Idol (franchise)

Last updated

Idols 2013 logo.png
Also known asIdol
Search for a Superstar
Created by Simon Fuller
Developed by Fremantle
Theme music composer Julian Gingell
Barry Stone
Cathy Dennis
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)Various
Running time22–104 minutes
Production company(s)Fremantle
19 Entertainment
Original networkVarious
Picture format NTSC (480i)
PAL (576i)
HDTV (720p)
HDTV (1080i)
Original release6 October 2001 
Related shows Popstars
Star Academy
The X Factor
Got Talent
The Voice
The Sing-Off
Rising Star
External links
Production website

Idols (also known as SuperStar in some countries) is a reality television singing competition format created by British television producer Simon Fuller and developed by Fremantle. The format began in 2001 with the British television series Pop Idol ; its first adaptation was the Polish series Idol in 2002. It has since become the world's most widely watched television franchise, as well as one of the most successful entertainment formats, adapted in over 46 regions around the world, with its various versions broadcast to 150 countries. An estimated worldwide audience between 3.2 billion, and the franchise has generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue. [1]

A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. The intellectual property from the work can be licensed to other parties or partners for further derivative works and commercial exploitation across a range of media and by a variety of industries for merchandising purposes.

Simon Fuller is an English entrepreneur, artist manager, film and television producer. He is best known for being the creator of the Idol franchise, which was first seen in the UK under the name Pop Idol, and includes American Idol in the U.S. Fuller is also the executive producer of several shows and films including So You Think You Can Dance, Q'Viva, Spiceworld The Movie, My Generation starring Michael Caine and others.

Fremantle Limited is a British international television content and production/distribution subsidiary of Bertelsmann's RTL Group, founded in 2001, and evolved as Europe's largest TV, radio, and production company. Its world headquarters are located in London.


Each season, the series aims to find the most outstanding unsigned solo recording artist (or "idol") in a region. Originally aimed for pop singers, the series have since evolved to accept singers from different genres of music, such as rock, R&B, and country. Through a series of mass auditions, a group of finalists are selected by a panel of judges (which usually consists of artists and record producers) who offer critiques on their performances. The finalists then advance to the weekly live shows. On each live show, the contestants all sing, the television audience votes (by telephone or SMS), and then the contestant who receives the fewest votes gets eliminated. The final episode is the grand finale episode, when usually two, but sometimes three or four, finalists are left, and the contestant who gets the largest number of votes is declared the winner. The winner receives a recording contract, monetary prizes, and a title as their nation's "Idol", "SuperStar" or "Star". Sometimes one or more of the runners-up get recording contracts as well.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Contemporary R&B is a music genre that combines elements of rhythm and blues, pop, soul, funk, hip hop and electronic music.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk music and blues.

The various series have launched the careers of a number of highly successful recording artists around the world, including Idols winners Will Young of the United Kingdom, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood of the United States, Kurt Nilsen of Norway, Ryan Malcolm and Kalan Porter of Canada, Guy Sebastian of Australia, and Elvis Blue of South Africa. Contestants who did not win but have still gone on to prominence include Anthony Callea, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Jessica Mauboy of Australia, Carly Rae Jepsen of Canada, and Clay Aiken and Chris Daughtry of the United States, among many others. Some Idols contestants have also achieved success in acting and musical theater, most notably Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson.

Will Young English singer-songwriter and actor

William Robert Young is a British singer-songwriter and actor from Wokingham, England, who came to prominence after winning the 2002 inaugural series of the ITV talent contest Pop Idol, making him the first winner of the worldwide Idol franchise. His double A-sided debut single "Anything Is Possible" / "Evergreen" was released two weeks after the show's finale and became the fastest-selling debut single in the UK. Young also came in fifth place in World Idol performing his single "Light My Fire".

Kelly Clarkson American singer, actress

Kelly Brianne Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter, and television personality. She rose to fame in 2002 after winning the inaugural season of the reality competition television series American Idol, which earned her a record deal with RCA Records. Clarkson's debut single, "A Moment Like This", topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the country's best-selling single of 2002. It was followed by the release of her debut album, Thankful (2003), which debuted atop the US Billboard 200. Trying to reinvent her image, Clarkson decided to part ways with Idol management and shifted to pop rock music for her second album, Breakaway (2004). After numerous top 40 radio number-one singles, such as "Since U Been Gone" and "Because of You", the album sold over 15 million copies worldwide and earned Clarkson two Grammy Awards.

