The original American Idol judges panel, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell all reunited with Kelly Clarkson, who was also the show's first season winner, on her brand new daytime talk show this week. It has been almost two decades since all four have shared the same stage and Clarkson mentioned how wild the domino effect was as her life panned out from what it was before Idol to what it is now as a top performer and talk show host.
"It's been 17 years, y'all," Clarkson said. "I would've never thought that show would've had the impact that it [did]. I mean, look at what it did. The domino effect, like, was crazy!"
While the "Miss Independent" singer walked away a winner with Justin Guarini as runner up and Nikki McKibbin taking third place, the judges ended up thanking Clarkson for part of the show's long-standing success.
"The whole premise of this show was: We had to find a star who was going to sell records — and we found some great people that whole year — but when you delivered that moment on that first live show and when you sang that winning song at the end, it was a game-changer," Cowell said of the singer.
The ironic part is how Clarkson didn't even know she was signing up for a television show until her audition, hilariously adding that she didn't even know who Cowell was.
"I didn't know it was a TV show until the audition [where] I was in front of y'all," she recalled. "I was like, 'Paula Abdul's here. Some Simon dude, like, he's some English dude.' I also did recognize Randy because I knew he had played with Mariah [Carey]. I was like, 'Aw, snap!'"
Jackson admitted to everyone that he knew Clarkson would be the winner after hearing her audition, saying, "On that day, when [you] auditioned, I knew you were gonna win."
Since earning the title in 2002, the singer has gone on to have great success in the music industry with hits like "Because of You," "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Since U Been Gone." After appearing as a judge on The Voice, fans took a liking to Clarkson, so much so, she now has her own show!
This wasn't the only reunion Abdul and Cowell have had recently. Abdul surprised her friend during a performance on the America's Got Talent stage when she danced in a mashup performance between Light Balance Kids and Tyler Butler-Figueroa, along with season 13 finalist Brian Joseph King. She was wearing a mask at the time so no one could see her, then towards the end, the Light Balance Kids surprised the audience and Cowell but shining light on her.