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Successful contestants then sang in front of producers, where more may be cut.

Only then can they proceed to audition in front of the judges, which is the only audition stage shown on television..

Once in Hollywood, the contestants performed individually or in groups in a series of rounds.

In 2001, Fuller, Cowell, and TV producer Simon Jones attempted to sell the Pop Idol format to the United States, but the idea was initially met with poor responses from all the television networks including Fox.

Although Fox's executives wanted to change the format, Murdoch insisted that it should remain the same as the British one.

The show grew into a phenomenon largely due to its personal engagement with the contestants by prompting the viewers to vote, and the presence of the acid-tongued Cowell as a judge. The show had originally planned on having four judges following the Pop Idol format; however, only three judges had been found by the time of the audition round in the first season, namely Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.

In the second season, New York radio personality Angie Martinez had been hired as a fourth judge but withdrew only after a few days of auditions due to not being comfortable with giving out criticism.

It became a recognized springboard for launching the career of many artists as bona fide stars. American Idol was based on the British show Pop Idol created by Simon Fuller, which was in turn inspired by the New Zealand television singing competition Popstars.

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