The Business of Being 'Idol'
"Idol" is everywhere. Between local productions and the U.S. broadcast, more than 150 countries carry the show.
Homegrown versions of Idol's blockbuster format have launched in more than 40 countries around the world, and they are as distinct as their audiences: Germany's has a lot of physical slapstick. The French judges emphasize the importance of emotive gesticulation while singing. In the Pan-Arab and Malaysian shows, males and females can't share the same house, and kissing and hugging is prohibited onscreen. And though open competition and the audience-voting format is one that Western fans take for granted, it's a concept that is just now catching on in countries that are newer to Idol -- and democracy. Here is a look at Idol's vast and fascinating global influence.
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