Previously, we brought you part one of our list of 15 interesting facts about American Idol. Now, check out eight more tidbits about the groundbreaking hit reality competition show.
Number Eight: There Were Voting Controversies. There were a lot of things going on with voting during American Idol’s run, including the gender bias mentioned in part one. But one thing that wasn’t inherently built into the show that created voting controversy was online voting communities. In particular, a website called “Vote for the Worst” became really popular, aiming to keep contestants that were not as good as other contestants in the game. The site was brought into the spotlight around season six of the show for the way it was supporting Sanjaya Malakar, who made it to seventh place on the show.
Number Seven: Ellen DeGeneres Was Once a Judge. For one season, the talk show host, who herself has no musical background other than dancing during her show, was a judge on American Idol. During season nine, she played the role of the nice fourth judge.
Number Six: Randy Jackson Stayed Longer Than Any of the Other Judges. Randy Jackson sat behind the judge’s table for twelve seasons, where he got to see a rotating cast of judges come and go. When he decided that he was going to leave the judge’s table, he ended up becoming a mentor instead. He finally left the show in 2014.
Number Five: Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj Feuded on the Show. During season 12, the judge’s table seemed a bit more interesting (read: entertaining) than the actual competition. Judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, each of whom only stayed one season, were not able to get along. Following the leak of a video featuring Minaj badmouthing Carey, the two kept hurling insults at each other.
Number Four: One Season Had an All-Female Top Five. The truth is, though, that season 12 really was interesting. Not only was it the first season since season six to break the gender bias, but it was also the only season where there were five females in the top five.
Number Three: Kanye West Auditioned. The rapper turned fame hound decided to audition for the show in season 15. Though the show usually does not reward those kinds of things, even though they have let older hopefuls sing for the judges if they have a good story, the judges gave Kanye a golden ticket.
Number Two: Simon Cowell Left American Idol to Bring Another Show to the U.S. When Cowell left the show after season nine, he wanted to bring over another of his shows to the United States: The X Factor. While the show was a big hit in the U.K., spawning big artists such as One Direction, Leona Lewis and Little Mix, it never took off in the U.S. The show only lasted three seasons before being cancelled.
Number One: The Show Had Its Highest Ratings in 2007. American Idol hit its stride during season six, boasting the show’s highest viewership ever for its finale. After season seven, the show’s viewership started to take a nosedive due to all of the competition in the competition show market. Thank you for reading our 15 interesting facts about American Idol. We hope you enjoyed it!