Carrie Underwood American country music singer

Carrie Marie Fisher is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Her debut single, "Inside Your Heaven", is the only country song to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005. Bolstered by the huge crossover success of the singles "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and "Before He Cheats", it became the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the fastest-selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history and the best-selling country album of the last 16 years. Underwood won three Grammy Awards for the album, including Best New Artist.

Origin and background

In 2001, British talent manager and television producer Simon Fuller created the British television series Pop Idol . The series was developed by production company Fremantle and was broadcast on ITV on 6 October 2001. Fuller, along with television producer Nigel Lythgoe, was inspired to create the series by the New Zealand television series Popstars , which was adapted in the United Kingdom as Popstars in January 2001. The first series of Pop Idol proved to be more popular than Popstars, in part due to the chemistry of the judges and the success of its first winner Will Young.

<i>Pop Idol</i> television series

Pop Idol is a British music competition television series created by Simon Fuller which ran on ITV from 2001 to 2003. The aim of the show was to decide the best new young pop singer in the UK based on viewer voting and participation. Two series were broadcast—one in 2001–2002 and a second in 2003. Pop Idol was subsequently put on an indefinite hiatus after series judge Simon Cowell announced the launch of The X Factor in the UK in April 2004.

ITV (TV network) TV network in the United Kingdom

ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London, it was launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to BBC Television, that was established in 1932. ITV is also the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name.

Nigel Lythgoe Executive producer and television director

Nigel Lythgoe OBE is an English television and film director and producer, television dance competition judge, former dancer in the Young Generation and choreographer. He was the producer of the shows Pop Idol and American Idol and is the creator and executive producer of, and a regular judge on, So You Think You Can Dance. He also created the 2009 competition Superstars of Dance.

Pop Idol's success led to an interest for adaptations in other countries. Before selling the format, Fuller reached out for an out-of-court settlement with Popstars creator Jonathan Dowling, in which international versions of Idols will be prohibited to use the prefix Pop in their local titles. As such, Poland, the first country to adapt the format, named their version as simply Idol . Idol was launched in 2002, months after the first series of Pop Idol ended.

Idol is a television show on the Polish television network Polsat, based on the popular British show Pop Idol. The show is a contest to determine the best young singer in Poland. It is hosted by Maciej Rock.

Fuller, Lythgoe, and Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell attempted to sell the format in the United States in 2001, but the idea was met with poor response from major networks. Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, persuaded her father to buy the rights for an American adaptation. The series, American Idol: The Search for a Superstar , debuted on the Fox network on 11 June 2002. American Idol also featured Cowell as its judge, who also proved to be popular among the American audiences. American Idol quickly rose to the top of the U.S. TV ratings, due to the popularity of the judges (particularly Cowell) and its contestants, which were led by its first winner, Kelly Clarkson.

Simon Cowell English reality television judge, television producer and music executive

Simon Phillip Cowell is an English television music and talent competition judge, businessman, A&R executive, talent manager, and television producer. He has judged on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, and the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Cowell is the principal, founder and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco.

Elisabeth Murdoch (businesswoman) Australian television industry and international media executive

Elisabeth Murdoch is an Australian-born American media executive based in the United Kingdom. Murdoch is the second daughter of Australian-born American multi-billionaire media proprietor Rupert Murdoch. She was a non-executive chairperson of Shine Group, the UK-based TV program production company she founded in 2001, until the company's parent, her father's 21st Century Fox on 1 January 2015 merged its Shine division with ApolloGlobal Management's Endemol and Core Media production houses, specializing in reality TV.

News Corporation media corporation

The original incarnation of News Corporation was an American multinational mass media corporation operated and owned by media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, headquartered in New York City. Prior to its split in 2013, it was the world's fourth-largest media group in terms of revenue, and News Corporation had become a media powerhouse since its inception, almost dominating the news, television, film and print industries.

The success brought by American Idol led to even more adaptations in other countries, where the Dutch Idols became the top television series in the Netherlands during its airing.


