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Kelly Clarkson Is Returning to 'American Idol' -- to Be a Judge!

by Desiree Murphy 4:07 PM PST, January 15, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson is saying farewell to American Idol in the best way possible.

The 33-year-old singer -- who gained fame as the first Idol champion -- will be joining Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban as a guest judge on the first live show of the 15th and final season, executive producer Trish Kinane revealed on Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

WATCH: The Complete List of 'American Idol' Winners: Where Are They Now?

"We've invited her to be part of this season and she's really happy to be," Kinane shared. "She will be a guest judge on our first live top 10 show and she'll also perform."

Although the "Heartbeat Song" singer is pregnant with her second child with husband Brandon Blackstock, producers are hoping that timing will work in their favor and that Clarkson will also be able to come back to perform for the finale episode.

But Clarkson isn't the only familiar face fans of the series will be seeing this season.

"We're talking to everybody who's made a huge contribution to the show, and we'd love to have them come back," Kinane added.

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Although original fan favorite Idol judge Simon Cowell has taken his critiquing skills to America's Got Talent, Kinane has high hopes that he'll make an appearance this season, alongside Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

"I appreciate Simon's part in the history of the show and [it's] a very important part," she said. "I think the most we can expect is for Simon to be at the finale."

Host Ryan Seacrest chimed in, adding, "Simon's hung up on his lighting. We did speak and I think you'll see the original faces back on the show before it's over."

Earlier this month, ET caught up with Lopez on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, where she spoke up about former contestant Clay Aiken's thoughts on this season's "boring" judges.

Press play on the video below to hear her remarks.

WATCH: Jennifer Lopez on Clay Aiken's 'American Idol' Dig: 'He's Crazy!'

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