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.
So far, Luis Fonsi, Bebe Rexha and Toni Braxton are among some of the confirmed artists.
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.
Plus, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Ryan Seacrest weigh in on the revival.
Bobby Bones is joining the show as a mentor to the top 24 contestants.
Plus, 'Party of Five,' 'Facts of Life,' and more keep on coming.
And the celebrity judges reveal their roles on the panel.
American Idol, Season Premiere, Sunday, March 11, 8/7c, ABC