Kelly Clarkson Finally Explains Why She Iced Out Simon Cowell Through Her Entire American Idol Run

In the early seasons of American Idol, it was one thing to win the votes of America, but it was quite another to survive the brutally honest criticism of OG judge Simon Cowell. On the panel that included him, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul, Cowell was notorious for not pulling his punches when commenting on anything from a contestant’s voice to their wardrobe to their song choice. Apparently Kelly Clarkson’s strategy in regards to Cowell was to ice him out, and two decades later, she came clean about her reasoning.

Kelly Clarkson recently celebrated the 20-year anniversary of her American Idol victory, and she did so in impressive fashion, as she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The talk show host reunited with the original Idol judges who changed her life, and during the ceremony, Simon Cowell recalled what happened the first time he approached the contestant on the show. He said (via People): 

I went up to you afterwards because, obviously, I was thinking, ‘I think you’re gonna win this show.’ I said, ‘I just want to say, that was amazing, Kelly, and I am here.’ You turned around to me and said, ‘Simon… Without being rude, I would much rather we do not talk — seriously until the end of the series.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow, what does that mean? It means stay away from me. I know what I’m doing. I’m focused.’

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