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‘American Idol’ by the Numbers

One hundred thirty-three finalists. Forty-two performances of Whitney Houston songs. One Randy Jackson. A breakdown of the reality TV juggernaut’s massive pop-culture presence. By Kevin Fallon and Bronson Stamp.

Since Kelly Clarkson first charmed Simon, Paula, and Randy in her homemade denim shirt fashioned out of a pair of jeans, plus a silky-sweet rendition of “At Last,” 133 finalists, 10 judges, and 42 renditions of Whitney songs have graced—or, in some cases, disgraced—the American Idol stage. In honor of the reality TV stalwart’s two-part 12th season premiere Wednesday and Thursday, we take a look back at Idol’s massive pop-culture presence, by the numbers.


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