‘American Idol’ is returning, but Kelly Clarkson and Simon Cowell are not
American Idol is returning from the dead, but its top dawgs, Kelly Clarkson and Simon Cowell aren’t coming along for the ride.
While there was originally some speculation that Clarkson, the OG Idol, would be brought onboard the show’s 16th season, Clarkson will not be returning to her reality show roots to judge right away. In fact, Variety reported on Thursday that the singer will be joining NBC’s The Voice as a Season 14 coach. The ultimate betrayal.
And in case that didn’t sting enough, Simon Cowell — one of Idol’s original three judges — says we can count him out for the revival, too.
Clarkson’s season of The Voice is set to premiere in February 2018, which means she could very well be going into a head-to-head ratings battle with Idol’s expected March 2018 debut.
“I’m so excited to join,” Clarkson told Variety. “We’ve gone back and forth about a role as a coach for years, but the timing hasn’t been right until now.”
She’s not the only Idol alum who will be turning chairs with current Voice judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. Oscar-winning actress and singer, Jennifer Hudson — who was on American Idol back in 2004 — will be a coach on Season 13 of The Voice.
As for the lack of love surrounding the Idol revival, Cowell — now on America’s Got Talent — told Extra that the show has changed far too much for him to return. “My memories are when we first started. It was a different time with Randy [Jackson], Ryan [Seacrest] and Paula [Abdul]. You can’t recreate that,” he said. “Last time I watched, it was not the same show, just the same name. I left for a reason and I never regretted that.”
“I was asked to do it, and the answer is no,” he said bluntly. “I have no interest.”
And Seacrest, who was Idol’s host for 15 seasons, recently joined Kelly Ripa as her new Live co-host, so whether he’ll be returning is still unclear. Basically, it seems as though everyone originally involved in the show has moved on, and even the response from fans hasn’t been very positive.
Perhaps Idol can try to snag Season 1 runner up Justin Guarini away from whatever the heck he’s up to right now … or the very least, William Hung.