Meanwhile, Tamyra Gray — a contestant whose immense skill would’ve rendered her a far more suitable opponent for Clarkson — only made it to fourth place.But while the United States made a clear mistake in voting back in 2002, fans righted this most terrible wrong by ultimately crowning the show’s more deserved winner — an outcome Clarkson hopes is repeated with the country’s 2016 presidential election (though the stakes miiiight be a little higher this time around).
Its lead single, "My Life Would Suck Without You", holds the record for the biggest jump to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
As the curtain starts to fall this week on the entertainment sensation in its final season, those long associated with "American Idol" have reflected on the magic of the first season fueled by Clarkson and Guarini."Kelly was America's sweetheart, and Justin was the heartthrob, and that was a very potent combination," recalled Charles Boyd, "American Idol" co-executive producer.
"They had a chemistry between them that I think set the template."Guarini, who turned down a role in "The Lion King" on Broadway to compete on "American Idol," wowed judges with his self-assurance.
Fourteen years ago, with 23 million people watching, Justin Guarini came achingly close to superstardom. The bright TV lights went dark and the personal assistants scattered.
Guarini, with his mop of curls and a taste for flamboyant, '70s-style shirts, had given up his dream of starring on Broadway to try to become the first "American Idol" in 2002. Guarini crashed — and then went back to his first dream. I backed away and I started from the beginning." Guarini eventually made his way back to Broadway, auditioning for virtually every show and introducing himself to as many casting people as possible, slowly building a career. "It taught me all the lessons that I missed not going through the usual setup. It's not this heavily produced thing that we're so used to hearing in popular music.