"I performed that night with a friend of mine who sings with me trying to fight cancer. What I did was nothing," she told Access backstage at The Voice on Monday night. "People are making it way bigger."
She said adrenaline kicked in last Wednesday and helped her not feel the pain during the awards show until the end, when she admitted to breaking down in tears to her assistant.
"Your adrenaline kicks in when you're in that kind of pain," she said. "It wasn't until the very end of it, which was hours before the surgery, so I was fine. My assistant asked me how I was doing, and I just answered with tears. But it's fine. But I'm a baby about it."
She continued to deflect, saying "I'm not a warrior. I'm not. Y'all didn't see me backstage with my assistant. She's standing back there, laughing [right now]."
Her Voice co-star Blake Shelton chimed in, saying he was scared for Clarkson, based off personal experience, that her appendix might actually rupture before she could have it removed.
"When I found out about what was going on, I was like, 'Wait a minute. If that thing ruptures, now we've got an issue,'" he said.
Clarkson said that she was under doctor supervision, on antibiotics and "had a plan" in case that did wind up happening, and that she would have been forced to step down as host of the BBMAs.
"Uh, bye," she joked. "I love the Billboard Music Awards, but I love my life and my family more. All the people running the show would have understood. Somebody would have stepped in. There's plenty of people — it ain't like I'm doing something people can't do."
Shelton joked that he "only has one testicle, and I'm still here working my ass off every week. You don't hear me — she's down an appendix and now we gotta hear about that for the next month? She's down one appendix."
"I'm just sayin', what's more serious to you?" he jokingly asked the interviewer.
"One ball or one appendix?" Clarkson joked.
"I'm down a testicle, she's down an appendix," he said, laughing.
On Sunday, Clarkson updated her fans with a "quick recap" about her surgery recovery — which wasn't going as well as she'd' hoped.
"Recovering after surgery super duper sucks. Turns out I don't 'rest' well (so bored), pain meds make me feel a different kind of horrible 2 where I question if I'd just rather feel the pain instead, [and] 2 out of the 3 scars feel as if Lord Voldemort is always near," she wrote, referencing the burning scar on Harry Potter's forehead in J.K. Rowling's famous series.0comments
On Monday's night's episode of The Voice, Clarkson returned to work as she and the rest of the judges coached their top 13 contestants — but Clarkson wasn't expecting any kind of special treatment. When asked by Extra if her fellow judges were being extra nice to her post-surgery, she quipped, "I will not respect them if they start being nice to me. I want complete, utter jerks."
The Voice airs Monday nights on NBC.