Forget ambassadors of good will. The United States is sending Kelly Clarkson, the original American Idol winner, to represent in a sing-off against Idol victors from 11 other countries in Fox's World Idol. (The competition airs Christmas Day at 8 pm/ET, and the winner is announced New Year's Day at 9 pm/ET.) But before she goes to face the music in the United Kingdom, we found out what Miss Independent thinks about her global showdown, her movie misfire and whether she's destined to be a Broadway Baby.
TV Guide Online: Think you've got an edge over the other Idols, having been on a world tour?
Clarkson: There's actually a few of us that have gone to other countries, so everybody has that benefit. I have been around in the U.K. and other countries in Europe for quite some time, but in Australia, Spain and Italy, I'm just now starting. And if people do know me, they don't know me, the person. They know my song, "Miss Independent."
TVGO: This will probably help your international record sales.
Clarkson: Oh, I know, and that's a smart idea for all of us. Plus, I'm excited to hear all the different kind of songs. I've never heard Arabian music before. But we're not allowed to tell people our songs, and we don't know the other Idols' songs. Everything's kind of a big secret.
TVGO: Which Idols have you met already?
Clarkson: I've been to the U.K. a couple of times, so I met Will, and he's got such a unique voice. When I performed on Australian Idol, I met Guy, who eventually ended up winning. Everybody in America is going to laugh because he's such a great guy and he's got curly hair like Justin Guarini. They don't look anything alike, but it's just funny because of the hair. I just kept laughing, "Oh, if you win, it's going to be really cute."
TVGO: Romance rumors might start flying about you two!
Clarkson: Oh, I know, right? I'll be married to him as well!
TVGO: Speaking of Justin, he hasn't had the best luck lately. Why do you think his CD didn't reach the same level of success as yours?
Clarkson: I don't have any clue, because I'm actually a big fan of his CD. Maybe it was just a weird time when the CD came out. There are a lot of great people that came out at the same time. He's phenomenal. He can play the piano, the guitar, he can write, he can sing... I mean, he's a great guy. I'm sure this isn't the last we've heard of him.
TVGO: Why do you think the media didn't create a rivalry between you and Justin like they did with Ruben and Clay?
Clarkson: I think basically because we're girl and guy versus two guys heading it off. And Clay and Ruben, they're very playfully competitive. They play around with each other. Me and Justin were basically like, "Alright, whoever wins, whatever." We were very different.
TVGO: When From Justin to Kelly came out, you talked about how you initially weren't on board with it. Since it didn't fare well with critics or at the box office, do you wish you'd stuck with your gut reaction?
Clarkson: Oh, not at all. That was really just my initial thought: "Oh, I want to get [to work] on my album." We said from the beginning, [the movie] wasn't supposed to be Titanic. It was supposed to be something cute for the younger audience. I did a minitour of the states and every little kid that came up to me had memorabilia from that movie. So that's what counts. I had a blast.
TVGO: Do you want to continue acting or just stay with music?
Clarkson: For right now, I want to stick to the music because I've got a lot on my plate. Broadway has been calling and we're putting it on hold for now. But we're going to pick up that phone, because I want to do that. There have been a lot of acting things coming up as well. If something came up that I thought fit me, I would definitely jump on board.
TVGO: What would you like to do on Broadway?
Clarkson: Actually Bernadette Peters is doing one of my favorite roles in Gypsy. That's one of my dream roles, but I'm not any Bernadette Peters! I would love to see her in that, actually. I'm a big fan of hers. I think it would be cool to do something like that, or actually, it would be cool to come out with a brand new show. I want to play a feisty, out-there character.