The first season of American Idol premiered on June 11 2002 and continued until September 4 2002. It was won by Kelly Clarkson. This season was co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman. Dunkleman left the show after one season.

Live Show DetailsEdit

Heat 1 (18 June 2002)Edit

Order Artist Song (original artists) Result
1 Tamyra Gray "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" (Jennifer Holliday) Advanced
2 Jim Verraros "When I Fall in Love" (Nat King Cole) Advanced
3 Adriel Herrera "I'll Be" (Edwin McCain) Eliminated
4 Rodesia Eaves "Daydream Believer" (The Monkees) Eliminated
5 Natalie Burge "Crazy" (Patsy Cline) Eliminated
6 Brad Estrin "Just Once" (James Ingram) Eliminated
7 Ryan Starr "The Frim-Fram Sauce" (Nat King Cole) Advanced
8 Justinn Waddell "When a Man Loves a Woman" (Percy Sledge) Eliminated
9 Kelli Glover "I Will Always Love You" (Whitney Houston) Eliminated
10 Christopher Aaron "Still in Love" (Brian McKnight) Eliminated
  • Tamyra Gray, Ryan Starr and Jim Verraros advanced to the top 10 of the competition. The other 7 contestants were eliminated.
  • Kelli Glover and Christopher Aaron returned for a second chance at the top 10 in the Wildcard Round.

Heat 2 (25 June 2002)Edit

Order Artist Song (original artists) Result
1 Alexis Lopez "I Will Survive" (Gloria Gaynor) Eliminated
2 Gil Sinuet "Ribbon in the Sky" (Stevie Wonder) Eliminated
3 Angela Peel "Run to You" (Whitney Houston) Eliminated
4 A.J. Gil "All or Nothing" (O-Town) Advanced
5 Tenia Taylor "The Greatest Love of All" (Whitney Houston) Eliminated
6 Alexandra Bachelier "Save the Best for Last" (Vanessa Williams) Eliminated
7 Jazmin Lowery "You Put a Move on My Heart" (Tamia) Eliminated
8 Jamar "Careless Whisper" (George Michael) Eliminated
9 Kelly Clarkson "Respect" (Aretha Franklin) Advanced
10 Justin Guarini "Ribbon in the Sky" (Stevie Wonder) Advanced
  • Justin Guarini, Kelly Clarkson and A.J. Gil advanced to the top 10 of the competition. The other 7 contestants were eliminated.
  • Alexis Lopez and Angela Peel returned for a second chance at the top 10 in the Wildcard Round.

Heat 3 (2 July 2002)Edit

Order Artist Song (original artists) Result
1 R.J. Helton "I'll Be There" (The Jackson 5) Eliminated
2 Kristin Holt "Fallin'" (Alicia Keys) Eliminated
3 Mark Scott "My Girl" (The Temptations) Eliminated
4 Nikki McKibbin "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Bonnie Tyler) Advanced
5 Chris Badano "I Swear" (All-4-One) Eliminated
6 Melanie Sanders "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" (Jennifer Holliday) Eliminated
7 EJay Day "I'll Be" (Edwin McCain) Advanced
8 Tanesha Ross "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)" (Aretha Franklin) Eliminated
9 Khaleef Chiles "My Cherie Amour" (Stevie Wonder) Eliminated
10 Christina Christian "At Last" (Etta James) Advanced
  • Christina Christian, Nikki McKibbin and EJay Day advanced to the top 10 of the competition. The other 7 contestants were eliminated.
  • R.J. Helton returned for a second chance at the top 10 in the Wildcard Round.

Wildcard round (10 July 2002)Edit

Order Artist Song (original artists) Result
1 Kelli Glover "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (Laura Branigan) Eliminated
2 Christopher Aaron "On Bended Knee" (Boyz II Men) Eliminated
3 Alexis Lopez "Saving All My Love for You" (Whitney Houston) Eliminated
4 R.J. Helton "Lately" (Stevie Wonder) Advanced
5 Angela Peel "As We Lay" (Shirley Murdock) Eliminated
  • R.J. Helton received the most votes, and completed the top 10.

