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‘American Idol’ Class Photo: 15 Key Players Who Built the Juggernaut

As umpteen A-listers (including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood) return for one final song on the show's three-night finale (April 5-7), THR gathers some of the pivotal players behind the phenomenon for a group photo, from Ryan Seacrest to Nigel Lythgoe.

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This story first appeared in the April 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

And by enlisting outside vendors to house contestants (Loews Hollywood, Sunset Marquis and Redbury hosted finalists and bookings), cast audiences (Burbank’s On Camera Audiences), handle security (The Boschetti Group) and tend to strained vocal cords (Beverly Hills-based Dr. Shawn Nasseri), Idol expanded its economic might far beyond CBS Television City.

For the team now, it’s on to the next gig: Associate musical director Michael Orland will work with Kristin Chenoweth, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe returns to Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, and Healy helms lights on the NBC hit Little Big Shots. Even for Idol, there’s life after Idol. Says Frot-Coutaz, “You want to leave while the party’s still going … but I hope it will have a second iteration at some point.”

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