EXCLUSIVE: Kelly Clarkson Explains Why She'll Be a Judge on 'The Voice' and Not 'American Idol'

Kelly Clarkson's decision to become a judge on 'The Voice' in 2018 comes down to family.

Kelly Clarkson's decision to become a judge on The Voice in 2018 comes down to family.

ET sat down with the 35-year-old singer on Thursday, when she explained taking the NBC gig despite getting discovered on rival show American Idol. 

"Think of how I felt," Clarkson joked to ET's Kevin Frazier about fans' reaction to the surprising choice. "[But] I've been in talks with The Voice about doing stuff for years. It's a family decision too, for us. Like, my husband [Brandon Blackstock] manages Blake [Shelton] so we're all in one place and it's going to be good. And I'm excited, ya'll."

Clarkson also said she and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest have no hard feelings towards one another.


"I had to interview with Ryan Seacrest recently, it was so weird," she shared. "We've never been on, like, opposing networks and so it was funny. We had a good laugh about it."

Of course, Clarkson said she'll be cheering on fellow Idol alum Jennifer Hudson's debut as a Voice coach on Monday night's season 13 premiere. 

"I love her," Clarkson gushed. "I love, first of all, just the confidence that she has, and I had so much fun with her."

She also acknowledged her and Hudson's advantages when it comes to judging a singing competition.

"I think there is a difference being one of the contestants previously on a show like this," she noted. "I think that does carry weight."

As for her own Idol win in 2002, she revealed she was actually hoping to get second place -- but not for the reasons one might think!

"I don't like to lose, let's be real," she stressed. "The reason why I didn't is because I found out, Justin [Guarini] and I both found out that last week, that whoever won had to do this movie."

She's of course referring to 2003's From Justin to Kelly.

"Ain't no Meryl Streep here, I was like, 'Nope,'" Clarkson recalled, adding that she cried constantly on set. "I hated it."

"I obviously tried to put my best foot forward, it's just, like, that's my best foot forward," she continued with a laugh. "This is it."

These days, she still has a sense of humor about the film.

"Even my nanny loves it," she shared. "I'm like, 'If you show my child that, you are fired.'"

Clarkson has definitely come a long way since her Idol days and is gearing up for her highly anticipated album, Meaning of Life, out Oct. 27.

"This album is literally the chapter of my life, that is, I'm blessed, man," Clarkson said. "I love my life and it definitely bleeds through this album."

The singer couldn't be more content with her husband and their two kids, 3-year-old daughter River and 1-year-old son Remi.

"I'm very strict," she says of her parenting style. "You're going to get it done or you're going to go get in trouble. Our nannies too -- we're strict on them making sure they're strict on our kids. I don't want ... they're already super privileged, y'all!"

Still, she hilariously admitted to having trouble letting go of River when she recently started school.

"I'm going to be real with you, you're going to judge me and I'm fine with this, buut I constantly think of Dateline specials, like, something is going to happen to my baby if I'm not there," she shared. "I full on have panic attack dreams up until dropping her off at school."

"It was the most gratifying experience to drop your kids off and her be like, 'Bye,'" she later noted. "But at the same time, I want you to need me a little."  

For more on how Clarkson's husband has inspired her new music -- specifically, how Blackstock makes her feel sexy -- watch the video below!