|Genre||Interactive talent show|
|Created by||Simon Fuller|
|Directed by||Bruce Gowers|
|Presented by||Ryan Seacrest (episodes 1-5, 7-17)|
Gladys Knight (episode 6)
Gladys Knight (episodes 1-5, 9-17)
Justin Guarini (episodes 1-4, 6)
Nick Carter (episode 6)
Lamont Dozier (episodes 7 and 8)
Mary Wilson (episodes 7 and 8)
Brian McKnight (episodes 9 and 10)
Jordan Knight (episodes 11 and 12)
Monica (episodes 13 and 14)
Dionne Warwick (episode 15)
|Opening theme||"One Step Closer" by |
S Club Juniors
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||17|
|Production||FremantleMedia North America|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||June 3 -|
August 19, 2003
American Juniors is an American reality television singing competition series that was broadcast for one season from June 3 to August 19, 2003, on Fox. The series was a spin-off of American Idol, but with younger contestants, and had the same production team as American Idol: it was created by Simon Fuller and 19 Entertainment, along with FremantleMedia, and directed by Bruce Gowers, and produced by Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick.
However, unlike American Idol, the goal of the competition was not to find a single winner, but rather to create a singing group of five of the contestants. In this way, American Juniors more closely resembled the British series S Club Search, which had produced the group S Club Juniors.
The show spawned the singing group American Juniors, which disbanded in 2005 after their self-titled studio album's lackluster sales.
Two thousand young people auditioned for the show. From there, a selected group of kids and their parents were flown out to Hollywood to participate in "Hollywood Week." During "Hollywood Week", several cuts took place, eliminating all but 20 of the young people who originally auditioned. These young people were shown on TV during 2 top-20 episodes, which each showcased 10 participants.
For each top-20 episode, America voted for the 5 participants they wanted to see in the top-10. Once the top-10 was formed, people across the U.S. voted each week for the one contestant they wanted to put into the group. The results were aired the following evening with the next round beginning the following week. Taylor Thompson was the first contestant voted into the group. She was eventually followed by her younger sister, Tori Thompson, Chauncey Matthews, Lucy Hale, and Danielle White.
|Morgan Burke||"Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers)||Top 5|
|Kara Lieberman||"Hopelessly Devoted to You" (Olivia Newton-John)||Eliminated|
|Kristinia DeBarge||"Reflection" (Christina Aguilera)||Eliminated|
|AJ Melendez||"Isn't She Lovely?" (Stevie Wonder)||Top 5|
|Grace Leer||"To Sir with Love" (Lulu)||Eliminated|
|Danielle White||"Colors of the Wind" (Vanessa L. Williams)||Top 5|
|Chauncey Matthews||"A Whole New World" (Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle)||Top 5 (Highest votes)|
|Julie Dubela||"Rainy Days and Mondays" (The Carpenters)||Eliminated|
|Tyler Foehr||"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" (The Police)||Eliminated|
|Katelyn Tarver||"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell)||Top 5|
|Jordan McCoy||"Stupid Cupid" (Connie Francis)||Top 5|
|Lucy Hale||"Get Here" (Brenda Russell)||Top 5|
|Quinton Caruthers||"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (Stevie Wonder)||Eliminated|
|Lauren Klena||"L-O-V-E" (Nat King Cole)||Eliminated|
|Chantel Kohl||"Open Arms" (Journey)||Top 5|
|Brennan Hillard||"That Thing You Do" (The Wonders)||Eliminated|
|Mercedes Ruiz||"Can't Fight the Moonlight" (LeAnn Rimes)||Eliminated|
|Taylor Thompson||"The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" (Betty Everett)||Top 5|
|Canyon Grove||"You've Got a Friend" (Carole King)||Eliminated|
|Tori Thompson||"Let 'Er Rip" (Dixie Chicks)||Top 5 (Highest votes)|
Advanced to Top 10 Finals: Tori Thompson (Highest votes), Taylor Thompson, Jordan McCoy, Lucy Hale, Chantel Kohl
|AJ Melendez||"My Cherie Amour" (Stevie Wonder)||Returned|
|Katelyn Tarver||"I'll Never Fall in Love Again" (Dionne Warwick)||Returned|
|Jordan McCoy||"More Today Than Yesterday" (Spiral Starecase)||Returned|
|Chantel Kohl||"You've Made Me So Very Happy" (Blood, Sweat & Tears)||Top 2|
|Chauncey Matthews||"This Guy's in Love With You" (Herb Alpert)||Returned|
|Morgan Burke||"Build Me Up Buttercup" (The Foundations)||Returned|
|Lucy Hale||"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations)||Returned|
|Tori Thompson||"Bad Moon Rising" (Creedence Clearwater Revival)||Top 3|
|Danielle White||"Good Morning Starshine" (Hair)||Returned|
|Taylor Thompson||"Proud Mary" (Creedence Clearwater Revival)||1st (1st member of the group)|
American Juniors became one of the highest-rated television shows of the summer season, with approximately 11.9 million viewers on June 3, though the numbers dropped 40% toward the end of July. Nonetheless, the producers were satisfied of the strong teen demographic. A second season was planned for fall 2003, later postponed to the summer after the third season of American Idol, then called off.
The show led to the creation of the five-member group American Juniors. The group made a brief appearance on the December 2003 American Idol Christmas special, An American Idol Christmas. Their debut album American Juniors was released on October 26, 2004, after a year's delay from its original scheduled date.
The group American Juniors disbanded in 2005, after having received relatively little publicity.
Lucy Hale is currently by far the most successful contestant from American Juniors, having acted in a number of films and television shows, most notably the series Pretty Little Liars. She returned to her musical roots after a number of years in 2014 with the release of the country album Road Between for Disney Music Group's "Nashville" label.
Katelyn Tarver released a short-length album as well as her debut album Wonderful Crazy and her debut EP A Little More Free. She also got her big break in acting as Jo Taylor in Big Time Rush. In 2019, she appeared on NBC's Songland.