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Season 2

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American Idol Season 2
Amlogo

Winner Ruben Studdard

Coronation Song
Created by
Simon Fuller
Directed by
Bruce Gowers
Ken Warwick
Country of Origin
United States
Channel
Fox
Held from
January 21, 2003 – May 21, 2003
Previous Season
Next Season

The second season of American Idol premiered on January 21, 2003 and continued until May 21, 2003. It was the first season hosted by Ryan Seacrest exclusively. Brian Dunkleman reportedly hated working on the show and the studio was dissatisfied with his performance. Kristin Holt was a special correspondent. It was won by Ruben Studdard. It was the first season to crown a male winner, and the first season to have a finale with two male contestants, being followed by the seventh season with David Archuleta and David Cookseason 8 with Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, and season 14 with Nick Fradiani and Clark Beckham.

AuditionsEdit

Auditions were held in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, Nashville, and Austin in the fall of 2002.

At the Miami auditions, a young man named Edgar Nova auditioned with an off-key and lyrically incorrect rendition of Enrique Iglesias' "My Love." None of the judges put him through to the Hollywood round. Instead of leaving the audition venue, Nova re-entered the line, telling other hopefuls that the judges had asked him to do so. Security was eventually called to escort him from the premises. Nova then flew at his own expense to Los Angeles to attend the auditions there. Sporting a different hairstyle than he had in Miami, he hoped that the judges would not recognize him from before. His ruse was a failure, but the judges allowed him to try out one more time. Nova's audition was again unsuccessful. He would resurface during Season 3 with yet another unsuccessful audition (which was not televised). Simon Cowell did, however, compliment him on his tenacity. Nova tried to enter yet another audition venue during Season 4, but security staff was shown advancing on him in a stairwell, causing him to leave hurriedly.

Another auditioner named Bryan Washington auditioned in Atlanta, Georgia, and made it to Hollywood, but did not make it into the top 32. He is now too old to audition, at the age of 29. He was also overweight at the time of his American Idol audition, which is why he would later be a contestant on The Biggest Loser (Season 4.)

HollywoodEdit

The contestants performed in a series of rounds and number of contestants trimmed in each round. In the first round they performed a song, in the second round they were asked to compose a melody for one of five set of lyrics, and 80 remained after this round. In the third round the contestants were separate into the girls and boys and they performed in small groups. They chose a song from "Superstar", Seal's "Kiss from a Rose", Barry Manilow's "Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again", Freda Payne's "Band of Gold", and Dionne Warwick's "(You'll Never Get to Heaven) If You Break My Heart". During the group performance, Corey Clark, who was later to claim a relationship with Paula Abdul, sang to Paula directly and kissed her hand. 48 contestant were left at the end of this round. In the last round each contestants performed solo. After their performances, the contestants were then divided into 3 group of 16 and placed in separate rooms. One group was eliminated, and 32 contestants proceeded on to the semi-final rounds.

Semi-FinalsEdit

The format changed slightly in Season 2; instead of three groups of 10, the semi-finalists were grouped into four groups of 8.

Kimberly Caldwell Patrick Fortson J.D. Adams Trenyce Meosha Denton Bettis Richardson Charles Grigsby Julia DeMato
Clay Aiken Candice Coleman Rebecca Bond Jacob John Smalley Hadas Shalev Ruben Studdard Kimberley Locke Jennifer Fuentes
Kimberly Kelsey Jordan Segundo Vanessa Olivarez Rickey Smith Samantha Elizabeth Cohen Louis Gazzara Equoia Coleman George Trice
Sylvia Chilbilti Chip Days Juanita Barber Patrick Lake Nasheka Siddall Josh Gracin Ashley Hartman Corey Clark

Wild Card RoundEdit

After 8 singers advanced on to the Top 12, nine contestants were chosen by the judges to compete in the Wild Card Round. The nine competing were Kimberly Caldwell, Clay Aiken, Nasheka Siddall, Carmen Rasmusen, Olivia Mojica, Janine Falsone, Chip Days, Aliceyn Cooney & Trenyce. In the end the Judges chose Caldwell, Rasmusen and Trenyce to continue on in the competition as of Aiken was chosen by public vote.

Top 12Edit

The following contestants were Season 2's Top 12

S2 finalists

The Finalists; Standing: Josh Gracin, Clay Aiken, Kimberly Caldwell, Kimberley Locke, Charles Grigsby, Carmen Rasmusen, Trenyce & Ruben Studdard; Seated: Julia DeMato, Corey Clark, Vanessa Olivarez & Rickey Smith

FinalsEdit

Top 12 performEdit


During the first round of the finals, the Top 12 performed a song from the Motor City for a spot in the Top 11.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists12

Vanessa Olivarez was the first contestant to be eliminated on March 12, 2003 bringing the total down to 11 remaining contestants.

