Kelly Clarkson Recalls 'Really Mean' Treatment During 'American Idol' Days

By Paris Close

January 16, 2021

Kelly Clarkson says she endured a lot of “really mean” criticism when she competed on American Idol.

Clarkson, who is the show’s inaugural American idol in 2002, opened up about the “rude” comments she received from celebrities at the time during a recent broadcast of The Kelly Clarkson Show.

The “Catch My Breath” singer-songwriter shared her experience while speaking with guest Jennifer Love Hewitt, who Clarkson thanked for showing her kindness during her season of the show.

"You ran up to me right when [I was in the] final three of Idol. We were just so slammed, and everything was happening in a whirlwind," Clarkson told the Party of Five actress. "People were really mean to us, because we're from a talent show, and it was the first season. Everyone was so rude to us on the carpet, at the show. It was so bad. It was a horrible experience. You came up to me, ran up to me out of nowhere, and said 'Oh my gosh, I'm really rooting for you.'"

Looking back, the 38-year-old recalled the encouraging advice Hewitt had given her.

"You said to keep the ones you love close, and it'll end up being just a few people in your life, unfortunately, but that this business can be really hard," the pop star revealed. "You just gave me this advice that was really, really kind, at such an unkind time to me personally."

Since winning American Idol, Clarkson has released eight studio albums, including the Grammy-winning LPs Breakaway (2006) and Stronger (2013). These days, the mommy-of-two has her own talk show and has served as a judge on the hit singing competition show, The Voice.

Photo: Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson

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