'American Idol': 20 Best, Worst and WTF Moments - Rolling Stone
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‘American Idol’: 20 Best, Worst and WTF Moments

From Adam Lambert being robbed to William Hung doing his thing, it’s been a wild ride for the past 15 seasons

Best; Worst; Moment; Rolling Stone; Mariah Carey; Nicki Minaj; Prince; William Hung

Prince, William Hung, Mariah and Nicki Minaj all make our 'American Idol' best and worst list

Jason Merritt/FilmMagic/Getty, Peter Kramer/Getty, Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Whether you were an avid fan with an itchy voting finger, a casual viewer or just someone who got stuck listening to post-show chatter around the water cooler, American Idol has been a huge piece of our pop-culture puzzle for the past 15 years. 

From Kelly Clarkson being crowned the inaugural winner way back in the summer of 2002 to Adam Lambert being robbed in Season 8 to this year’s farewell season reminding us just how much the onetime ratings juggernaut has fallen, the reality singing competition helped shape the modern landscape in which we now live. Soon — April 7th, to be exact — it will all just be a distant memory. But while Idol will be gone, it will not be easily forgotten (even though some of you might try). Here, the 20 best, worst and WTF moments of the past 15 seasons of American Idol.


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