Kelly Clarkson invited Niall Horan to the set of her eponymous talk show on Wednesday (Feb. 22) to tease his debut alongside her as a coach on The Voice.
Naturally, the two artists had plenty to chat about, especially considering that the both got their respective starts on other reality singing competitions. “So your big break was obviously on X Factor and I came up on [American] Idol. You came up with a group, which I think is cool,” Clarkson pointed out as the audience erupted into screams at the mention of One Direction.
“But no, I was very lonely off the top,” she continued. “And I think that must’ve been cool. Like, that you had buddies to lean on.”
The host then asked Horan whether he and his former bandmates — Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik — still lean on one another. The former One Direction-er responded, “Yeah, especially on the show we were so lucky. ‘Cause you would see all the other artists melting all the time over everything. We were just 16, 17, 18, 19, whatever we were. … It was so fun. I’d do it again. That’s why I’m doing The Voice.” (“Of course, we speak constantly,” he added later, without going into specifics about his relationships with each member of the group.)
Hilariously, Clarkson also revealed during their chat that she was initially very mistaken on a key aspect of 1D history: She was certain the quintet actually won their season on the U.K. version of The X Factor way back in 2009.
“I thought One Direction won,” she confessed. “I mean, ’cause you did, in life! Like, you actually came in third and I was like, ‘What?!’ ‘Cause I didn’t watch, I just knew that’s where you came from, but, like, congratulations, you killed it, my friend.”
Nowadays, Horan is readying the release of his third solo album, The Show, and many fans have theorized that the record may or may not contain a duet with Styles.
Watch more of Clarkson and Horan’s interview — including the latter’s pitch-perfect imitation of fellow coach Blake Shelton — below.