American Idol: Kelly Clarkson will return to perform, guest-judge | EW.com

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Kelly Clarkson will return to American Idol as guest judge and performer

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America’s first Idol will soon return to her roots.

Kelly Clarkson is set to perform and act as guest judge on the Feb. 25 episode of American Idol, Fox announced at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena on Friday. 

It will be her first time taking up residence at the judges’ panel, and the pressure will be on: Her appearance will mark the first live telecast of the season. Execs added that they’re working out a way to get her to appear on the finale, but timing is a factor given that the “Heartbeat Song” singer is pregnant with her second child, a boy.

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Season 15, which was touted as the “Farewell Season” rather than the “Final Season” by the series’ producers and talent at Friday’s panel, might not necessarily be the last we’ll see of the veteran franchise. “We’re all pleased people are watching, and some are coming back to watch the show who maybe didn’t watch it the last couple years,” said host Ryan Seacrest“So when you got a franchise with this heritage, and you’ve got a franchise [watched by] X-amount of millions of people, that sustains. Does that mean it’s the end? I’m not so sure.” 

For more — and to learn how the series might actually have a shot at a second life — head here.