A strong case could be made that X Factor is a glitzier, better produced show than American Idol. A strong case could be made that The Voice has a more interesting format than American Idol. A strong case could be made that a lot of competition shows are a lot better than Idol in a lot of respects, at least except for two. 1) No reality competition show has a better host than Ryan Seacrest. 2) No reality singing show has ever been able to actually make a star, other than Idol.

From Kelly Clarkson to Carrie Underwood, from Jennifer Hudson to Clay Aiken, from Katherine McPhee to Adam Lambert, from Jordin Sparks to Daughtry, American Idol has actually found people who churned out well-liked material after the show was over. Clarkson and Underwood have both sold more than ten million records and had numerous #1 hits. Hudson won an Oscar, McPhee is the star of a major NBC show and Aiken and Constantine Maroulis, who I didn’t even mention, have both been crushing Broadway for years.

That’s the single biggest secret to Idol’s success. The show has proven its legitimacy over and over again by actually creating stars. Even last season’s winner Scotty McCreery has had real singles that have gotten real airplay.

That being said, most people are of the opinion that Idol has mostly run its course. Prior to McCreery, the last few winners haven’t exactly gotten huge, and the constant judging swaps have gotten people wondering how many seasons the competition actually has left in it. So, I ask you, will AI ever produce another star, or are its days as a hitmaker over? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…

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