Kelly Clarkson: from "American Idol" champ to rival

NEW YORK, March 13 ( - Maybe "American Idol" should have hired Kelly Clarkson as a judge.

The first "Idol" winner, who returned to perform on the show last year, has since moved on to not one but two other singing competitions -- including one that has usurped "Idol" as the top-rated show this season, after eight years of "Idol" ratings dominance.

Clarkson only helps mentor contestants on NBC's "The Voice," which is beating "Idol" this season with help from a post-Super Bowl debut. But this summer, she'll be one of four judges on yet another singing competition, ABC's "Duets."

On that show, she'll join Lionel Richie, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, and Alan Thicke by singing along with contestants as well as mentoring them.

A rep for Clarkson did not immediately return a call for comment on this story.

Fans of Clarkson, the most successful star to come out of "Idol," could make the case that she now transcends any single show -- and shouldn't have to turn down opportunities on others.

Fox has expressed a lack of concern in the past about Clarkson appearing on "The Voice." Asked about it in January, Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell said it was a compliment to "Idol."

He quipped, "We're not hiring a lot of people from 'The Voice' to be on our show."

That was before "The Voice" started beating "Idol" in the ratings -- with Clarkson's help.

(Editing By Zorianna Kit)


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