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Kelly Clarkson signs on as 'The Voice' Season 14 coach, spurning 'American Idol' revival's interest


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/12/2017 

Kelly Clarkson may have won the inaugural season of American Idol, but her loyalty now apparently lies with a rival reality singing competition, The Voice.

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NBC has announced Clarkson will serve as one of four coaches on The Voice's fourteenth season in Spring 2018.

Clarkson will join the show's mainstay judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, and the fourth judge will be announced at a later date.

"I'm so excited to join The Voice at NBC. We've gone back and forth about a role as a coach for years, but the timing hasn't been right until now," Clarkson said in a statement.

Clarkson has released six studio albums, one greatest hits album, and one holiday album. She has sold more than 21 million albums worldwide and placed 10 singles in the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. She is the recipient of three Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, and more. Clarkson has also collaborated with Shelton before on a song for his record.

"I have always loved appearing on the show as an adviser or performer and established an amazing relationship with the network during my Christmas special," she continued.

"I can't wait to turn my chair and see the faces of up-and-coming artists and provide them with the help and support they've needed to break into the industry. Watch out Shelton, I'm comin' to win!!"

NBC's announcement of Clarkson's The Voice participation comes only a couple of days after reports surfaced she was ABC's top choice to sit on the judging panel for the network's American Idol's revival, which is scheduled to debut in the 2017-2018 season.

According to TMZ sources familiar with the situation, ABC expressed "serious interest" in Clarkson becoming a judge on American Idol, and in turn, Clarkson allegedly began clearing her schedule because she was definitely considering the gig.

NBC appears to have snatched Clarkson up before she could sign a contract with ABC, which just publicly confirmed Idol's pick-up earlier this week. Since Clarkson is the original American Idol winner, it's a bit of a surprise she chose to join The Voice instead.

"Kelly has been a part of The Voice family for many years as an adviser and performer. We are thrilled she has chosen to join us as a coach to mentor the next generation through our unique vocal boot camp," NBC reality chief Paul Telegdy said in a statement of Clarkson, who previously served as an adviser to Shelton's artists during the show's second season.

"Every time Kelly Clarkson sings you are reminded what an incredible voice really is. We are looking forward to the sound of Kelly Clarkson on The Voice."

Clarkson was also revealed as a Season 14 coach on The Voice right on the heels of NBC announcing Jennifer Hudson will sit in one of the four big red chairs for the show's upcoming Fall 2017 edition, Season 13.

Hudson -- who appeared on The Voice's U.K. version for Season 6 and coached the eventual winner -- is set to coach contestants on Season 13 of the U.S. version alongside Miley Cyrus, Shelton and Levine.

Like Clarkson, Hudson also has an American Idol background, as she was a finalist on the show's third season.

In 2013, reports surfaced that Idol was considering revamping its judging panel to be a former contestants panel comprised of Clarkson, Hudson, and either Clay Aiken or Adam Lambert. However, Fox ultimately decided to go with Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. instead.

ABC has yet to announce any of Idol's new judges or even confirm whether Ryan Seacrest will reprise his longtime hosting role.

If Seacrest accepts the job, he'd have to fly back and forth from New York to Los Angeles since he's currently co-hosting Live with Kelly and Ryan alongside Kelly Ripa.

Seacrest admitted to Ripa on Monday that he's not sure if he could juggle two shows with his other producing, TV, and radio responsibilities in the entertainment industry. When asked whether he'd accept the hosting position for Idol, Seacrest just kept saying, "I don't know."

American Idol's fifteenth season ended last year with Trent Harmon being crowned the last winner over La'Porsha Renae.

At the peak of Idol's success in 2006, the series drew an enormous 36.4 total viewers. Ratings, however, steadily declined as the show neared its end. Its final season reportedly averaged only 9.1 million viewers.

In addition to Clarkson and Hudson, many pop icons also got their start on the former Fox reality singing competition and went on to find great success and fame -- including Aiken, Lambert, Phillip Phillips, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, and Scotty McCreery.



Kelly Clarkson/Instagram

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