Star Search Classics

There has always been talent shows on TV. Going back to the 50s and still, today, shows like Star Search highlighted great talents long before they became stars.

Star Search was launched in 1983 with host Ed McMahon who’d host the show until its last run in 1995. Originally, the show was filmed at the Earl Carroll Theatre at in Hollywood and would wind up all the way on the other side of the country at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Eight categories were contested per show. From singing to acting, spokesmodel to comedian and others. The potential contestants auditioned to be on the show. In each category, two selected contestants would compete, a champion and a challenger. The challenger would usually perform first, while the champion performed second. In later seasons, the champion performed first.

All acts were judged by a panel of four judges, and each judge could award an act from one to four stars (later changed to five stars). Once both acts were complete, Ed would reveal the scores, and the best average won. If there was a tie, a studio audience vote broke the tie, in which case the results were revealed at the end of the show.

Here are just a few of the contestants who’d go on to be household names in the entertainment world…

Aaliyah, 1989 (Junior Vocalist), Adam Sandler, (Comedy), Alanis Morissette, 1988 (Female Vocalist), Backstreet Boys, 1993 (Vocal Group), Britney Spears, 1992 (Junior Vocalist), Carlos Mencia, 1991 (Comedy), Christina Aguilera, 1990 (Junior Vocalist), Conan O’Brien, (Comedy), Dave Chappelle, 1993 (Comedy), Dennis Miller, 1985 (Comedy). Destiny’s Child, 1993 (Vocal Group, as Girls Tyme), Drew Carey, 1988 (Comedy), Justin Timberlake, 1993 (Junior Vocalist, as Justin Randall), Kevin James, 1995 (Comedy), Mitzi Kapture, 1985 (Acting), Pitbull (as Armando Perez), 1994 (Male Vocalist), Rosie O’Donnell, 1984 (Comedy), Sharon Stone, 1984 (Spokesmodel), Sinbad, 1985 (Comedy), Tiffany, 1985 (Teen Vocalist), Usher, 1991 (Male Vocalist, as Usher Raymond)

There was a brief revival of the show from 2003 to 2004 that didn’t last.

For more on this great show from back in the day, CLICK HERE.

Credit: By, Fair use,

Check out some great performances throughout the show’s run below.