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Kelly Clarkson Recalls Celebrities Being ‘Really Mean’ to Her During ‘American Idol’ Days

How rude! Kelly Clarkson revealed that her experience competing on American Idol wasn’t entirely positive.

Related: 'American Idol' Winners Through the Years

On The Kelly Clarkson Show on Thursday, January 14, the “Love So Soft” singer spoke with guest Jennifer Love Hewitt about how celebrities weren’t nice to her and her fellow contestants. However, she remembered having a positive interaction during that time with the 41-year-old Ghost Whisperer alum.

Kelly Clarkson Says Celebrities Were Mean Her During American Idol Days
Kelly Clarkson. Invision/AP/Shutterstock

“You probably don’t remember this, but it stuck with me [for] so long… almost 20 years now,” Clarkson, 38, said. “It was at some kind of MTV Awards, VMAs or something, I don’t know what it was but you ran up to me. It was right in the final three of Idol, everything was happening in a whirlwind and people were really mean to us because we’re from a talent show and it was the first season. Everyone was so rude to us, like, on the carpet, at the show … it was a horrible experience.”

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The Grammy winner then recalled how Hewitt approached her at an awards show and provided words of encouragement. “You came up to me, ran up to me out of nowhere and were like, ‘Oh, my gosh. I’m really rooting for you,’” she explained. “You told me, ‘Please, keep the ones you love so close. It’ll be a few people in your life unfortunately but this business can be really hard. And just remember to keep those people that really love you.’”

She continued, “You just gave me this advice that was really kind at such an unkind time for me, personally. So, thank you so much, it meant the world to me.”

Clarkson said that she has “been looking forward” to interviewing Hewitt because of that moment. The I Know What You Did Last Summer star then showed her appreciation by saying, “That’s really nice! Thank you.”

Related: Kelly Clarkson’s Most Relatable Parenting Quotes

Clarkson competed on American Idol during its debut season in 2002. She ultimately won the competition, beating out runner-up Justin Guarini.

Kelly Clarkson Says Celebrities Were Mean Her During American Idol Days
Kelly Clarkson at the American Idol Grand Finale at Kodak Theatre Hollywood and Highland on May 26, 2004 in Hollywood, California. Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

The Texas native has spoken about not having the easiest time after winning the reality series. “The first three years of my career was me just paying for winning a talent show,” she told USA Today in 2019. “I got real bitter. I was just looking for anyone to talk to who knew what I was going through.”

In 2018, the “Since U Been Gone” singer joined The Voice as a coach during its 14th season after serving as an advisor to contestants in season 13. That same year, American Idol was rebooted on ABC. Clarkson revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017 that she “had already been in talks with The Voice” before learning that American Idol was returning.

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