When “Duets” begins airing next Thursday, May 24, Kelly Clarkson will be acting like a mama bear protecting her two cubs as she performs with the amateur singers — Jason Farol and Jordan Meredith — she has chosen to mentor for the singing competition.
The reason? She considers the first four years of her career post-”American Idol” to be “almost total crap.”
“They were really hard,” she recalls. “I was always successful, but that is not always the dream. The dream is to be happy while being successful.”
Part of the problem is the then-19-year-old didn’t have anyone who was truly looking out for her. And she says that is one her biggest reasons for agreeing to do “Duets.”
“It sounds super cheesy, but I wish I had had someone there to hold my hand, or at least tell me ‘this is a poor decision, or this is something you should do, or watch out who you hire and surround yourself with.’”
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It is not that Clarkson didn’t appreciate her first two managers, but she says it wasn’t until she met her current manager that things really clicked for her.
“I have worked with a lot of great people, but there are people I have worked with who are, ‘We want you to be the biggest star in the world.’ I am, ‘Oh, that is not a goal of mine, so, no. I am good,’” she continues. “I want a life. I think it is especially important for [Jason and Jordan] to figure out in this artist development time on this show, what they want musically, how they want to live their life, where they want to live. All that kind of stuff. I want to help in that way.”
Clarkson goes on to say that it isn’t just the choice of songs and where to perform them that other people tried to control, but even what she wore.
“Sometimes I go to award shows and pop stars are wearing alien costumes,” she says. “That is cool for you, but ain’t no way in hell someone is going to convince me. That is not my thing… “Okay, so we are all wearing leotards. I missed the memo.” I just think that is cool if you want to do that. I don’t like wearing the stiletto stuff. I am not a model and I am not Beyoncé.”
“Duets,” hosted by Quddus, and also starring John Legend, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke, premieres Thursday, May 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.