Fox’s announcement on Monday that the upcoming 15th season of American Idol would also be its last certainly isn’t surprising, but it is likely to inspire a healthy bout of nostalgia.
Over the years, there have been some pretty egregious auditions—but, of course, there have also been some excellent ones. We invite you to take a moment and go all the way back to the very beginning, when a 20-year-old girl from Texas named Kelly stood before the judges.
Kelly Clarkson has obviously come quite a long way since this 2002 audition—but her insane talent is evident. Watch as Simon Cowell, notorious for being a total stickler, tries to hide the extreme delight he’s clearly experiencing as Kelly serenades the judges.
RIP, American Idol.