The show is a reality television singing competition where the winner is selected by the audience voting. The show combines a number of elements previously used by other shows such as Popstars – mass auditioning, the search of a new star, and the use of a judging panel that critiques the audtioners' performance and selects the contestants. An important element is audience participation, where the audience may vote by telephone or text to decide which contestant can proceed further each week and ultimately win. According to the show creator, Simon Fuller, "the interactivity was important because this would allow the audience to tell me who they liked best and this, in turn, would indicate to me who would have the most fans and eventually sell the most music and become the biggest stars." [2] To this is added "the drama of backstories and the real-life soap opera of the unfolding real-time events" as the show is presented as a live competition event which drew "more from a sporting concept of true competition". [2]



Each show has at least one host that directs the show, introduces the singers and delivers the results of each episode including the finale. While some countries have one host ( American Idol : Ryan Seacrest, Indonesian Idol : Daniel Mananta, New Zealand Idol : Dominic Bowden), most shows have two co-hosts. As well as judges, some countries have adopted new members to the hosting/jury party.


A preselected panel of music industry representatives tour some, if not all audition cities (depending on which show) to observe and advance those auditioning throughout the show up to and including the Grand Finale. The judges offer critiques and/or advice after each contestant performance, which can be positive or negative; Nouvelle Star 4 for the first time in any country introduced a red and blue "score card" type system where the jury award a blue "positive" or red "negative" rating and in Nouvelle Star 14, they introduced a scoring system where the jury give a point from a range of 1 to 10 after every mottoshow performance.

As many as five stable jury members have appeared in any one Idol season (Idol Poland 3, Indonesian Idol 9), though some versions offer "guest judges" or special musical guests on the program to also offer advice.

The judges of some shows gain a lot of popularity outside of the show as well as the contestants, due to their being collectively known to have a "caustic" or raw & blunt attitude towards contestants' performances, notably Simon Cowell, Kyle Sandilands, Kuba Wojewódzki, Dieter Bohlen, Ian "Dicko" Dickson, Paul Moss, Ahmad Dhani, Titi DJ, Zack Werner, Wyngard Tracy and Anu Malik amongst others.

Performance stages

Auditions are held in numerous places in any particular region or country that give most people (audition entry is bound by certain legal requirements such as age and citizenship for example) the chance to sing in front of musical/television producers and if successful, they advance to a recorded televised audition where the show "judges" advance up to 300 people in some countries to the next round.

The Theatre round is where a specially selected group of auditioners from all regional auditions converge (always in the host city) to perform in three sub stages: a chorus line in groups of 10 where free song choices are allowed, a trio (or less commonly a duo or quartet) where contestants must memorize a preselected song to perform and choreograph together, and finally a solo a cappella round where contestants sing a song of their own choice without musical backing in front of friends, family, judges & fellow contestants.

Each stage of the theatre round, a number of contestants are eliminated and sent home by the judges, though in some countries there have been very few contestants brought back during the Wildcards show or by the disqualification or resignation of another contestant.

In American Idol , this stage has been expanded to five stages (three in Hollywood, two in Las Vegas) since season 10.

The semi-final occurs usually live or pre-recorded (in some countries) where contestants sing in a television studio fully televised; again judges give critiques but beginning at this stage, home viewers vote via telephone and SMS (and in some countries other voting mechanisms including via Internet or via Red Button) who they want to stay in the competition. During the "semi-final" weeks, contestants receive a workshop tuition with a vocal coach to prepare their song of choice. The format started out with contestants only singing along to a piano, though other instruments & even a live band have been introduced to some versions.

An average semi-final usually consists of 18 to 50 contestants where they either perform in an even group of contestants (three groups of ten for example) or in a "heat" type semi-final where the contestants sing every week until all finalists have been chosen. During the format, a Wildcards feature was introduced which re-introduced past semi-finalists to receive a second chance to become a finalist, in some shows – the judges sometimes pick one or more contestants to advance as well as the viewers' vote. As of late, live audiences have been incorporated into the semi-final round.

A results show of the semi-final usually airs either a few hours after the performance show or the night after where the results are given. Three or four contestants are told that they may have received highest votes, though only a selected two or three are put through to the finals.

The Live shows (a.k.a. Mottoshows, Spectacular shows or theme shows) are an elaborate and spectacular version of the semi-final. There is a weekly theme on which contestants must base their song choices, such as "80s Hits" or "Hits of Elton John" for example. In a bid to counter sagging ratings, contestants on Australian Idol were allowed to bring instruments on stage with them and had the opportunity to sing original material from the 2006 season, a world first. Since then America and Canada have followed Australia's lead. Again a results show follows the show; this time it may include group performances, musical guests or extra footage of the contestants' time on the show. The contestant/s with the lowest polled votes leaves the competition. The live shows continue until there are only two contestants left in the competition or three contestants in some cases.

