Carrie Underwood, American Idol, 2005

Ray Mickshaw/WireImage

There is so much we'll miss as American Idol bids adieu during tonight's series finale.

The big talent. The inspiring stories.

Oh, and remember all of those over-the-top makeovers they would give to contestants?

It was like America's Next Top Model.

We always looked forward to seeing what Hollywood would do to these aspiring hopefuls once they were sat in front of a glam squad for the first time.

Believe it or not, kids, there was a time when we all wanted chunky highlights and embroidered jeans. It was the sign of a star.

Carrie Underwood's larger-than-life country hair (above) soared as high as her vocals.

That's just one of many memorable makeovers the show treated us to.

May we take a moment to honor another Underwood original? The curly ringlets:

Carrie Underwood, American Idol

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Though we're not sure the adorable artist back in her Idol days can compete with a true legend, the not-so-subtle highlights of first Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson:

Kelly Clarkson, American Idol

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Hair is a huge part of what changes once you hit Hollywood on American Idol.

The people backstage want to make sure you're not relying on your voice alone to wow the judges and win over the audiences at home.

Case in point: Allison Iraheta, on the show's eighth season, already had a rockstar voice and rockin' red hair when she hit the show.

But needed an extra boost to give it that over-the-top look...

Allison Iraheta, American Idol

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Also on season 8, Alexis Grace hit the audition with a wholesome, simple blond 'do.

Once she advanced, though, she added a pop of pink to give her that aspiring pop star finish:

Alexis Grace, American Idol

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Perhaps one of the most ever-changing Idol contestants, Sanjaya Malakar, on season 6, would hit the stage nearly every week with a new 'do.

Our personal favorite? Ponytail mohawk:

Sanjaya, American Idol

Getty Images

Some makeovers actually made the singers do more with a little less.

Yes, really.

For example, David Cook, season 7's winner, still looked like a star after ditching the soul patch and hair dye:

David Cook, American Idol

Kevin Winter/M Becker/Getty

Just like season 5's Elliot Yamin didn't need the shades and, well, that facial hair.

Elliott Yamin, American Idol


Hair isn't the only thing that gets more extreme once you hit the Idol stage.

Ladies and gentlemen, winner of the "good sport" award, Justin Guarini:

Justin Guarini, American Idol

Kevin Winter/FOX

A true professional doesn't let a shirt like that distract from an amazing performance.

Season 3's Diana DeGarmo let the show make her a perfect 2004 time capsule in this shiny tube top and low-rise jeans:

Diana DeGarmo, American Idol


Just like Jennifer Hudson didn't let this ruffled, pink mullet dress take away from her killer talent:

Jennifer Hudson, American Idol


On season 5, Katharine McPhee let the show take her from cute and casual to perfectly pretty in purple (again with the ruffles!)

Katharine McPhee, American Idol

Ray Mickshaw/WireImage; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Just like season 5's winner Taylor Hicks leaned into his makeover from "cool dad" to suited stunner.

Taylor Hicks, American Idol

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Idol makeovers have always made people look like the year the show premiered during.

So really, your look it totally dependent on whether or not 2002 or 2007 will be considered "timeless" for fashion and hair.

But we've always looked forward to how the show will produce what they think a pop star looks at.

Bonus pic: Clay Aiken returning to the show in 2003 for a special appearance.

Clay Aiken, American Idol

Vince Bucci/Getty Images

You weren't a contestant anymore at that point, Clay. So we're assuming the dark Bieber 'do was your call.

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