Did you know that it was fifteen years ago this week that Kelly Clarkson was declared the winner of American Idol season 1? It’s crazy to think about just how quickly time passes, but that was a landmark moment in TV history that changed talent competitions as well as the way stars are born. Sure, there were talent shows before American Idol, but none of them had the same sort of expansive impact on television as watching Clarkson sing A Moment Like This.
Now, here’s one of the funnier things about the show’s run in retrospect: Kelly Clarkson didn’t even want to win it! While she has reaped the rewards of coming in first place, there was a reason why she was initially nervous about winning American Idol. Let’s just say that it involves a certain project that came to be later known as From Justin to Kelly. Speaking in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Clarkson had the following to say:
“I do remember Justin [Guarini] and I having the conversation before, and I was like, ‘I don’t want to win, I don’t want to win,’ because we found out we had to do a movie. He really wanted to do a movie. And I really didn’t want to do a movie. I was like, ‘It would be really super cool if I got second and you got first, because the winner has to do the movie and the second one doesn’t.’”
If Justin had won, who knows what would’ve happened when it comes to the feature film? It’s fair to wonder whether or not there would have been a movie featuring Kelly at all; we know that From Justin to Kelly was an enormous box-office flop, and one of the biggest regrets (seemingly) of Clarkson’s entire career. In the end, it’s almost a comedic little footnote on an incredible career. It’s corny as heck, but it’s indicative of a specific time in history when people were trying to milk reality television for every drop imaginable.
The funny thing is, now it’s fairly common for singing show contestants to not want to win in the end. After all, there are commitments that come with that, including a record contract that forces singers to do things that they may not want to do. This is especially true for a show like The Voice, where the record contract that comes with it doesn’t always reap huge rewards. There are many winners of this show that haven’t really produced much, and even the coaches have gone after the label for not doing enough with their contestants after the fact. At some point, you do have to wonder if contestants in 2017 know better when it comes to their careers and are happy to go at it in their own way.
What do you think about some of Kelly Clarkson’s comments, and do you think it says something about how reality-TV contestants perceive their show while they are on them? Share below in the CarterMatt comments section!
Meanwhile, visit this link to see some of the latest American Idol judging rumors for the upcoming 16th season! (Photo: Fox.)