Underdog wins TV talent show

The No. 1 show of the summer brought in a viewership of more than 85 million, according to www.idolsonfox.com, the Web site for the show “American Idol.”

People tuned in from all over to see the battle of the brightest as the contestants sung their way into our homes and our hearts.

The final show was amazing. The top 10 came back to prove to everyone why they made it to the top.

And finally, the moment that we’d all been waiting for since the start of the show June 11- Kelly Clarkson was announced as American Idol 2002.

The Fox network called on the expert opinions of former pop star Paula Abdul, music industry veteran Randy Jackson, and British record producer, Simon Cowell.

Once in Los Angeles, the contestants were split up in groups and asked to sing. From there, only 30 remained.

They were cut down to 10 based on call-in votes from viewers plus one wild card choice from the judges. As the chosen 20 said their goodbyes, viewers became more intent on voting for their superstar.

The top 10 were: Tamyra Gray, the “sure thing” who would later be shockingly voted off; Justin Guarini, a teen girl’s crush and a record company’s dream; Kelly Clarkson, the copycat diva who suddenly rose to the top; Nikki McKibbin, the punk singer who couldn’t sing; R.J. Helton, an underestimated sweetie whose smooth voice couldn’t hold up to the other strong vocals; Ryan Starr, the alternative/rock beauty who was better at designing her clothes than singing on stage; Ejay Day, who had a strong voice, but was an odd choice and the first to go; Jim Verraros, whose sob story got him further than his talent could; A.J. Gil, the musician who just couldn’t contend and Christina Christian, the Florida talent with an awkward vibrato.

Every Tuesday America watched to see who was the best, and voted for their choices. On Wednesday, viewers would find out who would be voted off next. But this process didn’t go without unexpected twists.

McKibbin was in the bottom three for the last few weeks of the show. Many great talents surprisingly went home while she stayed.

One surprise in particular was the disappointing show when Gray went from the top to the bottom. She was shockingly voted off to the dismay of black America and the judges.

It was the general thought that Gray was the clear winner. Even Cowell, the judge who criticized everyone, thought Gray was “a class act.”

Finally, McKibbin was voted off and Guarini and Clarkson were left to battle it out.

The last week of the series had everyone wondering who was going to be the next American Idol.

Talk of “American Idol II” is already buzzing around. But with shows like WB’s “Popstars” and “Popstars II,” where the chosen groups went into the unknown, who’s to say that the winner will make it to superstardom?

For now, Clarkson has won a major recording deal and a management contract.

The next thing to look forward to is her single in stores Sept. 17. The nine finalists will also release singles and will tour the United States from Oct. 8 – Nov. 20.