The Cut
GenreReality television
Created byAdam Tyler and Edna Sims
Presented byLisa Lopes
Country of originUnited States
Executive producersAdam Tyler
Kathy Cotter
ProducerIfeanyi Njoku
Running time22-26 approx. without commercials
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 28 (1998-09-28) –
December 12, 1998 (1998-12-12)
American Idol

The Cut is a 1998 MTV talent series, hosted by TLC member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. It was the first in a line of televised song contests that later included American Idol. A handful of would-be pop stars, rappers, and rock bands competed against each other and were judged. The prizes were a record deal and MTV's funding to produce a music video, which would enter MTV's heavy rotation.

The season was won by a male-female rap duo named Silk-E, with rapper Lil' Noah taking second place.[1] Anastacia, a then unknown singer-dancer, also made the finale, but did not win. Other notable contestants include R&B singer and songwriter Ne-Yo (then a member of R&B group Envy) and hip-hop duo Emanon, which featured a little-known Aloe Blacc.


Episodes were around 30 minutes long (commercials included). There were four separate acts per episode, and vary from individual singers to groups. Artists performed in no particular order, and after the performances, a panel of alternating judges rated the performance from a scale of one to ten. Half-points, such as 7.5, were allowed. Whoever had the highest score at the end of the episode advanced to the finals.


Judges Season 1 (1998)
Host Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes


Thornell Jones
Dominica Johnson
Brian McKnight
Erica Grayson
Tom Sturges


(Names in bold indicate the winner of the episode)

Episode 1

Original airdate: September 28, 1998

Act Score
Morning Wood 22.5
Nik-Tash'Ta 23.0
Shyan Selah 24.5
Gabi 26.0

Episode 2

Original airdate: September 29, 1998

Act Score
Kid Funky 24.0
Blue Rap City N/A
Nyt Owl 26.0
Amber 23.5


  1. ^ Classic Hip Hop Storage Box (2017-10-25), Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes The Cut Host and Silk-E winner's video (Finale) 1998, retrieved 2018-07-09[dead link]
  2. ^ TLCtube (2014-12-07), The Cut Hosted By Lisa Left Eye Lopes Full EPISODE 1 -CYBERTLC, retrieved 2018-07-09
  3. ^ TLCtube (2017-11-17), The Cut Hosted By Lisa Left Eye Lopes Full EPISODE 2 -CYBERTLC, archived from the original on 2019-09-29, retrieved 2018-07-09