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American Idol: The Search For A Superstar

74 customer reviews

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(Oct 15, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Coming soon to a casino lounge, wedding, or bar mitzvah near you: it's the contestants of American Idol. This 90-minute highlights recap extends the proverbial 15 minutes of fame for the hopefuls who galvanized the nation as they contended for a recording contract. This talent show--part Star Search, part The Gong Show, part A Chorus Line--was an instant pop-culture phenomenon, but the breakout star of this series was arguably not winner Kelly Clarkson, she of the powerhouse voice, or even runner-up Jason Guarini, he of the Sideshow Bob hair. One of the judges, record producer Simon "Prince of Darkness" Cowell, emerged as the show's villain who audiences loved to hate. (A bonus segment on this DVD, "When Judges Attack," replays Simon's nastiest feuds with disgruntled contestants and fellow judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.) Relive the agony (staged comedy bits and bloopers with series hosts Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman, who, if nothing else, gave Saturday Night Live's Jimmy Fallon a prime target for parody), the triumphant solo performances, the cheesy ensemble numbers that went out with Up with People, and the onstage drama over who America would next vote offstage (the Tamyra Gray contingent is no doubt still in shock). On the DVD, a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage documenting each stage of the contest process should satisfy Idol-philes. --Donald Liebenson

From the Back Cover

10,000 performers, one superstar. How do you turn a talent search into a phenomenon? Simple. You let America be the judge. In the summer of 2002, that's exactly what producer Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment along with FremantleMedia did for Fox Television. Beginning with an open call for auditions in seven cities across the country, American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell narrowed a field of over 10,000 pop singer wannabes to one American Idol. Includes never-before-seen footage!

Special Features

  • Limited Edition Collector's Package includes fold-out packaging and an American Idol Temporary Tattoo
  • DVD features:
  • American Idol Finalists
  • - The Journey to Hollywood
  • - The Pasadena Experience
  • The Idol Makers
  • - Top Fives
  • - When Judges Attack
  • - How to Be an American Idol
  • - How Not to Be an American Idol
  • Behind the Scenes
  • - The Bootleg Bonus
  • - Idol Worship
  • - Idol Trivia
  • - American Idol Uncensored
  • - CD-ROM game preview

Product Details

  • Actors: Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez
  • Writers: Simon Fuller
  • Format: Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Dv&a
  • DVD Release Date: October 15, 2002
  • Run Time: 42 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JO3U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,493 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Idol: The Search For A Superstar" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 2002
Format: DVD
Okay, it doesn't seem like anyone who has actually seen the DVD has reviewed it here yet, so I thought that I'd be the first.
What it contains: A one hour synopsis of the show, starting with a seven minute recap of the audition process that was already aired as part of the finale (and unfortunately, without much footage of the final 30 being narrowed down to 10). Then comes a summary of each night of performances, each one ending with the elimination and the goodbye video for the eliminated person. Only a few performances are shown, but at least they're shown in full. They are:
Ryan Starr - "If You Really Love Me",
Justin Guarini - "For Once in My Life", "Let's Stay Together" and "A Moment Like This"
Kelly Clarkson - "Natural Woman", "Without You" (the good one from the results show), "Before Your Love" and "A Moment Like This" (from right after she won)
Christina Christian - "Ain't No Sunshine"
Tamyra Gray - "A House is Not a Home"
Nikki McKibbon - "Mary Jane" and "Black Velvet"
Group Sings - "California Dreamin", "Joy to the World" and "That's What Friends are For"
So there are some curious omissions, such as a performance by RJ Helton (who finished 5th, higher than Christina and Ryan) and Kelly's "Stuff Like That There" from Big Band night which was arguably the audience's favorite performance from the entire show. Also, the audio quality for some of the performances is poor in that it's lower than it should be. But overall, the main section of the DVD is great to have even if you taped the shows, since the visual quality is so much better.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 2003
Format: DVD
I am a big Idol fan who was very disappointed with the DVD. Considering this is a two disk set -- lots of storage space -- there is next to nothing on either disk.
The best part of the show are the performances and judges' critiques. We get far too few perfomances and NO judges critiques at all. Who cares about who the producers of American Idol are (incredibly one of the "extras!" on the second DVD). We want the performances. We want to relive Kelly's improvement and emergance at the top. We want to relive all the nasty comments Nicki received towards the end. Instead we're stuck with lackluster group performances (did anyone really need to hear California Dreaming again?) and finalist reactions to "you're going to Hollywood" at the auditions, but not the try-out performances that led up to those words.
Finally, there are NO performances from Big Band night, which most Idol fans agree was the most interesting night of the competition -- and the night where Kelly finally broke away from the pack.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 20, 2003
Format: DVD
I started watching "American Idol" the week after Tamyra Grey was booted off the show. I teach a Popular Culture class so I figured I was going to have to know who Justin Guarini was and why he did not like Simon Cowell. What I discovered during those final episodes was that it was obvious that Kelly Clarkson should win the competition and that in our house we usually agree with Simon's comments. Oh, and that Brian Dunkleman and Ryan Seacrest were two clowns trying to do a job that only required one clown (Seacrest is ten times better this year not having to try to outshine Dunkleman). So when I checked out this "American Idol" DVD it was a combination of seeing what I had missed (Gray's performance of "A House Is Not a Home" and what the finalists did to qualify in the first place) and what I wanted to see again (Clarkson unable to make it all the way through "A Moment Like This" after she won and singing a duet with her idol Reba McIntire). Consequently, like most people who watch this DVD I got some of what I wanted, but not as much as I hoped.
I really think the producers of this "American Idol" recap was geared more for a 90-minute videotape than for taking full advantage of what you can cram on a DVD (oh, and cutting something out as quickly as possible). The limited chapter search does focus on the songs, organized by who sang them, but there are only 15 songs and I really assumed that the DVD would go way beyond what we had from the CD. The focus is more on the competition, so that we get clips of each of the nine verdicts being read along the way and it is not until the final couple of decisions that you get to hear what American had to choose between on that particular night.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By edzaf on November 27, 2002
Format: DVD
Don't the producers fo this DVD know that you can fit A LOT of footage on a disc? What we have here can not even be described as a "greatest hits" version of the Fox talent search. I am not asking to see every moment of every show (though that would be nice), but one can not help but notice what is NOT on this DVD at times. First, the positives than a short list of some of the more glaring omissions/negatives:
PROS: 1) The sometimes stunning transformations of the players, some serious makeovers with Kelly particularly "cleaning" up well; 2) Kelly's touching performance of "A Moment Like This" after being named the American Idol; 3) Justin's performance of the same song during the finals and realizing just how much Kelly "made it her own"; 4) Tamyra's knockout performance of "A House Is Not A Home"; 5) Fun outtakes from those otherwise cheesy Ford Focus plugs; 6) Highlights of judge and performer comebacks from the tryouts (including the still-bleeped, but still-hilarious, "Ta-mee-ka" tirade).
CONS: 1) We have multiple selections from finalists Kelly and Justin, but why leave out their signature performances of "Respect" and "Get Here"? 2) Only one solo from Tamyra - though she faired better than RJ, AJ, E-Jay, and Jim who do not even show up on the DVD with a solo performance; 3) We see the finalists trying out for the show and their joy in "going to Hollywood" - but not the audition performance that earned them the trip; 4) The omnipresence of Seacrest and Dunkleman... ugh, NOT the stars of the show.
With the fairly low price of this DVD and on the heels of the sub-par "Greatest Hits" CD released earlier this year, I guess we should not have expected that much. The post-Idol marketing machine appears to be all about getting a product out the door as quickly as possible.
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