"Idol" imprint all over 2012 American Music Awards: Nominated, performing, and presenting

There are almost as many "American Idol" finalists and judges (and everywhere guy Ryan Seacrest) at the 2012 AMAs than there are... well, anything else.

One of the great things about the American Music Awards is that they are chosen by popular vote. And this year, the fortieth incarnation of the ceremony certainly has, appropriately enough, its fair share of people from "American Idol," a show that has derived part of its popularity from the fact that its winners are chosen by popular vote. Not only is the show represented by several nominations, but in performers and presenters as well.

Among the night's 2012 American Music Awards (AMAs) nominees associated with the number one non-sports-related show in the US are two former "American Idol" winners and a current judge. Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson is up for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist as well as Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist. Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood is also up for two awards: Favorite Country Female Artist and Favorite Country Album (Blown Away). Newly acquired judge Nicki Minaj is nominated for four awards on the evening, tied with R&B sensation Rihanna for the most: Favorite Pop/Rock Female (where she's up against Rihanna, the aforementioned Clarkson, and Katy Perry), Favorite Pop/Rock Album (Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded), Favorite Rap/HipHop Artist, and Favorite Rap/HipHop Album (Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded).

All three women are among the performers at the AMAs as well.

And then the presenters have in their midst a few of the "Idol" associated as well. Long-time host Ryan Seacrest and former "Idol" judge Paula Abdul will help give away trophies at the event. So will Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, who might just be among the nominated next year (his first album, The World from the Side of the Moon, drops the day after the AMAs).

And if all those "Idol" people weren't enough, veteran judge Randy Jackson will be on hand to introduce Kelly Clarkson.

In short, they're a walking, talking, singing advertisement for the nation's most successful show.

And they're not alone. There are quite a few finalists and judges from reality competition shows representing at the 2012 awards. "The Voice" has Adam Levine (his band, Maroon 5, are up for three awards, including Artist Of The Year) and Christina Aguilera, both judges/mentors on the hit reality singing competition. Aguilera will perform at the ceremony as well.

There are also finalists from "X Factor" UK, "Canadian Idol," and "Nashville Star" among the nominees.

The 40th American Music Awards (2012) will air live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 18, beginning at 8 p.m. (EST) on ABC Television.

"American Idol" returns to Fox Television in January.

Take Home Message: The gifted actor Tony Randall once said, "Awards sell tickets, and they're a clever publicity stunt." He was correct, because most of the attendees and nominees of awards shows are either promoting a new project or hoping to glean a little more mileage out of an older one. But the glamor and glitz and recognition set us goals and provide inspiration -- and the events are usually good for some quality entertainment as well.

(photo credit: American Idol, Freemantle North America, Fox Television)