In its prime, American Idol was watched by over 30 million viewers. Ever since its start in 2002, American Idol holds the distinction of having the longest winning streak in the Nielsen annual television ratings; it became the highest-rated of all television programs in the United States overall for an unprecedented seven consecutive years. But all good things have to come to an end.
Fox has announced last year that this year's American Idol will be its last season. Returning this year are the current judges roster of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. - as will long-running host Ryan Seacrest. The network did not mince words in its announcement of the renewal, confirming 15th season will be the last because the show has seen both its ratings and relevance fade in an increasingly crowded landscape. The current season has generated stronger critical favor but only averaged a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.7 million viewers on Wednesday nights.
The final season of "American Idol" is scheduled to premiere on Jan. 6. Nevertheless, the show has launched the careers of Christian artists such as Colton Dixon, Mandisa, Danny Gokey, Jeremy Rosado and Scott MacIntyre.
In a recent article published by Billboard, these Christian American Idol alumni have expressed their gratitude for the show:
"Idol will be remembered as one of the biggest culture-shaping television shows of our history. I'm honored to be a part of that history and to know that my music has inspired so many people."
-- Scott MacIntyre, season 8
"The legacy of American Idol will continue to speak for itself many years from now. The tagline 'The search for a superstar' was realized season one, and it has produced stars ever since. I am forever thankful for the amazing platform that launched me into my childhood dream come true."
-- Mandisa, season 5
"I think Idol paved the way for so many. I am forever grateful for the opportunities it provided for me and the experiences I've had because of it. I'm honored to be part of an amazing legacy and can't wait to see what the final season has in store."
-- Colton Dixon, season 11
Similiarly, Danny Gokey upon hearing the news of the Fox network cancellation decision writtes: "A.I. changed so many lives, but for me it gave me the ability to dream and hope through one of my darkest moments. I salute you @AmericanIdol," he tweeted.
Newcomer, Save the City Records artist Jeremy Rosado who got his start on "American Idol" concurs: "I can't believe the show that changed my life is coming to an end. I remember being 10 years old, watching @americanidol and telling my parents one day I would be on the show. It's been 3 and 1/2 years since I made the top 13 and I'm still blown away at how God allowed my EXACT DREAM to come true and how being on this show still opens tremendous doors for me to continue pursuing my music career everyday! Thank you Jesus and thank you #Idol I love you!" he wrote.