American Idol debuted on June 11, 2002, and the reality singing competition has delivered its share of crazy moments over its 20 seasons and counting. The Onion looks back at the show’s most memorable moments as American Idol celebrates its 20th anniversary.
1950-2001: Music industry fails to successfully produce a single popular singer.
2002: American Idol premieres to millions of confused Americans totally unfamiliar with concept of democracy or voting.
2002: Kelly Clarkson wins American Idol season one, setting an impossible precedent for future contestants by singing well.
2003: Clay Aiken releases debut album Measure Of A Man, proving you don’t need to win your season to be successfully forgotten within a year.
2006: Pop legend Prince makes surprise appearance after accidentally wandering onstage while looking for the Deal Or No Deal set.
2009: Simon Cowell momentarily slips up and reveals he’s been faking his British accent the whole time.
2010: Contestant Crystal Bowersox sent to Ft. Lauderdale instead of Hollywood when Randy Jackson accidentally exclaims “You’re going to Ft. Lauderdale!” during audition.
2010: Simon Cowell departs the show upon concluding there isn’t a single singer in America who isn’t complete rubbish.
2012: Novelty of vaguely knowing someone who competed begins to wane.
2020: William Hung becomes most successful American Idol contestant ever after booking $33 Cameo.