The Grand Finale occurs when there are two (or, rarely, three and only once so far four) contestants left in the competition. This is the pinnacle of the entire series and often highest rated show; also for some countries, it is venued in a prestigious location ( American Idol : Dolby Theatre/Nokia Theatre, Canadian Idol : John Bassett Theatre, Australian Idol : Sydney Opera House, Philippine Idol : Araneta Coliseum, Indonesian Idol : Ecovention Ocean Ecopark/Hall D2 JIExpo, Idol Sweden: Ericsson Globe, Singapore Idol : Singapore Indoor Stadium). In this final stage a specially awarded song is sung by both remaining contestants which is ultimately slated to be released as the winner's debut single though recently in some countries this has been phased out.

During the extended results show, there are usually group performances and/or special musical guests. Also, it has the best moments of the series which leads up to the announcement of the winner, which is determined by the highest number of votes. When that happens, he or she will perform an encore of the coronation single which sometimes includes pyrotechnics/fireworks.

While the show's premise is to find one winner with promises of a recording deal and other frugal benefits, the Idol series often has several contestants who go onto the same route of fame, whether they be finalists, semi-finalists, or even auditioners. Key examples of this from American Idol include Clay Aiken (second place, season 2) and Chris Daughtry (fourth place, season 5, through his band Daughtry), who have each outsold all American Idol winners except Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood; Jennifer Hudson (seventh place, season 3), who would later win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; and William Hung, who turned his off-key season 3 audition into a recording career and has outsold some finalists.


Often, a studio compilation album and/or a CD single is made to promote the show. In some cases, DVDs of highlights of the show will be released. While these releases have sold well in countries including the United States and Australia, many countries did not release CDs after the first series.[ citation needed ]

Since season 6, American Idol has sold only promotional downloads instead of CDs. For season 6, it sold studio-recorded MP3 and performance video downloads of the finalists on its website; no CDs were sold prior to the post-Idol releases of winner Jordin Sparks and runner-up Blake Lewis. For season 7, audio and video downloads are sold exclusively through the iTunes Store, which became a sponsor in that season; the iTunes downloads have included audio of all semi-finalist performances, studio recordings and performance videos for all finalists, videos of finalist group performances, and audio and video performances from the Idol Gives Back episode. [3]


Sony Music is the general record company associated and affiliated with the Idols format in most countries, though countries like Iceland, Vietnam and Kazakhstan have affiliate labels as they do not have a local Sony Music subsidiary. FremantleMedia and Sony Music were related through common parent Bertelsmann, which owns 90.4% of FremantleMedia's immediate parent RTL Group and previously owned 50% of joint venture Sony BMG from 2004 to 2008. Since 2011, Universal Music Group replaced Sony Music Entertainment as the general record company associated and affiliated with the Idols format in most countries.

Idols around the world

Countries that have their own versions of 'Idols. Countries that film their own versions are in blue, while those that take part in a series with other countries are in green Countries with Idol series.svg
Countries that have their own versions of 'Idols. Countries that film their own versions are in blue, while those that take part in a series with other countries are in green

There been a total of 277 Idols winners worldwide

National versions

     Currently airing franchise
     Franchise with an upcoming season
     Franchise no longer aired
RegionSeries title
(alternative title)
Flag of the Arab League.svg Arab League 8

Flag of Algeria.svg Flag of Bahrain.svg Flag of the Comoros.svg Flag of Djibouti.svg Flag of Egypt.svg Flag of Iraq.svg Flag of Jordan.svg Flag of Kuwait.svg Flag of Lebanon.svg Flag of Libya.svg Flag of Mauritania.svg Flag of Morocco.svg Flag of Oman.svg Flag of Qatar.svg Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Flag of Somalia.svg Flag of Sudan.svg Flag of Tunisia.svg Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Flag of Yemen.svg

SuperStar (1–5)
(سوبر ستار)

Arab Idol (6–9)

Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia Hay Superstar
  • Season 1 (2003): Susanna Petrosyan
  • Season 2 (2006–07): Lusine Aghabekyan
  • Season 3 (2007–08): Lusi Harutunyan
  • Season 4 (2009–10): Raffi Ohanian
  • Season 5 (2011): Sona Rubenyan
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Australian Idol
Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh Bangladeshi Idol
  • Season 1 (2013): Mong U Ching
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
   Flag of Flanders.svg  Flanders
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Ídolos
Ídolos Kids
  • Season 1 (2012): Fernando Franco
  • Season 2 (2013): Julia Tavares
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 1 Music Idol
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia Cambodian Idol
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Canadian Idol
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 中国梦之声 Chinese Idol
  • Season 1 (2013): XiangXiang "Sean" Li
  • Season 2 (2014): Sinkey Zheng
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia [4] Idol Colombia
  • Season 1 (2014): Luis Ángel Racini
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Hrvatski Idol (1–2)

Hrvatska traži zvijezdu (3–5)

Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic Česko hledá SuperStar
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czech Republic

Flag of Slovakia.svg Slovakia

(Česko Slovenská Superstar)

Season 6: TBA

Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Idols
East Africa 9 Flag of Botswana.svg Flag of Burundi.svg Flag of the Comoros.svg Flag of Djibouti.svg Flag of Eritrea.svg Flag of Ethiopia.svg Flag of Kenya.svg Flag of Lesotho.svg Flag of Madagascar.svg Flag of Malawi.svg Flag of Mauritius.svg Flag of Mozambique.svg Flag of Namibia.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of Rwanda.svg

Flag of the Seychelles.svg Flag of Somalia.svg Flag of Eswatini.svg Flag of Tanzania.svg Flag of Uganda.svg Flag of Zambia.svg Flag of Zimbabwe.svg

Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia Eesti otsib superstaari
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland Idols
Flag of France.svg  France 3 Nouvelle Star
(A la Recherche de la Nouvelle Star)
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Geostar(1–4)

Georgian Star (5–6)
საქართველოს ვარსკვლავი

We are the Stars (7)
ჩვენ ვარსკვლავები ვართ

Georgian Star (8)
საქართველოს ვარსკვლავი

Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Deutschland sucht den Superstar

Deutschland sucht den Superstar Kids

Flag of Greece.svg  Greece
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus 5
Super Idol (1)
Greek Idol (2–3)
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland Idol stjörnuleit
Flag of India.svg  India Indian Idol
Indian Idol Junior
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Indonesian Idol
Indonesian Idol Junior
  • Season 1 (2014–2015): Johannes Tinambunan
  • Season 2 (2016–2017): Sharon Padidi
  • Season 3 (2018): Anneth Delliecia
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan SuperStar KZ
Flag of Kurdistan.svg  Kurdistan Kurd Idol
Latin America 9

Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Bolivia.svg Flag of Chile.svg Flag of Colombia.svg Flag of Costa Rica.svg Flag of Cuba.svg Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg Flag of Ecuador.svg Flag of El Salvador.svg Flag of Guatemala.svg Flag of Honduras.svg Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of Nicaragua.svg Flag of Panama.svg Flag of Paraguay.svg Flag of Peru.svg Flag of Uruguay.svg Flag of Venezuela.svg

Latin American Idol
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  Macedonia Macedonian Idol
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Malaysian Idol
Flag of Maldives.svg  Maldives Maldivian Idol
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Maroc Idol
  • season 1 (2019) : TBD
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar Myanmar Idol
Flag of Nepal.svg    Nepal Nepal Idol
  • Season 1 (2017): Buddha Lama
  • Season 2 (2018): Current season
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Idols
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand NZ Idol
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria Nigerian Idol
  • Season 1 (2010–11): Yeka Onka
  • Season 2 (2011–12): Chinwo "Mercy" Nnenda
  • Season 3 (2012–13): Moses Obi-Adigwe
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway Idol
Idol Junior
  • Season 1 (2014): Mathilde Spurkeland
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan Pakistan Idol
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines Philippine Idol (1)

Pinoy Idol (2)

Search for the Idol Philippines (3)

Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Idol
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Ídolos
Ídolos Kids
  • Season 1 (2012): Ana Baptista
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico Idol Puerto Rico
Idol Kids Puerto Rico
  • Season 1 (2012): Edgard Hernández
  • Season 2 (2013): Christopher Rivera
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 6 People's Artist
(Народный Артист)
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  Macedonia
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore Singapore Idol
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia Slovensko hľadá SuperStar
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa Idols
Afrikaans version)
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Idol Kids [5]
  • Season 1 (2018): Cancelled [6]
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Idol
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Turkstar
  • Season 1 (2004): Emrah Keskin
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Pop Idol
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 6 American Idol
American Juniors
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam Vietnam Idol
Thần Tượng Âm Nhạc: Vietnam Idol (1-4)
Thần Tượng Âm Nhạc Việt Nam (5-)
Vietnam Idol Kids
(Thần Tượng Âm Nhạc Nhí)
  • Season 1 (2016): Hồ Văn Cường
  • Season 2 (2017): Nguyễn Minh Thiên Khôi
West Africa 11 Flag of Benin.svg Flag of Burkina Faso.svg Flag of Cape Verde.svg Flag of The Gambia.svg Flag of Ghana.svg Flag of Guinea.svg Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg Flag of Liberia.svg Flag of Mali.svg Flag of Mauritania.svg Flag of Niger.svg Flag of Nigeria.svg Flag of Saint Helena.svg Flag of Senegal.svg Flag of Sierra Leone.svg Flag of Togo.svg Idols

Winner competitions

RegionSeries titleWinner
Asia 12

Flag of India.svg Flag of Indonesia.svg Flag of Malaysia.svg Flag of the Philippines.svg Flag of Singapore.svg Flag of Vietnam.svg

Asian Idol
World 13

Flag of the Arab League.svg Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Norway.svg Flag of Poland.svg Flag of South Africa.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of the United States.svg

World Idol


A notable commonality among Idol-format shows is the theme logo & intro style. Many different versions of the Idol logo and show intro have been created since Idol's inception in June 2001.

The basic plan for the logo is an oval with the particular show's name centered in custom lettering based on a common font (Kaufmann). Mostly the name of the show is written horizontally, however occasionally part of the name is angled upwards.

The original Pop Idol logo featured an enhanced star in the logo. The star also appeared briefly on the American Idol logo, but was scrapped early in the Season 1 auditions.

The logo for some countries comes with an underline on the words SuperStar, or Idol, such as Deutschland sucht den Superstar , Hrvatski Idol , Hrvatska traži zvijezdu, Super Star, Hay Superstar , Nouvelle Star , Narodniy Artist , Super Idol , and Pinoy Idol (which also has a raised word). Turkstar has the only Idol logo to not use the common font style. As part of a relaunch after the first season, the French Nouvelle Star logo was changed to purple – the only logo to depart from the standard blue palette until Arab SuperStar season five had changed to the same color scheme also.

'Intro' sequence

Idolatry (2001–2005)

The original version of the Idol intro was created by Liquid TV Graphics in London which started with the dark blue Idol logo descending on the screen. A CGI human figure appears, with arms raised, intended to be the 'Idol' of the show's name. While the Idol figure sings, and then walks, images of guitars, microphones, cameras, and airplanes flow by, representing the life of a superstar. During this, the gender of the figure alternates between male and female. Finally, the figure is again in front of the Idol logo, raising hands in victory. The American Idol intro was altered each season from Season 2, including new sound effects and replacing the jet airplanes with waving flags. The flag concept was also used in the Indian Idol intro, as well as displays of famous national landmarks appearing in the first scene.

Tunnel (2005–2012)

In 2005, a new version of the Idol intro was created by Aerodrome Pictures in Los Angeles which first appeared on the Season 4 premiere of American Idol . The intro starts with the Idol logo without the dark blue background spinning in the American and Canadian version while the other Idol formats only glows and sparkles then the logo zooms in featuring a long section of the CGI Idol figure riding an open elevator past large vertical screens and displays and then walking down a stylized tunnel to a stage, where the figure starts to perform. On this basic template, the American and Canadian versions are customized, with past Idol winners appearing on the screens in the American version, while the Canadian version's screens feature Canadian landmarks. The American & Canadian versions last for 30 seconds; the new intro sequences for other Idol shows only last 15 seconds, with no customization and instead of the logo being 'stuck down' to the outside of the tunnel, it is pasted over the top. Also, the intro sequence for Nouvelle Star has a purple and blue color scheme instead of the standard light blue/light green.

