Kelly Clarkson Admits She Didn't Initially Know She Was Auditioning for 'American Idol'


Kelly Clarkson had no idea that one audition would change her life. 

The newest coach on The Voice  appeared on Monday's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and recalled what it was like to be the first winner of American Idol in 2002, admitting that she didn't even initially know that she was going out for a TV show. 

"I didn't even know it was a TV audition until the third audition," she revealed. "Because it was producers [in the beginning]."

Clarkson said she had just moved back home and was "literally doing anything." She did know she was trying out for something called American Idol, but "nobody knew what that was" at the time.

"I didn't have anything," she said. "I was one of those dumb people that was like, 'Where do I sign?' I had no idea it was a TV show until the third [audition]."

Clarkson quipped that all she knew was that she "had to sing."

"That's really the only gift I possessed, so I was like, 'I gotta make money somehow off this,'" she mused. "It could've ended very poorly."

Over 15 years later, Clarkson is singing on The Tonight Show as part of the program's hilarious "Google Translate" segment. The 35-year-old musician and Fallon took turns performing tracks after they were translated back to English from another language. 

Clarkson cracked herself up while performing the revised lyrics to her hit song, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," which included, "If you don't kill it, then it's too strong."

In an exclusive interview with ET's Sophie Schillaci earlier this month, Clarkson revealed that while she owes her career in part to Idol, she did not get the prize she was promised.

"I never got my new car. Yeah everybody got a car but the O.G. y'all," she exclaimed. "I didn't get a car. You know who got a car? Clay Aiken got a car, he didn't even win! Clay and his mom -- his mom got a car."

She added, "I'm the only one I didn't get [one]. I was promised that Ford whatever it was, I don't even know what it was. I needed it. My car looked like an accordion."


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