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!