Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About Replacing Katy Perry on ‘American Idol’

Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry
Theo Wargo/Getty Images; Disney/Eric McCandless

Kelly Clarkson has a long history with American Idol, being the show’s first-ever winner back in 2002, so could she return to the series as part of the judging panel?

After former Idol judge Katy Perry said her farewell to the show at the end of Season 22 on May 19, 2024, there is now an empty seat next to Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. While it was announced that ABC was in talks with “high-profile stars” to replace the outgoing Perry, no official announcement has been made as of yet.

Speaking at the Daytime Emmy Awards on Friday night (June 7), Entertainment Tonight asked Clarkson if she would consider stepping in as Perry’s replacement.

“I can’t do that, only because I promised my kids. I was like, ‘I wanna be there as much as I possibly can,'” the “Since U Been Gone” hitmaker said. “And it would put me in L.A., and that’s why I had to quit The Voice, which I love that team. And I miss them so much.”

Clarkson has experience judging a reality competitions series, as she served as a coach on The Voice from Season 14 to Season 21, and again for Season 23.

While working on The Voice and hosting her own daytime talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, the singer was living in Los Angeles. However, she moved to the East Coast last year to spend more time with her children.

“I wanted a life for us. And we enjoy the park every day, and we enjoy each other,” she told the publication. “As a parent — people get this — you only get so much time until they don’t want to hang out with you. That’s the reason [I can’t do Idol]. It’s my kiddos.”

Clarkson picked up the trophy for Outstanding Daytime Talk Series at Friday’s Daytime Emmy awards. During her speech, she thanked NBC for supporting her mental health after she asked for the show to be moved from Los Angeles to New York City.

Who would you like to see replace Perry as the next Idol judge? Let us know in the comments below.

American Idol, Season 23, TBA, ABC