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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
US Pop Idol: Your views
Kelly Clarkson
The show has been a big summer hit in the US
US Pop Idol reached fever pitch on Wednesday night, when winner Kelly Clarkson walked off with a $1m (637,000) recording contract.

The contest has also made a star out of British music industry mogul Simon Cowell, whose seat on the judging panel has made him the most prominent British celebrity on American TV.

"The show has developed a phenomenal following, albeit hugely hyped, as the summer's so-called water-cooler hit," wrote the BBC's entertainment correspondent in the US, Peter Bowes.

But what did you think?

This debate is now closed.

Here is a selection of BBC News Online users' comments.


I have no idea what I am going to do on Tuesday and Wednesday nights now that it's over - maybe I should contact my friends and let them know I am still alive. Seriously, I am anxiously waiting for the second season.
John L., USA

Kelly Clarkson has got an incredible voice, and she was a deserving winner of American Idol - has-beens like Celine Dion and Whitney Houston should be very afraid!
Fiona, Scotland

From executives at my company to my nieces and nephews, everyone I knew tuned in all summer for American Idol - and loved it! What in incredibly fun show. The only disappointment was hearing the UK Idol winner, Will Young. My god was he terrible! If he's the best the UK has to offer, no wonder there are no major British pop stars selling records in the US. It's a shame, really. Britain dominated this music category in the 80s and exported so many great singers and bands to American audiences. It was so painful to watch Will sing next to Kelly. She simply blew him away.
Stephen, USA

Kelly is fantastic and thoroughly deserved to win. She genuinely is the equal of the Mariahs/Celines/Whitneys of this world, and I sincerely hope we will still be hearing her belt out songs for years to come!

Having said that, it's a toss-up between Kelly, Justin and Tamyra as to who actually becomes the biggest star - just winning the competition doesn't guarantee anything.
Alistair Bell, US (but a Brit)

I have supported Kelly from the beginning, she has got a fantastic voice and personality and she will go far as the star that she is, she deserved to win. She is brilliant, good luck to her.
Melanie Hastings, USA (but a Brit)

Absolute rubbish!
Bob Darby, USA

I loved the performance by both Kelly and Will. As they sung together I could not help but to think "There are the two winners performing together." And sure enough, Kelly went on to win big. I think she was most deserving of the two finalists, but the one album I am really anxious for is Tamyra Gray's.
Derek Veilleux, USA

As a Brit abroad, I was mortified at the British winner! What was the country thinking? That's the best we've got?! Kelly was fabulous but come on Britain, let's get serious and get someone up there who can carry on the tradition in music we have. Seriously, was he a sympathy vote? And before anyone asks, yes, I COULD do better, and I know there'd be hundreds ahead of me too. Get a grip.
Craig Williams, USA

I wanted Kelly Clarkson to win and that is just exactly what happened. Hats off to her and to Justin Guarini for making it this far in their young lives. However, I must disagree with the majority of the posters here concerning Will Young. OK, so he can't belt out a tune the same way Justin and Kelly can. But he is not a horrible singer! I thought he did a great job, considering who he was up against. And besides, he can sing much better than Idols such as Britney Spears and the boys from NSync, who sound like cats fighting in the alleys.

And on a final note, Simon said that the talent in America is better than in Britain. Based on what, I ask? The ability to belt and scream like a banshee? I personally believe that there is as much talent in Britain as in the USA or anyplace else on Earth. Will, you're a great singer and hopefully you will prove your detractors wrong in the future. Kelly, congratulations to you!
Alex Sarmiento, USA

Kelly deserved to win. I was horrified when Tamyra was voted off but in retrospect, it would have been too excrutiating to see a final between Kelly and Tamyra. I just may have pulled all my hair out. Then seeing Tamyra perform again made me wish I was bald the next day. I hope Kelly and Tamyra have long, strong careers!!
Simon Bolanos, Texas

Kelly undoubtedly has the better voice but I think that Justin has more star quality. Unlike Steven, I thought that Will Young was very good and although Kelly has the beyter voice, his personality made him stand out in thier duet.
Philip, USA (Brit)

I have thoroughly enjoyed American Idol. Kelly definitely was the best to win, but I agree with what Alistair said, Tamyra was also a fantastic singer. It just remains to see who goes on to bigger things. Tamyra & Kelly will certainly achieve that. I can't wait for the next American Idol.
Lin Ridley, USA

Kelly is by far the better of the two Idols. Will Young has an insipid voice with no power or range from his performances.
John Sowerby, USA (Expat Brit)

It's wonderful a hometown girl from Burleson, Texas won. It's a small town, but Kelly's got a big and wonderful career ahead of her!
Lori, Texas

The two finalists were both classy young people, with phenomenal voices and pleasing personalities. I felt sorry for Will Young - he gave such a bland performance that it was hard to believe that he had won Pop Idol in the UK.
Helen, UK/USA

