As the first-ever crowned American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson has followed up as one of the most lasting music industry figures to come out of the show. But in an interview with Jimmy Fallon on Monday night (Feb. 26), she revealed she didn’t really know what she was signing up for when she joined the competitive singing reality show.
The singer said she she was aware it was a singing competition, and she knew she needed money, so she joined in, not realizing it would be a T.V. show until somewhere around the third audition.
“I was one of those dumb people who was just like, ‘where do I sign?” she said. “It could’ve ended very poorly.”
The singer went on to talk about her full circle role as a new coach on the 14th season of The Voice — which kicked off the same night as her Fallon visit — saying that she’s so excited that she’s gonna “act like a total tool” while watching herself for the first time.
“I think I feel more pressure than every other coach that’s ever been on there,” she said, referring to her own experiences as someone auditioning. She also said that Adam Levine and Blake Shelton mess with new judges the most, which comes as a very unsurprising add-on.
After the Idol and Voice talk, Fallon asked about her first encounter with Steve Carrell, who famously shouted her name in pain during a full-body waxing scene of 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Clarkson spoke highly of him, adding that he was a big fan of her himself, citing specific trials and tribulations she faced during her American Idol reign during their conversation.
The “Love So Soft” singer also played Fallon’s Google Translate game, in which he translates songs to a foreign language, then translates it back to English, and has guests perform the poorly worded new lyrics to the same beat. Check out Clarkson perform a new version of 2011’s “Stronger.”