The singing contest is saying goodbye, but here is what it leaves behind.
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1. Ordinary people could be stars
When “American Idol” debuted in 2002 the line between stars and “ordinary people” could not have been clearer. Stars were the people who occupied your television screen on shows like “Friends” and “ER.” Ordinary people were the folks who watched them. Ordinary folks had begun to show their faces in primetime with “Survivor” and “Temptation Island” but the idea that they could become stars, with public careers and followings of their own was never understood until a Texas girl named Kelly Clarkson came out of nowhere to win the first season of "American Idol” (beating the shinier, camera-ready favorites) and went on to become a recording star producing hits to this day. Somewhere out there in 2002, The Kardashians were taking notes.