Kelly Clarkson has American Idol to thank for launching her into super-stardom, but the singer revealed that she actually hoped she would lose the show’s Season 1 finale — all because of an unwanted “perk” that came with it.
Clarkson became the first winner of the show in 2002, beating out Justin Guarini in a national vote. It wasn’t exactly what Kelly had hoped, she said in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, the singer revealed that she was so averse to the contract stipulation that the inaugural season’s winner had to appear in a movie musical that she actually hoped Guarini would win instead.
Kelly said she had come on the show to make it as a singer and had no desire whatsoever to be an actor. So when it came down to her and Justin at the end, and Justin was enthusiastic about the idea of appearing in a movie, Kelly figured it might be best if he just won it.
Kelly did win, however, and said she broke down about the idea of having to appear in a movie.
“I cried so hard to get out of that. But in the contract I had to, because I won,” she shared.
“And I love movie musicals — I have such an amazing amount appreciation for that kind of talent — but I don’t feel like that’s my talent, necessarily. So, you know, I was miserable shooting it, and I didn’t want to do it. I thought it was going to ruin my singing career.”
Justin ended pushing to be in the movie and was included as well, starring alongside Kelly in the critically panned From Justin to Kelly. The movie has since gained something of a cult following, interviewer Lyndsey Parker told Kelly, who said her nanny admitted that the movie was one of her favorite guilty pleasures. Kelly warned the nanny against showing the movie to her kids, however.
Kelly’s disdain for the movie is now well-documented. She has shared the story of her finale-night jitters in other interviews, saying in a 2017 interview with Access Hollywood that her biggest memory from that night was not wanting to win.
The hard feelings seem to have subsided, however. Kelly told Yahoo! Entertainment she is not embarrassed by appearing in the box office flop, but was worried that it would cast a shadow over her career and make it more difficult for people to take her seriously as a singer.