The British TV judge appeared on Wednesday's The Kelly Clarkson Show, dubbed as a "reunion with the OGs." There's clearly a lot of love there with Cowell saying he always tells aspiring stars to "Follow Kelly" when it comes to their career path — and called her one of the "nicest" people he's ever met.
"You always knew where you wanted to be after the show [and] the kind of artist you wanted to be," Cowell said, reminiscing about the show's first season in 2002 which saw him as a judge and Clarkson the big winner. "You didn't need anyone to give you that kind of guidance."
Cowell, who stepped down as judge after Season 10, continued, "I use you as an example. I genuinely mean this: You're one of the nicest people I've ever met. Most loyal I can say that because we've known each other a long time. But if people ever say, 'What advice can you give me?' I just say, 'Follow Kelly."
They spoke about Clarkson now being the advice-giver as a coach on The Voice — with Cowell asking how she likes being on the "other side."
"I feel like I'm a good mix of you and Paula [Abdul]," Clarkson replied. "I'm a cheerleader in a sense," which former judge Abdul literally was at the start of her career. "I think I'm a mix of both of you because I am very honest, but I try to be constructive with it."
Cowell praised her, "You're very good, I've got to tell you."
That was behind Clarkson stepping in for Cowell as a judge on America's Got Talent when he broke his back this summer.
He said they were at "a bit of a loose end" after he fell from his electric bike at his Malibu home. He broke his back and underwent a six-hour surgery on his spine, so he needed someone to fill in as he recovered. The only problem? As he was in bed healing and watching Clarkson, he thought, "You're actually doing too well here."
Clarkson is on good terms with all the Idol OGs. In 2019, when her show debuted, she had a reunion with Cowell, Abdul, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest.
Clarkson's show has been a hit — and it will actually be even more visible in 2022. It was announced Wednesday that she's benefiting from the Ellen DeGeneres Show going off the air as The Kelly Clarkson Show will move into DeGeneres's prime afternoon time periods on NBC-owned stations.
Clarkson's show is now in its second season. Last year, it was renewed for two more, through 2023.
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