HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Kelly Clarkson attends the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
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Kelly Clarkson Thought 'American Idol' Was 'Going Nowhere' During Its First Season

Kelly Clarkson opened up to Conan O'Brien about her early reservations over the singing competition show.

While chatting with Kelly Clarkson on the podcast Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend, the show's host and namesake admitted to initially thinking that American Idol would be around "for 10 minutes like anything else" after seeing early advertisements for the singing competition series. Clarkson revealed that she, too, had her reservations early on during the first season.

Clarkson said that the show didn't have a stylist until season one's Top 5, so contestants at some point were taken to a mall, given around $200 and tasked with picking out their own wardrobe.

"I am thinking, 'This show is going nowhere. I'm pocketing this money. I'll wear whatever I want,'," she added. "I just wore what I had. I just took the money. This is, like, rent money. I'm not going to waste it on this dumb mall. No one knew this show would be what it was. I'm literally the first winner. I had no idea. Even after I won, no one knew. No one could've called that."

Of course, American Idol became a pop cultural phenomenon much like its inspiration, the UK's Pop Idol, and launched Clarkson's ongoing multimedia career.

Clarkson also revealed that she hates the sound of her recorded voice to the point that she never leaves voice mails. O'Brien jokingly countered by asking how Clarkson felt about being on a podcast.

"Here's why I'm okay with this show or my talk show or any show I do: I don't watch them or listen to myself back because I'm in it," she said. "Do you like your voice when you hear your voice? Nobody really does, right?"

"I am not a fan of my voice, but then I talk to other people and they agree that they're also not a fan of my voice," O'Brien responded. "I've always thought that I do not have a voice for television or radio, and that's the medium that I got into."

O'Brien then teased Clarkson for having multiple talents beyond talk show hosting, which he claims is all he can do for a living.

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