It truly is the end of an era. After 15 seasons, American Idol bids audiences farewell in an epic two-hour finale airing tonight that is bound to have everyone who has ever grown up with the show in tears. With years upon years of song choices, votes, changing up judges and a slew of stars, American Idol was more than just idle entertainment. It was a dream and lesson in self-faith that so many of us loved seeing manifest. We would gather round and watch what would be one of the biggest events of our week.
Memories started thriving as each year the show would crown its latest Idol. Many of these artists from season one to now have become household names, from Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, to Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry. And even if some of these bright stars didn’t break the ceiling of the entertainment business, many still managed to carry their passion forward. The show, in all of its beauty gave dreamers a platform—a space to be heard and appreciated for the voice and soul they have. In so many ways, the show built a name for itself and fostered a significant shift in what we enjoy most about music.
American Idol made so many of us passionate in our work, whether it was inclined to an artsy direction or the opposite. With every artist who broke through and made it each week, round-after-round, it made so many of us want to grab our dreams and run with it for all its worth. Idol allowed us to be brave and fearless when it came to loving what we do. It sparked a passion in so many of us and still does today.
And while our amazing social media and content editor, Andrew Rogers (our favorite Idol expert ever!) has covered not just this last season of the show, but past seasons as well since our online magazine’s inception in 2012, it will be especially hard to let go of something that has brought meaning to so many of us. After the popular reality show broke ground in 2002, crowning the very first Idol, enter the epoch of fandoms and friendships—something we five founders, Elizabeth, Andrew, Ashleigh, Katherine and I, each hold dear.
While some might know this, The Hudsucker would never have come to be had it not been for American Idol. As an avid viewer of the show since its debut in the early 2000s, it was only until the dawn of social media and the internet (particularly, LiveJournal) that I came across four of my closest friends. Through the months of building this online magazine, my other very good and dear friends that I met through Idol came aboard to contribute and embrace the familial and dreamer aspect the show gave all of us. Idol blessed me with more than just music to soothe my soul, but friendships that really do stand the test of time. Sure, some will say Idol is cheesy or obtusely claim the show spoiled music for them, but to be frank, they’re wrong. Idol brought people together through music, it broadened the atmosphere of song, genres and the emotion behind every lyric belted out. It gave us stars to look up to and relate to through style and feeling. Completely and fully, it was one of the more appreciated aspects of my television viewing and I will forever be grateful for it.
And just like Idol, The Hudsucker is a true testament to the power of dreams, dedication, and friendship. Since starting our online magazine in 2012, we’ve had a lot of Idol-related articles and interviews. Today, we want to look back at some of our favorite articles and interviews featuring and related to Idol alum in this throwback to one of the greatest reality shows to ever grace television.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief, The Hudsucker
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Season 1 (2002)
Kelly Clarkson: Winner
Season 6 (2007)
Blake Lewis: 2nd place
Season 7 (2008)
David Cook: Winner
- Tour Review (Digital Vein): Seattle
- Album Review: Digital Vein
- Interview with Maureen Van Zandt
- Single Review: “Laying Me Low”
Brooke White: 5th place
- The Girls with Glasses: Re-gifting Parody
- The Girls with Glasses: “I’m Not Fancy” Parody
- Interview with Brooke White
Michael Johns: 8th place
Season 8 (2009)
Matt Giraud: 5th place
Megan Joy: 9th place
Michael Sarver: 10th place
Season 9 (2010)
Lee Dewyze: Winner
Season 10 (2011)
Tim Halperin: Top 24 semifinalist
Season 11 (2012)
Phillip Phillips: Winner
Elise Testone: 6th place
Colton Dixon: 7th place
Compilations Including Idol Records
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What was your favorite season of American Idol? Who do you think will win the final season—Trent or La’Porsha? Share with us in the comments below. Catch up on all Idol this season by reading Andrew Rogers’ recaps and stay tuned on Friday for his final Idol recap.