Kelly Clarkson has had a few of her guests on The Kelly Clarkson Show join her for a song as well as an interview, and The Office star Ed Helms was the latest addition to that list. Helms visited Clarkson's show in an episode that aired this week, which saw him duet with the American Idol winner in a performance of her hit song "Since U Been Gone."
Clarkson and Helms were mid-interview when Helms shared that he had been working on learning a new song on the banjo. Naturally, the instrument just happened to be right behind the couch as Clarkson joked, "this wasn't planned, is the important thing." Once the actor was seated with his banjo, he told the host, "Obviously, banjo is a folk instrument. This is an old tune and you might know it, because it's kind of traditional. If you do know it, feel free to sing along."
Strumming the banjo, Helms began to sing the opening lines of "Since U Been Gone," prompting a laugh from Clarkson, who quickly began harmonizing. "I like the banjo version!" she exclaimed during a break in the lyrics. The duo made it through a verse and a chorus before Helms concluded with a flourish and Clarkson gave him a standing ovation. "No joke, I might be calling you," she said. "I'm just saying, I feel like we just connected. The energy was nice."
She added that "in all the years I've been doing that song, we are now going to release a banjo version. I'm going to change the timing of it. That would be amazing." Clarkson originally released "Since U Been Gone" as the lead single from her 2004 album Breakaway, and the song went to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum. Clarkson also won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the track.
The Texas native recently had a different reaction to one of her own songs when The Voice contestant Corey Ward performed Clarkson's "Already Gone" during last week's episode, causing her to tear up. "It's interesting when you write something, and you don't feel it 'til years later," she told Ward of the song, which was released in 2009. "When I wrote 'Already Gone,' I was going through something that I thought, 'It's OK. It doesn't always have to work out," she recalled. "Hearing him sing that to me, in my life now, it's like, are you smacking me in the face with my own message?"