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WATCH: 10 of the Best 'American Idol' Auditions Ever

Beginning 16 years ago on Fox, American Idol took the nation by storm, bringing 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.

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Clarkson went from being a small-town Texan to undeniable superstar, as did many of the other contestants. Carrie Underwood, Katharine McPhee, Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson and many more went from obscurity to full-blown celebrity status following their seasons, and they weren't even all winners.

In fact, 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—the classic original judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

The phenomenon was real, and as fans prepare for the show's return—this time to ABC—we thought we'd take a look back at some of the most memorable first impressions the auditions granted us. See our roundup below.

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Kelly Clarkson

Season 1

Fantasia Barrino

Season 3

Carrie Underwood

Season 4

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David Cook

Season 7

Jordin Sparks

Season 6

Katharine McPhee

Season 5

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Todrick Hall

Season 9

Adam Lambert

Season 8

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Jennifer Hudson

Season 3

Chris Daughtry

Season 5

American Idol, Season Premiere, Sunday, March 11, 8/7c, ABC