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'American Idol' All-Star Showdown: Can You Imagine?

One radical 'Idol' revamp idea? Having winners face-off against former finalists. It was considered -- for a second.

Jennifer Hudson
Michael Caulfield/Getty Images for USC Shoah Foundation Institute
Jennifer Hudson

Among the revelations in THR’s American Idol cover story this week (read highlights here), which examines what’s at stake for the $7 billion franchise as it enters its 10th season, is that the show’s creators considered one truly radical revamp concept: an all-star Idol showdown.

That’s right, on the heels of sleepy season nine, which averaged 24 million viewers, down substantially from the series’ high of 31 million in 2006, Idol’s key players were looking to shake things up and willing to entertain out-of-the-box ideas, like pitting Idol winners against former finalists who maybe deserved a second chance (or, some would contend, should have won).     Think about how it could have played out if Season 3’s resident divas, Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson, had another face-off? Or how about the battle of the heartthrobs, David Cook versus Adam Lambert? Or the rockers? Or Chris Daughtry versus anyone? And perhaps finally, we could have found a definitive answer to the age-old question: who is the most popular Idol of all time: Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson?   Not surprisingly, the idea didn’t make it very far since the few winners who were approached weren’t at all amenable to a do-over, and without the victors, you don’t have much of a show. But think about the concept some, and the possibilities become a fun exercise. Who would you like to see in an Idol rematch?