Top 11Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 11.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group performance:

  • "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave" by Martha and the Vandellas

Top 11 performEdit


During the first round of the finals, the Top 10 performed a song from the soundtrack of a movie for a spot in the Top 10.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists11

Charles Grigsby was the second contestant to be eliminated on March 19, 2003 bringing the total down to 10 remaining contestants.

Top 10Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 10.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

  • Corey Clark - "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by Phil Collins (Against All Odds)
  • Ruben Studdard - "A Whole New World" by Brad Kane & Lea Salonga (Aladdin)
  • Trenyce - "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard)
  • Clay Aiken - "Somewhere Out There" by Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram (An American Tail)
  • Kimberly Caldwell - "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" by Betty Everett (Mermaids)
  • Josh Gracin - "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith (Armageddon)
  • Carmen Rasmusen - "Hopelessly Devoted to You" by Olivia Newton-John (Grease)
  • Charles Grigsby - "You Can't Win" by Michael Jackson (The Wiz)
  • Rickey Smith - "It Might Be You" by Stephen Bishop (Tootsie)
  • Julia DeMato - "Flashdance... What a Feeling" by Irene Cara (Flashdance)
  • Kimberley Locke - "Home" by Stephanie Mills (The Wiz)

Group performance:

  • "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins
  • "(I've Had) the Time of My Life" by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

Top 10 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 10 performed a Country Rock song for a spot in the Top 9.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists10

Julia DeMato was the eliminated contestant on March 26, 2003, bringing the total down to 9 remaining contestants.

Top 9Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 9.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group performance:

  • "Where the Blacktop Ends" (Keith Urban)
  • "God Bless the USA" (Lee Greenwood)

Top 9 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 9 performed a song from Disco music for a spot in the Top 8.

Disqualified ContestantEdit

S2finalists9

Corey Clark was disqualified from the competition after being discovered that he had undisclosed pending criminal charges. Due to his disqualification, the total was brought down to the Top 8 instead of the Top 9.



Eliminated ContestantEdit

Prior to Clark's disqualification, it was never revealed whether Trenyce or Rasmusen had received the lowest amount of votes that week and so both were declared safe.

Top 8Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group performance:

  • "A Night to Remember" by Shalamar
  • "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire and The Emotions

Top 8 perform (redux)Edit


During this round of the finals, the Top 8 performed a song from Billboard Number Onesfor a spot in the Top 7.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists8

Rickey Smith was the eliminated contestant on April 9, 2003, bringing the total down to 7 remaining contestants.

Top 7Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 7.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group performance:

  • "All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie

Top 7 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 7 performed a song from Billy Joel for a spot in the Top 6.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists7

Kimberly Caldwell was the eliminated contestant on April 16, 2003, bringing the total down to 6 remaining contestants.

Top 6Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 6.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group performance:

  • "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel
  • "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood

Top 6 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 6 performed a song written by Diane Warren for a spot in the Top 5.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists6

Carmen Rasmusen was the eliminated contestant on April 23, 2003, bringing the total down to 5 remaining contestants.

Top 5Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 5.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group performance:

  • "Shine" by Ashanti

Top 5 performEdit


During this round of the Finals, the Top 5 contestants performed a song from the year 1960 and a song from Neil Sedaka for a spot in the Top 4.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists5

Trenyce was the eliminated contestant on April 30, 2003, bringing the total down to 4 remaining contestants.

Top 4Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 4.

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group Performances:

  • Top 5 - 1960's medley
  • Top 9 - "What the World Needs Now Is Love" by Jackie DeShannon

Top 4 performEdit


During this round of the Finals, each contestant will perform two songs from Bee Gees for a spot in the Top 3.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists4

Josh Gracin was the eliminated contestant on May 10, 2006, bringing the total down to 4 remaining contestants.

Top 3Edit

PerformancesEdit

The contestants performed in the following order:

Group performance:

  • Bee Gees medley

Top 3 performEdit


During this round of the finals, the Top 3 performed a song picked by the producers randomly, a song picked by the judges and a song of their choice for a spot in the Top 2.

Eliminated ContestantEdit

S2finalists3

Kimberley Locke was the eliminated contestant on May 14, 2003, bringing the total down to 2 remaining contestants.

Top 2Edit

The following contestants were safe from that round and advanced on to the Top 2.

PerformancesEdit

(The first round of performances were chosen by the producers randomly, the second round were chosen by the judges and the final round was the contestant's choice). The contestants performed in the following order:

Group performance:

  • "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes, "Reunited" by Peaches & Herb and "Solid" by Ashford & Simpson

Top 2 performEdit

During the final round of the finals, the Top 2 performed four songs of their choice and their first winning single for a spot as Season 2's American Idol.

Runner-upEdit

S2finalists2

Clay Aiken was the runner-up of Season 2. Ruben Studdard being the winner.

PerformancesEdit

(The first and second performance were two songs from their favorite performances, the last was their winner single). The contestants performed in the following order:

WinnerEdit

S2finalists

Ruben Studdard was the winner of American Idol Season 2 on May 21, 2003.

