I just watched a young texas girl, named Baylie Brown, perform her audition on American Idol. She's super pretty, an awesome singer, and has a great personality. Like Simon Cowell said, born to be a pop star.
Here's what I think: even without American Idol, there's no doubt she would have become a pop sensation right away. And the thing is, she's only 16. Meaning she was 11 when the show debuted. It is more than probable her parents and herself watched the show back then, and decided that that would be where she'd make her start.
And that might happen more and more. Future star deciding to wait till they can audition for American Idol, instead of just finding an agent right away. After all, if they can debut in front of 30 million viewer instead of spending years climbing the charts, why not?
And that's how america's biggest show also became its firt impresario.