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American Idol: The Untold Story American Idol: The Untold Story

by Richard Rushfield

Book Reviews

"Rushfield begins with an overview of producer Simon Fuller, whose 2001 U.K. launch of Pop Idol came to the States as American Idol on the Fox network. The show combined several key factors: viewer voting, the "audition from hell" process, and a panel of judges that included the abrasive "dasher of dreams," Simon Cowell, who received much press coverage as "Mr. Nasty." For the American version, Fox insisted on the affable Randy Jackson as a "counterweight" to the caustic Cowell. Amid unknowns, Paula Abdul began as "the show's real star," generating a "love/hate chemistry" with Cowell. Within months, 26 million viewers were tuning in. Going season by season, Rushfield covers top finalists and winners, backstage intrigues, record deals, media coverage, fan fiction, and Web sites, lawsuits, and contractual conflicts, as well as Abdul's antics and departure. Rushfield explores the lives of the finalists after the Idol tours, making for a poignant closing chapter. A former Los Angeles Times columnist, Rushfield spent three years covering the show, and his many interviews with the show's cast and crew provide a genuine "insider" flavor. Diehard fans will appreciate both the deep background material and the behind-the-scenes gossip."
- - Publisher's Weekly