Kelly Clarkson Reunited With The Original Judges Who Helped Her Make History On American Idol, But It Almost Didn’t Happen


Big things are happening for Kelly Clarkson at this moment in her life. The fourth season of her daytime talk show premiered in the coveted time slot previously held by Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres, and the multihyphenate just received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. To celebrate her achievement, she reunited with some important figures from her past — Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, the three judges from American Idol who helped skyrocket her to fame. The reunion, however, was close to being incomplete.

Paula Abdul apparently had to change her flight plans late in the game in order to be at the ceremony — and People reports that she arrived during Simon Cowell’s speech. Two decades after Kelly Clarkson won the first season of American Idol, the “Straight Up” singer said there was no way she was missing a moment like this. Abdul told the honoree: 

I’m so proud to be here, honored. I changed my flight just so I could be here. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Kelly — not only the trajectory of your life has changed, but you helped change the trajectory of everyone’s lives.

It’s so fitting that Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul were all there to mark the OG champ’s huge milestone, and thank goodness the latter superstar was able to make it happen. Just as the trio provided Kelly Clarkson the nationally televised platform to show what she had to offer the world of entertainment, the singer changed the course of the judges’ lives as well. Check them out together once more!

(Image credit: Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Even the famously crotchety Cowell echoed Abdul’s sentiments, pointing out that Clarkson was also to thank for American Idol’s longevity. He recalled the moment she was announced as the winner, saying (via EW): 

I remember that moment when your name was called and I was thinking to myself, ‘Thanks to you, we may have another season.’ I can honestly say to you, thanks to you, I’m here today… because you validated what we did. If we didn’t find a star, there’s no point in doing these shows.





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