The 'Idol' Reunion You've Been Waiting For

by Jessica Molinari

Back in the days of Ryan Seacrest's spiked highlights and Kelly Clarkson's "Moment Like This," there were three judges who started it all. Their names were, as you well know, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson. While the OG panel hasn't judged American Idol in quite some time, the finale wouldn't have been complete without them. Thankfully, it didn't have to be. The producers reunited Ryan Seacrest with his Season 1 cast members Paula, Randy, Simon, and even Brian Dunkleman in the series finale and it was just as great as you'd imagine.

Okay, so the finale could've done without Dunkleman. Even some of the most dedicated Idol fans (including myself) may not remember the Season 1 "co-host." But the finale couldn't have done without Paula, Randy, and Simon. There's no doubt about it, this dynamic trio are the ones who started it all. American Idol would've fallen flat if it weren't for their harsh comments, witty banter, and extremely impressive sense of humor. Seriously, how did they hold themselves together for so many years of ridiculous performances? The original trio even set the bar for future panels. They created the perfect dynamic to keep the focus of the show on the music but make it fun at the same time.

While the show has changed a lot since Paula, Randy, and Simon left the show, there's one thing that stays the same and that's the legacy that the Season 1 cast — well, except for Dunkleman — set. Paula, Randy, Simon, Ryan and even Kelly Clarkson set the stage for one of the greatest franchises in television history, and the show wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for them.

Image: Ray Mickshaw/FOX