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Kelly Clarkson, BBC One


The queen is coming home.

It was just announced on tonight's live broadcast of American Idol that Kelly Clarkson is returning to the show for an episode, and we couldn't be more excited to see the first American Idol ever go back to her roots.

Clarkson will appear on Wednesday, April 1 and will not only be performing, but she'll act as a mentor for the contestants.

We're going to be honest here, we're kinda jealous of those contestants, because there is basically no better mentor than Kelly Clarkson. After she won the very first season back in 2002, beating Justin Guarini with 58% of the votes, she went on to release seven albums, win three Grammy awards, and break a whole bunch of records.

Her very first single, "A Moment Like This" – possibly the most quintessential American Idol performance in the show's history – went from number 60 on the charts to number 1, breaking a record set by The Beatles in 1964. "A Moment Like This" went on to be the number one single of all of 2002. 

Her most recent album, Piece by Piece, was released on February 27, 2015, and its lead single, "Heartbeat Song," made it to the top 40 on the Billboard 100. 

Clarkson hasn't stayed totally away from Idol since she won, and has appeared on the show a few times as a performer, most recently in 2011. She has also been a guest mentor on several other singing shows in the past, including The Voice and Canadian Idol.

American Idol went from 12 to 11 finalists tonight, with Empire's Taraji P. Henson delivering the results to Ryan Seacrest. The show also featured an excellent performance from Empire's Jussie Smollett and Bryshere "Yazz" Gray.

In the end, we had to say goodbye to 19 year-old Sarina-Joi Crowe, whose top 12 performance of One Republic's "Love Runs Out" earned fairly favorable reviews from the judges.

American Idol returns to Fox next Thursday at 8 p.m. to whittle the competition down to the top 10!