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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.
|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|
|Executive producer(s)||Nigel Lythgoe|
|Production company(s)||FremantleMedia North America|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||June 3 –|
August 19, 2003
The show spawned the singing group American Juniors, which disbanded in 2005 after their self-titled studio album's lackluster sales.
- 1 Structure
- 2 Live performances
- 3 Ratings and aborted second season
- 4 Following the show
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Auditions (June 3 and 10)Edit
Two thousand children and teenagers 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 children and teens who originally auditioned. These kids were shown on TV during 2 top-20 episodes, which each showcased 10 kids.
For each top-20 episode, America voted for the 5 kids 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.
Top 20 Semi-Final 1: Contestant Choice (June 17 and 18)Edit
|Contestants||Song (Artist)||Percentage of calls|
|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|
- Advanced to Top 10 Finals: Chauncey Matthews (Highest votes), Danielle White, AJ Melendez, Morgan Burke, Katelyn Tarver
- Celebrity performers: Justin Guarini
- Group performance: "Kids in America"
Top 20 Semi-Final 2: Contestant Choice (June 24 and 25)Edit
- Theme: Contestant Choice
|Contestants||Song (Artist)||Percentage of calls|
|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 (James Taylor)||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
Top 10 (July 1 and 2)Edit
- Theme: Songs of 1969
|Contestants||Song (Artist)||Percentage of calls|
|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 Staircase)||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 (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)|
- Top 3: Chantel, Tori, and Taylor
- Top 2: Chantel and Taylor
- Advanced to American Juniors Group: Taylor
- Group performance: "Make Your Own Kind Of Music"
- Celebrity performers: Tamyra Gray
- Taylor's encore performance : "Proud Mary" (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Top 9 (July 8 and 16)Edit
- Theme: Songs of 1970
- Tori Thompson - "Love The One You're With" (Stephen Stills)
- Danielle White - "(They Long To Be) Close To You" (Burt Bacharach)
- Morgan Burke - "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) (Edison Lighthouse)
- Chauncey Matthews - "Hey There Lonely Girl" (Eddie Holman)
- Chantel Kohl - "Stony End" (Barbra Streisand)
- Jordan McCoy - "ABC" (Jackson 5)
- Katelyn Tarver - "We've Only Just Begun" (Carpenters)
- AJ Melendez - "I'll Be There" (Jackson 5)
- Lucy Hale - "Make It Easy On Yourself" (Dionne Warwick)
- Top 3: AJ Melendez, Tori Thompson, and Chauncey Matthews
- Top 2: Chauncey Matthews and Tori Thompson
- Advanced To American Juniors Group: Tori Thompson
- Group performance: "United We Stand"
- Taylor Thompson's music video: "Cheeseburgers For Me"
- Celebrity performer: Brian McKnight
- Tori's encore performance: "Love The One You're With" (Stephen Stills)
Top 8 (July 23 and 24)Edit
- Theme: Songs of 1962
- AJ Melendez - "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" (Bobby Vee)
- Danielle White - "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva)
- Chantel Kohl - "Don't Make Me Over" (Dionne Warwick)
- Chauncey Matthews - "Moon River" (Henry Mancini)
- Lucy Hale - "Breaking Up is Hard To" (Neil Sedaka)
- Morgan Burke - "Can't Help Falling in Love" (Elvis Presley)
- Jordan McCoy - "Sealed with a Kiss" (Bryan Hyland)
- Katelyn Tarver - "Tell Him" (The Exciters)
- Top 3: Lucy Hale, Chauncey Matthews, and Chantel Kohl
- Top 2: Chauncey Matthews and Chantel Kohl
- Advanced to American Juniors Group: Chauncey Matthews
- Group performance: "Do You Love Me"
- Taylor Thompson and Tori Thompson's music video: Bring the house down
- Celebrity performer: Kelly Clarkson
- Chauncey's encore performance: "Moon River" (Henry Mancini)
Top 7 (July 29 and 30)Edit
- Theme: Songs of 1980
- Katelyn Tarver - "On the Radio" (Donna Summer)
- Morgan Burke - "Rock With You" (Michael Jackson)
- Jordan McCoy - "Magic" (Olivia-Newton John)
- Danielle White - "Daydream Believer" (Anne Murray)
- AJ Melendez - "Still" (Commodores)
- Chantel Kohl - "Brass In Pocket (I'm Special)" (Pretenders)
- Lucy Hale - "Call Me" (Blondie)
- Top 3: AJ Melendez, Lucy Hale, and Chantel Kohl
- Top 2: Lucy Hale and Chantel Kohl
- Advanced to American Juniors Group: Lucy Hale
- Group performance: "Still Rock and Roll to Me"
- Taylor Thompson, Tori Thompson, and Chauncey Matthews's music video: Sundown
- Celebrity performer: Monica
- Lucy's encore performance: "Call Me" (Blondie)
Final Round (August 5 and 12)Edit
- Theme: S Club Songs
- Morgan Burke - "Bring the House Down"
- Danielle White - "Never Had a Dream Come True"
- AJ Melendez - "Alive"
- Jordan McCoy - "You Are the One"
- Chantel Kohl - "Sundown"
- Katelyn Tarver - "Have You Ever"
- Top 3: Danielle White, Chantel Kohl, and AJ Melendez
- Top 2: Danielle White and Chantel Kohl
- Final member of American Juniors: Danielle White
- Morgan Burke performs: "Build Me Up Buttercup"
- Katelyn Tarver performs: "I'll Never Fall In Love Again"
- Chantel Kohl performs: "Open Arms"
- Jordan McCoy performs: "I Love You More Than Yesterday"
- Danielle White performs: "Colors of the Wind"
- AJ Melendez performs: "I'll Be There"
- Group performance: "Kids In America"
- Danielle White's Encore performance: "Never Had a Dream Come True"
- Chantel Kohl's Encore performance: "Sundown"
- AJ Melendez's Encore performance: "Alive"
- Official American Juniors group perform: "One Step Closer"
Concert Special (August 19)Edit
- 1. American Juniors performs "Reach"
- 2. Danielle White and the American Juniors performs "Never Had a Dream Come True"
- 3. American Juniors performs "Bring It All Back"
- 4. Debbie Gibson performs "Lost in Your Eyes"
- 5. Lucy Hale and the American Juniors performs "Have You Ever"
- 6. Gladys Knight performs "If I Could"
- 7. Gladys Knight and the American Juniors performs "???"
- 8. American Juniors performs "One Step Closer"
- 9. American Juniors performs "(You Got to Have) Friends"
Ratings and aborted second seasonEdit
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.
Following the showEdit
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 shows Pretty Little Liars and Katy Keene. 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.