Kelly Clarkson may be American Idol’s original and arguably most successful winner, but it seems like the show isn’t exactly willing to broadcast that fact in a new promo for the upcoming season of the singing show. Ahead of its triumphant return to TV on ABC next month, the network unveiled a brand new promotional trailer highlighting the success stories of the huge stars who got their start on the singing competition – though Kelly was noticeably absent.
Both Breathe Heavy and ATRL confirmed that the new promotional video which popped up on YouTube highlights a number of big names to get their start on the series – including Season 3 contestant Jennifer Hudson, Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood, Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, and Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert – but left Clarkson out of being formally recognized.
That’s when angry fans lashed out at the series on social media, putting the show on blast for failing to recognize Kelly as one of the talent show’s most successful contestants, though her winning moment was briefly shown a few seconds in.
Many even accused the singing competition of throwing a whole lot of shade at its original winner, suggesting that her new gig as a coach on Season 14 of The Voice – which has been Idol’s rival show since it began in 2011 – could be the reason for the apparent snub, despite the clip featuring Season 13 coach Jennifer Hudson.
A number of Twitter users lashed out on social media by posting some pretty scathing messages and GIF’s in support of the star, who won the very first season of American Idol back in 2002 and has returned to the series since to perform on multiple occasions, even serving as a guest judge for one night in 2016 alongside Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and Keith Urban.
“Bitter, party of one? @AmericanIdol leaves out @kelly_clarkson from their ‘superstar’ list but included all her millions of sales and steams in their stats to boast about,” hit back Twitter user @jordanhanks. “The new Idol hasn’t even started yet and I’m already over it. Bad move.”
“How p**sed is @AmericanIdol that Kelly Clarkson is a judge on @NBCTheVoice?????” another tweeted after seeing the video, which has since been removed from YouTube, while Clarkson fan @soimalreadygone added, “American Idol shading Kelly omg Katy [Perry] get out of there!”
Notably, the possible shade also comes just weeks after The Voice debuted its new promo material for Season 14 featuring Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, and Adam Levine, where E! News claimed the NBC series may have been taking aim at American Idol by calling itself “America’s Favorite.”
The Carson Daly hosted show also appeared to capitalize on the drama from Kelly’s fans amid the “shade” allegations. NBC posted a photo of the “Love So Soft” singer to Instagram on February 12 alongside the caption, “She is beauty. She is grace. Oh, how we just love this face! #TheVoice.”
Kelly’s been very vocal about the fact that both American Idol and The Voice offered her the opportunity to be a judge or a coach this year, but confirmed that she made the decision to head to NBC to sit alongside Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Alicia Keys over returning to the show she won 16 years ago.
“Would it have been awesome to come back to the show that started me and help give someone that start? Yes!” Kelly told Entertainment Weekly last year. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t do the same thing on The Voice.”
She then clarified why she chose to head to The Voice in another interview, as Clarkson told Variety that the judges on American Idol don’t get to form a relationship with the contestants like they do on its rival show, which is what she really wanted to do.
“On Idol, you can’t really have a relationship,” Clarkson explained, “and I, as you can tell, love talking and having relationships.”
Kelly Clarkson will make her debut as a coach on The Voice Season 14 when the show returns to NBC on February 26. American Idol will premiere on ABC with coaches Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie on the judging panel on March 11.