Gyroscope (2008–present)

In 2008, a new version of the Idol intro was created and introduced by BLT & Associates in Los Angeles on the American Idol 7th season finals. The intro starts with the Idol logo spinning behind a gyroscope then features real male and female Idol figures passing horizontal and arc displays then walking to an arena where the two figures start to perform. Finally, only one figure raises his/her hands in victory in front of a huge arc display then zooms out to the atmosphere and to space, where the title of the show zooms out in front of planet Earth. The ending title of this intro is similar to the Universal Pictures logo of 1990 (for the starry background) and in 2012 (for the earth model). The American, Australian, Canadian, Croatian, Latin American and Swedish versions are customized by featuring their past Idol winners in the horizontal and arc displays and last for 30 seconds. Other versions are also customized and last for 30 seconds without featuring their past winners. Some of the Idols versions didn't use the Gyroscope theme in the intro, such as Indian Idol and Deutschland sucht den SuperStar (Germany). Indian Idol used the Tunnel theme for the intro from 2007 to 2010 and in next season after that, 2012, Indian Idol used the 'Hall of Idols' theme, while Deutschland sucht den SuperStar used the 'Tunnel' theme for the intro until 2012, until in 2013 till present, Deutschland sucht den SuperStar uses its own intro. Only the French version lasts for 20 seconds.

Hall of Idols (2011–present)

In 2011, a new version of the Idol intro was created once again by Aerodrome Pictures in Los Angeles which first appeared on the Season 10 premiere of American Idol . The intro starts with a stage being spotted under a spotlight from the sky. Then, a stylized bridge leading towards a screen is shown. Winners of Idol, as well as notable alumni from past seasons are shown on the screen. The camera turns to a pyramid-like shape blooming and a CGI figure appears. Depending on the figure's gender in the intro, the figure would yield a different action in front of the American Idol logo and the huge "IDOL" word string (in "American Idol" and "Indonesian Idol" (not shown anymore since Season 9) but not in "Arab Idol"): the male figure raises his hand in victory and strikes a pose while the female figure raises her arms in victory before bowing down. Sometimes, a female figure will appear.

New Idol (2013–present)

In 2013, a new version of the Idol Intro was created on the Season 10 premiere of Deutschland sucht den Superstar . The new intro begins with a mysterious person with a microphone at the mouth. As previous posting Intro male and female talents are displayed. They sing and dance on the big stage. In the meantime, always a person who appears followed a path. On that path along former candidates from earlier seasons are displayed on screens.

Gyroscope 2.0 (2014–present)

In 2014, a new version of the Idol intro was created by The Mill in Los Angeles which first appeared on the Season 13 premiere of American Idol . The intro starts with a hole opening up. Then, the gyroscope logo comes out of the hole. A crowd cheers in a stage. Finally, the gyroscope logo appears with the Roman numerals "XIII" below the logo. The intro was also used in the South African version of Idol.

Idol on Street (2015)

In 2015, a new version of the Idol intro was created and appeared on the Season 14 premiere of American Idol .

The Farewell of Idol (2016)

In 2016, a new version of the Idol intro was created and appeared on the Season 15 premiere of American Idol .

Hall of Idol 2.0 (2016 – present)

In 2016, a new version of the Idol intro was created and appeared on the Season 5 premiere of Idols in Netherland.

ABC's Idol (2018 – present)

American Idol's revival on ABC was accompanied with a Disney-like intro. It starts with several shooting stars falling from the sky before curving up and circling the neon American Idol logo with fireworks in the background at the end. This opening is much shorter than the previously used intros. It acts as an integrated part of a longer opening introduction in each episode rather than a standalone opening theme as in previous seasons.

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>American Idol</i> reality game show and singing competition

American Idol is an American singing competition television series created by Simon Fuller, produced by Fremantle USA and 19 Entertainment, and distributed by Fremantle North America. It initially aired on Fox from June 11, 2002, to April 7, 2016, for 15 seasons. Since March 11, 2018, a revival of the series has aired on ABC.

Idols is a television show on the South African television network Mzansi Magic based on the popular British show Pop Idol. The show is a contest to determine the best young singer in South Africa.

<i>Nashville Star</i> television series

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Malaysian Idol television series

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<i>Star Academy</i>

Star Academy, called Operación Triunfo in Spanish-speaking countries, is a highly successful television pop music talent contest with viewer voting and reality show elements.

<i>Nouvelle Star</i> French TV program

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<i>Campus SuperStar</i> television series

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<i>The X Factor</i> (U.S. TV series) Former American television series

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<i>X Factor Indonesia</i> television series

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<i>Pakistan Idol</i>

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