ControversiesEdit

Finals VotingEdit

This time, Ruben Studdard emerged as the winner with Clay Aiken as a very close runner-up. Out of 24 million votes recorded, Studdard finished just 130,000 votes ahead of Aiken. The accuracy of the reported results remains very controversial. There was much discussion in the communications industry about the phone system being overloaded, and that more than 150 million votes were dropped, making the voting results suspect. Since then the voting methods have been modified to help avoid this problem though many have complained that it may have made things worse. In an interview prior to the start of season 5, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe revealed for the first time that Aiken had led the fan voting from the wild card week onward until the finale. Despite Studdard's win, Aiken has enjoyed more widespread popularity, emerging as the season's true breakout star.

A mini-controversy emerged after the finale when Simon Cowell alleged that Clay Aiken knew the results of the show nearly an hour before they were announced on-air because he had sneaked a peek at Ryan Seacrest's handheld cue card backstage. On Larry King Live the next day, Aiken admitted he had indeed seen the card but could not read it in the backstage light; however, he had seen enough to determine that the name on it was too long to be "Clay Aiken". On the live broadcast, Aiken can be seen turning his body to face Studdard and whispering something in his ear right before the results were announced, a visual clue fans took as confirmation that Aiken had somehow found out he was not the winner.

During the course of the contest, Ruben became known for wearing 205 Flava jerseys representing his area code; when asked about them early in the season, Ruben told Ryan Seacrest that he was "just representing 205". Shortly after the end of the contest, Ruben sued 205 Flava, Inc. for $2 Million dollars for using his image for promotional purposes. 205 Flava responded by alleging that Ruben had accepted over $10,000 in return for wearing 205 shirts, and produced 8 cashed checks to validate their claim. The allegations, if true, were a clear violation of the American Idol rules. The lawsuit was settled out of court.

Corey Clark allegationsEdit

The rumor mills were buzzing once again in 2005 when Season Two contestant Corey Clark -- who was himself kicked off the show because of a police record he had not disclosed to the show -- alleged that he had had an affair with judge Paula Abdul. Clark also alleged that Abdul gave him preferential treatment on the show because of their alleged romance. A subsequent investigation by Fox found no evidence to support Clark's charges.

Notable past Idol contestantsEdit

  • Frenchie Davis, who had auditioned in New York City, made it all the way to the top 32 but was disqualified when nude photos of her taken when she was 19 were revealed by the Smoking Gun website. In 2011, she auditioned for season 1 of the NBC show The Voice and finished in 5th place with pop superstar Christina Aguilera as her mentor.
  • Rhian and Cara Morgan aka The Morgan Twins, who both auditioned for season 2, were cut in Hollywood week. In 2013, they auditioned for season 4 of The Voice with Blake Shelton as their mentor but were eliminated in the Battle Rounds.
Season 2
Finalists
Ruben Studdard  · Clay Aiken  · Kimberley Locke  · Josh Gracin · Trenyce  · Carmen Rasmusen  · Kimberly Caldwell  · Rickey Smith  · Corey Clark  · Julia DeMato  · Charles Grigsby  · Vanessa Olivarez
American Idol
Seasons
1  · 2  · 3  · 4 · 5  · 6  · 7  · 8  · 9  · 10  · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15
Judges
Simon Cowell (Seasons 1-9)  · Paula Abdul (Seasons 1-8) · Randy Jackson (Seasons 1-12) · Kara DioGuardi (Seasons 8-9) · Ellen DeGeneres (Season 9) · Steven Tyler (Seasons 10-11)  · Nicki Minaj (Season 12)  · Mariah Carey (Season 12) · Jennifer Lopez (Seasons 10-11,13-15)  · Keith Urban (Seasons 12-15)  · Harry Connick, Jr. (Seasons 13-15)
Hosts
Ryan Seacrest (Seasons 1-15) · Brian Dunkleman (Season 1)
Winners
Kelly Clarkson · Ruben Studdard · Fantasia Barrino · Carrie Underwood · Taylor Hicks · Jordin Sparks · David Cook · Kris Allen · Lee DeWyze · Scotty McCreery · Phillip Phillips · Candice Glover · Caleb Johnson · Nick Fradiani · Trent Harmon
Runners-up
Justin Guarini · Clay Aiken · Diana DeGarmo · Bo Bice · Katharine McPhee · Blake Lewis · David Archuleta · Adam Lambert · Crystal Bowersox · Lauren Alaina · Jessica Sanchez · Kree Harrison · Jena Irene · Clark Beckham · La'Porsha Renae
Coronation Songs
"A Moment Like This" · "Flying Without Wings" · "I Believe" · "Inside Your Heaven" · "Do I Make You Proud" · "This Is My Now" · "The Time of My Life" · "No Boundaries" · "Beautiful Day" · "I Love You This Big" · "Home" · "I Am Beautiful" · "As Long As You Love Me" · "Beautiful Life" · "Falling"
Spin-offs
From Justin to Kelly · Juniors · Christmas

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