Not only does Kelly Clarkson have an amazing and versatile voice, but she also comes across on television as a very nice young woman who is respectful of her fans and the judges. Also, it's interesting to note that Kelly chose not to perform any songs by current artists because she did not want to be compared. However, in the final three, the judges chose a song for each contestant and made her sing the Mariah Carey cover of "Without You." Her performance completely surpassed Mariah's and was the highlight of the whole season. This show will last longer than "The Weakest Link" (which is no longer on prime time) because it's much more entertaining and focuses more on the contestants and audience. Great show!
Michael, USA

I thought that Kelly well deserved the award. Justin just didn't quite have it there. Kelly could sing anything you put in front of her. She could sing anything from pop to romantic. Cool show
Stefania, US

Kelly and Will can't be directly compared. They're two singers, who use two different styles, and have two different audiences. They are equally good - it's apples and oranges here. That having been said, Will's performance on the finale wasn't great. He can do so much better - and US audiences shouldn't judge him from just these few songs. Congrats to Kelly, she deserved it. The only other great talent was Tamyra. They all were good though, in their own way. Maybe even "cringe" Justin...
Brian, Texas

So unfair that only one had to win. Tamyra, Kelly and Justin were all great talents, and out of the US final 10, there were at least another couple of girls that could have deservingly won. Kelly will be a great star, but Tamyra for me was incredible. Who is better, the UK or US star? Well, there is no competiton, personally, I thought the UK winner had a very weak voice and though I didn't see the UK contest, if he does represent what was the best of current British talent, then I think there is a big problem in the music industry for the UK. All in all, a great programme, really great finale.
Ben, USA but from UK

Kelly is certainly going to be an Idol to a lot of pop fans....I was only sad to see Will Young give such a weak performance when my Blighty friends have reassured me he was such a big talent!
Susan, USA (but a true Brit)

I have to admit that I initially wrote off American Idol as just another stupid reality series (and another ripoff from British TV). However, after watching the performances of the finalists last night, I wish I'd watched the entire series.

Apparently Kelly Clarkson had gone to LA in an attempt to gain a recording contract but returned home after numerous rejections. Hopefully someone's out of a job this morning for that mistake.

Britney, N'Sync, et al are an embarrassment; the performances by the finalists last night offer a compelling contrast to the oversexed, violent crap that the American record industry tries to pass off as music.

Hopefully we'll be hearing from all of them for a long time to come.
Devon, USA

I couldn't believe Will's lispy voice and the way he sang "swee-test" was most peculiar. I know the UK and USA have different tastes in music, but pleeease ... he doesn't even come close to Kelly's talent. She is a phenomenal singer and good luck to her! Justin is also a great performer but doesn't have Kelly's vocal talents - I'm sure he's bound for stardom though. Great show!
Ian, USA (but a Brit)

I've seen every episode of American Idol and the US talent is much greater than the British. The US girls especially wiped the floor with the UK ones. Kelly is a worthy winner and better than any of the Uk entrants.
Kez, England

Kelly totally outperformed Will Young during their duet. I think that for once America has picked a role model with some integrity and character. I'm not saying she's perfect, but man can that girl sing!
Shon, Colorado/Usa

I hope I don't get Paltrowed, but what is up with Will Young? He seems like a very nice person, but I was embarrassed for him when he was singing a duet with Kelly. They are in different leagues. But, thanks UK for exporting the most entertaining show of the summer. What a great idea, and it was so much fun to watch.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA

Kelly! Kelly! Kelly! What a great performer she was on American Idol. Her rendition of Without You was one of the greatest vocal performances I've ever seen on TV. It did make me - a grown man - want to cry. But the best thing about Idol was that my 16-year-old son and I watched most of the programmes together and had a lot of good conversations about the singers and their performances. I look forward to seeing the new crop of Idol wannabes next summer.
Chris, USA

I was so excited last night to see Kelly win. However both Kelly and Justin deserved it. I loved when the two of them sang together. Showed how powerful both their voices are. Congrats to both and good luck in the future.
Christine, USA

I think Will did a good job, but just because Kelly sounded better doesn't mean he is no good. he's already won his competition, she still sort of had something to prove. Congrats to Kelly by the way, I think she really deserved to win, she has a great voice. Will just made a poor choice of song to perform in my opinion.
Madinat, US

I am a huge fan of the show...in fact I was lucky enough to attend the last two live shows. The audience was overwhelmingly in support of Kelly and deservedly so. Will is a good singer. Kelly is a great singer. Not having seen the UK version, I have no idea if Will deserved to win. But having seen all of the US shows, Kelly truly deserved to win. I will definitely buy her albums as well as some of the other finalists.
Rich, Hollywood, CA USA

Congraulations to a deserving winner! Justin's a gentleman and a great performer, but his voice was so outclassed by Kelly on Tuesday night that I'm surprised the vote difference was so small!

