Sat, 26 Jan 2013 21:30:00 GMT | By Emma Jones
American Idol History X

The storied past of America's favourite singing competition

The season one finale of American Idol (© FRED PROUSER/Reuters)
  • The season one finale of American Idol (© FRED PROUSER/Reuters)
  • Kelly Clarkson is crowned the first American Idol winner (© FRED PROUSER/Reuters)
  • Season two finalists Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard (© LUCY NICHOLSON/Newscom/RTR)
  • Frenchie Davis on The Voice (© NBC)
  • Corey Clarke (© FilmMagic/Getty Images)
  • favourites Fantasia Barrino, LaToya London and Jennifer Hudson (© Getty Images/Getty Images)
  • Mario Vazquez (© Henry Lamb/BEI/Rex Features)
  • Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, American Idol (© Getty Images/Getty Images)
FRED PROUSER/ReutersShow Thumbnails
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American Idol, though famous for launching the stratospheric careers of Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Lee DeWyze (who?), isn't without its fair share of controversial moments. For a show that hails itself as "family friendly," it's often riddled with voting disputes, shady contestants, nude photo leaks and judging drama, so much so that it's experienced more scandals than it has seasons. And that's a lot. As the Idol returns this week with season 12, we're looking back at the torrid history of this karaoke contest, from its phone hacks to its quarter pounder of beef between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj...