American Idol: Kelly Clarkson to Return — Simon Cowell, Maybe Not

Kelly Clarkson American Idol

Your very first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, will be a part of the reality competition’s farewell run.

Clarkson will serve as a guest judge and perform in February’s first live telecast, executive producer Trish Kinane shared on Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. That likely will be the limit of the pregnant singer’s involvement, given her upcoming due date.

Some other Idol winners will participate in duets with finalists during the middle rounds, Kinane added.

It’s also a possibility — though perhaps less so — that the original judges’ panel of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell will reunite for the show’s swan song. Cowell, in particular, will have to work around his upcoming gig as an America’s Got Talent judge, according to Kinane.

“I appreciate Simon’s part in the history of the show,” she said. “[But] there are huge scheduling issues. The most we can expect is for Simon to be at the finale.”

Added host Ryan Seacrest: “I imagine you’ll see all the original faces at some point.”

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