I felt sorry for Will Young performing solo (who told him The Sweetest Feeling was a good idea??) - but I really thought his duet with Kelly showed the US why he was voted no. 1 in the UK. Fabulous stuff! Roll on American Idol II!!
Sarah, USA/UK

They're all awful and as you might say in the UK, twee. Poor histrionic-drenched singing (we curse Mariah, Whitney, etc for that).

Ours are bad and so are yours (give us more Coldplay, Travis etc, ). Never watched an entire programme, only bits and clips on the news. That was enough. Used to think the English judge was mean; now I think he has no taste either. He's another moron with power in the music biz. Ugh!!
D. Edwards, USA

I was never a huge fan of Kelly. However, she was brillant compared to Will. My favourite one of the competion is still Tamyra.
Joan, USA

While I found Will Young charming, I must admit that I was surprised at the style of music the producers showcased for him here in America. If that's the style in the UK, it's no wonder why bands like Westlife can't break over here. I'd like to say it's because America isn't sophisticated enough to appreciate real talent - remember, we are the country that sports Eminem and Nelly ("It's Getting Hot In Here, So Take Off All Your Clothes") as chart topping singles!

Perhaps Kelly Clarkston will change all that. It was great to see a real talent on stage for once - enough with the boy bands and the Britneys!!
Tracy, New York, USA

Yes, Kelly trumped Will Young but I don't think any musical entity could ever trump the Beatles. Britain is a smaller country- so it makes sense that the US will have more talent to pick from. So big deal I say.
Sally Vetter, USA (American who used to live in Britain)

Kelly was fabulous. Justin was excellent. The songs that were written for them were absolute Celine Dionish rubbish! Will was fine. He doesn't have a voice anywhere near Kelly's but will do fine singing pop songs that fit his range. He's the pop star. It looks like Kelly really might turn out to be America's next idol.
Luke, USA

I think Kelly has a great voice it's very powerful but Will is still my idol. His voice may not be as strong but has a unique tone and quality to it that makes me melt. He certainly doesn't deserve some of the criticism aimed at him.. His style is different to Kelly, you shouldn't compare. He is my Idol and I am proud of him.
Sara, UK

I enjoyed Will's performances on American Idol, but am surprised he was chosen Pop Idol. His voice is nice, but not great. And his hair came to a point in the front and the back, making him look goofy. I think Will and Justin appeal to the teen girl audience, while I think everyone can enjoy Kelly's crooning.
Dave, USA

Kelly was of star quality throughout the whole contest. Justin was good but not great. I have to say that I thought Will was terrible. Was he really the best singer in the UK show? I loved Simon's honesty and we really needed that as some people could not hold a note and he told them so, quite right Simon.
Irene, USA, (but a Scot)

Justin is a GREAT performer, but it is too bad that we did not hear a battle of the voices between Tamyra and Kelly for the final. I saw both the UK and US Idol programmes. It is unfortunate that some of the people with better voices did not make it to the final in the UK. They suffered the same fate as Tamyra. Regarding the vote to see who has a better voice - Will or Kelly. I am shocked to see that Will is winning that vote thus far.
Joe, US (married to Brit)

I think they should release as a single the Kelly and Will duet. In my humble yet superior opinion, that was the best performance of the night.
Sarah, USA

I think Will & Kelly are good together singing a duet. They should do it in each album. They deserve to win. Although Tamyra has a good voice, she's not to me the greatest compared to the rest, including Kelly. I think people made a good choice out of Kelly since she's the only one who sings so naturally, not like the rest who tried to sound like those famous singers belting the high notes.
Erlinda, Philippines

Kelly has an extremely good voice - only marginally surpassed by the vocal qualities of our own Hayley Evetts. William Young is a superstar and it will be interesting to see whether any of the US finalists can match his vocal versatility as their careers progress.
Sally, UK

Will Young reminds me of Jay Kay of Jamiroquai or Mick Hucknall from Simply Red. He's definitely talented but also an acquired taste. Kelly Clarkson's voice, though incredible, is one Americans are more accustomed to hearing. Having said that, the album I am most looking forward to is Tamyra Gray's.
Rafael, USA/NYC

And the record companies blame digital media for falling sales?!? Rubbish is rubbish, be it Yank or Brit. The 10-year-old girl demographic is dominating the airwaves, to the detriment of the whole entertainment industry.
John Doyle, USA

For anybody who hasn't seen the UK version of the show, Gareth Gates, the one who came second is FAR better than Will Young is. (I just don't understand how he won). I think Kelly had a great voice and she did deserve to win, she has talent.
David, UK

See also:

05 Sep 02 | Entertainment
05 Sep 02 | Entertainment
22 Jul 02 | Entertainment
12 Jul 02 | Entertainment
14 Jun 02 | Entertainment
11 Jun 02 | Entertainment
29 Apr 02 | Entertainment
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