PHOTOS: ‘Idol’ Evolution

Erika Brooks Adickman | January 8, 2010 3:53 pm

Once upon a time, in June of 2002, an oddball new program spun off from a British singing talent show debuted on U.S. airwaves. American Idol promised contestants a chance to fulfill dreams of stardom. But who knew it would become the ultimate TV juggernaut, the show that would hijack Americans’ Tuesdays and Wednesdays for months at a stretch? And who knew it would have such power to transform people so powerfully? A former waitress from small-town Texas becomes a pop megastar. A geeky (but uppity) kid named Clay emerges as a heartthrob. Over the past eight seasons we’ve noticed a theme: Idol isn’t just a talent competition, it’s a makeover show. And it’s not just for the singing contestants — judges and even Ryan have undergone radical changes since Idol arrived. Check out the most dramatic metamorphoses in Idol history.