Kelly Clarkson’s new talk show premiered earlier this month, and she’s already brought on three important celebrities from her life: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, the three original judges of American Idol who helped propel Clarkson into the show’s very first breakout star.
In their reunion interview, Cowell pointed out that the feeling was mutual. “I actually, genuinely do not believe we would be sitting here today if you hadn’t entered the show that year,” he said, to applause from the audience. “The whole premise of the show was, we had to find a star who was gonna sell records. We found some great people that whole year, but when you delivered that moment on that first live show, and you sang that winning song at the end…”
“It was a game changer,” Abdul added.
“We looked at each other at the end of the finale and said, ‘Wow, this thing is really gonna work,'” said Jackson. “I think that was the moment that we knew.”
Clarkson won the first season of American Idol and remains one of the top-selling acts to come out of the reality show. She recently donated memorabilia to the Girls Rock Reverb Gives Auction, along with a slew of other prominent women artists like Kacey Musgraves, Stevie Nicks, Billie Eilish, Mavis Staples, Dolly Parton and more.