Even by today’s standards, those who win reality competition series are viewed as lowlings in the celebrity hierarchy.
For instance, Kelly Clarkson, the first-ever winner of “American Idol” in 2002, couldn’t name a single winner on the show from the past five years when Andy Cohen asked her if she could on “Watch What Happens Live” Tuesday night.
“Oh shit,” Clarkson laughed while trying to rack her brain for an answer. Eventually, she admitted: “No, I don’t have one.”
But Clarkson’s initial win could be seen as what gave talent competition series, which were very novel at the time, an air of legitimacy. After she won “American Idol,” Clarkson was able to carve out a solid music career for herself that garnered her multiple Grammy wins. Thanks to Clarkson’s success, other contestants who preceded her on the show during its early 2000s heyday — like Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Katharine McPhee — were viewed as instant pop stars thanks in part to Clarkson becoming a bonafide musician in her own right.
But because Clarkson was somewhat of a reality competition pioneer, she admitted on her talk show in 2021 that other celebrities didn’t take her seriously when she first became famous, saying they were “rude” to her.
Well, when Cohen asked Clarkson to name some of these celebrities, Clarkson didn’t deliver the dirt — but she certainly served those smug stars a heaping helping of shade.
“I will say a lot of them ended up on shows like the one I’m from,” Clarkson said, presumably referring to these celebrities being judges or hosts on shows like “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent” the rebooted “American Idol” or even “Dancing with the Stars.”
“It’s funny what money does,” Clarkson added.
Clarkson made the revelation that she initially felt dismissed by her peers while speaking to Jennifer Love Hewitt — who was the 1990s “it girl” — on her talk show in 2021.
During her conversation with Hewitt, she thanked the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” star for being so kind to her when they first met.
“You probably don’t remember this, but it stuck with me for so long — almost 20 years now,” Calrkson told Hewitt at the time. “It was at some MTV Awards, and it was right when I was in the final three of ‘Idol.’ We were just so slammed, and everything was happening in a whirlwind, and people were really mean to us because we’re from a talent show, and it was the first season.”
Clarkson went on, “Like, everyone was so rude to us. On the carpet, at the show — it was so bad. It was a horrible experience, and you came up to me and ran out of nowhere and were like, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m really rooting for you!’”
And although it’s still difficult to remember the names of many recent winners of reality competition series — mostly because there are so many of them nowadays thanks in part to Clarkson proving these wins or mere appearances could be parlayed into actual careers — we should keep in mind to not completely write these people off.
Harry Styles and Emma Stone (then Emily Stone) both made their first public appearances in the reality competition series, “The X Factor” and VH1’s “In Search of the Partridge Family,” respectively. Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” fame scored one of his first TV gigs as a contestant on the defunct dating show, “The Big Date.”
While more recently, designer Christian Siriano launched his career after winning “Project Runway,” and Cardi B made a name for herself on “Love & Hip Hop: New York.”
Kelly Clarkson Throws Shade At Celebs Who Were ‘Rude’ To Her For ‘American Idol’ Fame. Kelly Clarkson Throws Shade At Celebs Who Were ‘Rude’ To Her For ‘American Idol’ Fame