkson went from a small-town Texan to undeniable superstar, as did many others through the years, including Carrie Underwood, Katharine McPhee, Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson and many more — and man of them didn't even win their seasons.
Winning didn't guarantee success, but what all of the contestants did have was pure talent, which viewers got to witness in their first televised auditions in front of the judges — starting with original judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.
The phenomenon was real, and continued with American Idol's first season on ABC in spring 2018. As fans gear up for Season 17 (the second on the Disney-owned network), we thought we'd take a look back at some of the most memorable first impressions of past and (nearly) present. See our roundup below.
American Idol, Season Premiere 17, Sunday, March 3, 8/7c, ABC