The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.
Hopefuls audition in Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, and Savannah. They include a choreographer from Tennessee, a hostess from Colorado and a personal assistant from Alabama, perform for the judges.
In this first episode of Hollywood Week, Idol hopefuls from across the country head to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood to battle it out in solo and group performances in hopes of making it through to the showcase round.
Idol hopefuls head to Exchange LA for the Showcase Round, where contestants perform solos in front of a live crowd and the judges. Following the performances, the judges sit down with each contestant for the Final Judgment and reveal which finalists made it through to the Top 24.