Category: American Idol

Press: New talk host Kelly Clarkson recalls ‘bitterness’ she felt after winning ‘American Idol’

Press: New talk host Kelly Clarkson recalls ‘bitterness’ she felt after winning ‘American Idol’

Seventeen years ago, on Sept. 4, 2002, I interviewed Kelly Clarkson moments after the 20-year-old singer won the inaugural season of “American Idol.”

Last week, I spoke to her again on the bright, airy set of her new syndicated daytime talk show, “The Kelly Clarkson Show” (premieres Monday).

Much has changed for Clarkson, now 37. She’s a major star and three-time Grammy winner. She’s gone from talent competition hopeful to mentor as a coach on NBC’s “The Voice.” She married Brandon Blackstock, who’s also her manager, and they’re raising four children together.

Some things, however, appear to be the same. Despite stardom, Clarkson still exhibits the chatty, outgoing, unaffected personality – “no filter,” as she puts it – that engaged “Idol” voters, helped her connect with music fans and (she hopes) will appeal to talk-show viewers.

When I told Clarkson I interviewed her that night in a backstage hallway of what was then the Kodak Theatre, she offered an almost apologetic reply: “Oh, my gosh. I was probably exhausted.”

Reminded that strong emotions caused her to cry onstage while singing her first single after being anointed the first Idol, Clarkson says, “It’s forever in time. People can watch me bawl singing ‘A Moment Like This.’ It’s fine.”

Clarkson said she felt disoriented that night by the photographers, reporters and network executives swarming around her, quickly followed by appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “Today” and “Live with Regis and Kelly.”

“I’m still the same person, but with a busier schedule,” she said then, and as a soon-to-be talk-show host she – still swears by that description today.

“That’s actually very true for right now. I’m the same kid that was on ‘Idol.’ Obviously, I’m now a mother and a wife and there’s different things in my life I’ve progressed with. But the core of me is still the same chick you saw on ‘Idol,” she says. “I have a very normal life, other than my jobs.”

Winning “Idol” created opportunities, but Clarkson’s role as a trailblazer in the fledgling format came at a price. TV talent competitions were seen as a novelty by the music industry, and the “Idol” winner wasn’t at first accorded respect, she says.

Many artists gave her a hard time and were even mean, especially when she started enjoying success on radio, although she notes wryly – and without naming names – that some have gone on to become judges and coaches on talent competitions, “so there’s irony.”

She believes her position as a coach on NBC’s “The Voice” – her night job this fall, as she launches the talk show – provides an opportunity to smooth the path for other budding performers.

“The first three years of my career was me just paying for winning a talent show,” she says. “I got real bitter. I was just looking for anyone to talk to who knew what I was going through. And that’s why I like to do that for artists on ‘The Voice.’ It’s actually healed that bitterness I used to carry, being able to be that for somebody else.”

Clarkson says she loved being on “Idol,” and is planning a talk-show reunion with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. However, there’s one consequence of her victory she doesn’t miss at all.

“It’s really funny, because I knew that the winner of ‘Idol’ would have to do that movie (the critically savaged “From Justin to Kelly,” with runner-up Justin Guarini) and I didn’t want to do that movie. And I think Justin did. So, we were totally cool with him winning and me not winning, so I didn’t have to do (the movie),” she says. “But I won, and had to do it. Contractually obligated.”

Photos: New & Old Photo Sessions + Duets + More

Photos: New & Old Photo Sessions + Duets + More

I’ve added a bunch of new (old) photos to the gallery mainly in our Photo Session area. I also replaced many low quality images with better quality ones. Enjoy them they are lovely.

Kelly will be releasing her new single this week on September 7th. She will then be a co-host on the Today Show on September 8th. A busy week for our favorite singer!

Photos: American Idol, Duets, Reba, American Dreams, and More

I’ve added a bunch of missing photos to the gallery of Kelly from projects she has done on television. I have more to add so check back.

Press: Kelly Clarkson in Talks to Be Judge on Re-Booted ‘American Idol’: Report

As ABC prepares to reboot American Idol, TMZ is reporting that perhaps the show’s most iconic champion, season one winner Kelly Clarkson, is clearing her schedule to potentially take a seat at the judge’s table. According to the site, three-time Grammy winner Clarkson is the network’s first choice for judge and it has expressed “serious interest” in signing on Clarkson, one of the show’s biggest success stories.

While a spokesperson for Clarkson told Billboard on Wednesday (May 10) there was no comment on the report, TMZ said, “We’re told she’s not only interested, but people on her team are already looking to clear her schedule during the time the show will be filmed.” TMZ previously reported that instead of traveling from city-to-city for nationwide auditions, home base for the try-outs will be at Disney World and possibly Disneyland, in Florida and California, respectively. A spokesperson for Idol could not be reached for comment at press time.

While none of the judges have yet been named for the show, speculation has swirled around the potential for Ryan Seacrest to return as host. The recently installed Live With Kelly and Ryan co-star was the face of the show for all 15 seasons, and on Monday morning (May 8) he made it seem like he might be open to finding time for it in his incredibly hectic schedule.

“I said at the end of the series, ‘Goodbye for now,’ hoping somewhere it would come back,” said Seacrest, who, in addition to appearing as co-host on the New York-based talk show in the morning with Ripa, also hosts his own morning radio show.