Live Show 1 (16 July 2002)Edit

Theme: Motown

OrderArtistSong (original artists)Result
1 Ryan Starr "If You Really Love Me" (Stevie Wonder) Safe
2 R.J. Helton "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" (The Four Tops) Safe
3 Nikki McKibbin "Ben" (Michael Jackson) Bottom three
4 EJay Day "My Girl" (The Temptations) Eliminated
5 Tamyra Gray "Touch Me in the Morning" (Diana Ross) Safe
6 Justin Guarini "For Once in My Life" (Stevie Wonder) Safe
7 Jim Verraros "Easy" (Commodores) Eliminated
8 Kelly Clarkson "You're All I Need to Get By" (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) Safe
9 A.J. Gil "My Cherie Amour" (Stevie Wonder) Safe
10 Christina Christian "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) Safe

Live Show 2 (23 July 2002)Edit

Theme: 1960s

OrderArtistSong (original artists)Result
1 R.J. Helton "Under the Boardwalk" (The Drifters) Safe
2 Tamyra Gray "A Fool in Love" (Ike & Tina Turner) Safe
3 Nikki McKibbin "Piece of My Heart" (Janis Joplin) Safe
4 A.J. Gil "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" (Marvin Gaye) Eliminated
5 Kelly Clarkson "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin) Safe
6 Christina Christian "When a Man Loves a Woman" (Percy Sledge) Bottom three
7 Justin Guarini "Sunny" (Bobby Hebb) Safe
8 Ryan Starr "You Really Got Me" (The Kinks) Bottom two

Live Show 3 (30 July 2002)Edit

Theme: 1970s

OrderArtistSong (original artists)Result
1 Nikki McKibbin "Heartbreaker" (Pat Benatar) Bottom three
2 Ryan Starr "Last Dance" (Donna Summer) Eliminated
3 Christina Christian "Ain't No Sunshine" (Bill Withers) Safe
4 Justin Guarini "Someday We'll All Be Free" (Donny Hathaway) Bottom two
5 Kelly Clarkson "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)" (Aretha Franklin) Safe
6 R.J. Helton "Superstition" (Stevie Wonder) Safe
7 Tamyra Gray "If I Were Your Woman" (Gladys Knight & the Pips) Safe

Live Show 4 (6 August 2002)Edit

Theme: Big Band

OrderArtistSong (original artists)Result
1 Tamyra Gray "Minnie the Moocher" (Cab Calloway) Safe
2 Justin Guarini "Route 66" (Nat King Cole) Safe
3 Nikki McKibbin "Hard-Hearted Hannah" (Dolly Kay) Bottom three
4 Christina Christian "The Glory of Love" (Benny Goodman and His Orchestra) Eliminated
5 R.J. Helton "I Won't Dance" (Fred Astaire) Bottom two
6 Kelly Clarkson "Stuff Like That There" (Betty Hutton) Safe

Live Show 5 (13 August 2002)Edit

Theme: Burt Bacharach Songs

OrderArtistSong (original artists)Result
1 Kelly Clarkson "Walk on By" (Dionne Warwick) Safe
2 R.J. Helton "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" (Christopher Cross) Eliminated
3 Tamyra Gray "A House Is Not a Home" (Dionne Warwick) Safe
4 Justin Guarini "The Look of Love" (Dusty Springfield) Safe
5 Nikki McKibbin "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" (Sandie Shaw) Bottom two

Live Show 6 (20 August 2002)Edit

Theme: 1980/1990s

OrderArtistFirst song (original artists)Second songResult
1 Tamyra Gray "New Attitude" (Patti LaBelle) "Feel the Fire" (Stephanie Mills) Eliminated
2 Nikki McKibbin "Mary Jane" (Alanis Morissette) "I'm the Only One" (Melissa Etheridge) Bottom two
3 Kelly Clarkson "It's Raining Men" (The Weather Girls) "I Surrender" (Celine Dion) Safe
4 Justin Guarini "Get Here" (Oleta Adams) "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" (Michael Jackson) Safe

Live Show 7: Semi-final (27 August 2002)Edit

Theme: Contestant's/Judge's Choice

OrderArtistFirst song (original artists)Second songResult
1 Nikki McKibbin "Edge of Seventeen" (Stevie Nicks) "Black Velvet" (Alannah Myles) Eliminated
2 Justin Guarini "Let's Stay Together" (Al Green) "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (Elton John) Safe
3 Kelly Clarkson "Think Twice" (Celine Dion) "Without You" (Mariah Carey) Safe

Live final (15 September 2002)Edit

OrderArtistFirst songSecond song (original artists)Third songResult
1 Justin Guarini "Before Your Love" "Get Here" (Oleta Adams) "A Moment Like This" Runner-up
2 Kelly Clarkson "A Moment Like This" "Respect" (Aretha Franklin) "Before Your Love" Winner
American Idol

Seasons: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Winners: Kelly Clarkson (2002) | Ruben Studdard (2003) | Fantasia Barrino (2004) | Carrie Underwood (2005) | Taylor Hicks (2006) | Jordin Sparks (2007)
Runners-up: Justin Guarini (2002) | Clay Aiken (2003) | Diana DeGarmo (2004) | Bo Bice (2005) | Katharine McPhee (2006) | Blake Lewis (2007)
Lists: List of all contestants | List of songs performed on American Idol
Categories: Category:American Idol | Category:American Idol participants