Kelly Clarkson has officially chosen a stint on The Voice over returning to the show that helped her rise to fame, American Idol. The singer announced the news via a Facebook Live chat with Blake Shelton on Thursday.
Clarkson will be taking a coveted coach's chair for Season 14 of The Voice, which will air next spring — the same time that ABC is planning to launch its American Idol revival, TVGuide.com has learned. There were rumors that Clarkson was also being approached by Idol as a potential judge, but it seems that Clarkson is taking a more comfortable seat over at NBC. She'll be joined by veteran Voice coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. The fourth coach for Season 14 has not been confirmed yet.
The choice is interesting because Clarkson was the first winner of American Idol, the show that birthed the singing competition series boom. The singer has made numerous appearances on Idol over the years and even served as a guest judge during the show's allegedly final season last year. Now that Idol is returning on ABC, and even the super busy Ryan Seacrest is in talks to reclaim his hosting responsibilities, Clarkson seemed like a natural choice to start this new chapter in Idol's legacy.
However, The Voice has been after Clarkson for several seasons. The busy singer has expressed interest in the past, but has never been able to make coaching on the show fit with her busy touring and recording schedule. It could be the chips just finally landed in place for the NBC show before Idol could get a competitive deal together.
It's also a sign that The Voice is the singing competition of the modern age. The ratings juggernaut has intrigued audiences thanks to its initial round of "blind auditions" in which coaches pick singers they want on their team purely from singing ability rather than overall aesthetic. It was a big criticism for Idol, especially in its older seasons, that the contestants that progressed in the show did so because of how they looked and appealed to the audience rather than how well they could actually sing. The Voice handles those concerns in a more intriguing fashion, at least in the initial rounds.
The irony of Clarkson's stint is that The Voice Season 14 could very likely end up going head to head with the new version of Idol in the Monday time-slot. Variety reports that ABC is eyeing Sunday night as a home for Idol with a results show to follow on Monday — putting it square against The Voice's 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. slot on the same night.
It's a battle of the singing competitions and it seems that Kelly Clarkson has chosen her side. It's your move, ABC.
Yesterday, Jennifer Hudson signed on as a coach for the show's 13th season, which will air in the fall.