Kelly Clarkson Brings Daughter River Rose Blackstock to the Place Where Her Career Began...the American Idol Set!

First-ever winner returns to the show that made her a star

By Zach Johnson Apr 02, 2015 1:00 PMTags
Kelly Clarkson, Brandon Blackstock, River Rose Blackstock, InstagramInstagram

Kelly Clarkson took her family on a stroll down memory lane Wednesday.

The first-ever American Idol winner brought husband Brandon Blackstock and daughter River Rose Blackstock to the show's L.A. set. Prior to the live taping, Kelly—who returned to mentor the top eight contestants—took an Instagram photo of her two favorite people posing outside her dressing room. My entourage outside my dressing room at #AmericanIdol today," the singer wrote. "Tune in tonight!"

In addition to performing her audition song, a cover of Etta James' "At Last," Kelly sang her hit single "Heartbeat Song." The singer also helped coach the aspiring singers as they performed her biggest hits. Nick Fradiani sang "Catch My Breath," Jax sang "Beautiful Disaster," Tyanna Jones sang "Mr. Know It All," Joey Cook sang "Miss Independent," Quentin Alexander sang "Dark Side," Qaasim Middleton sang "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Clark Beckham sang "The Trouble with Love Is" and Rayvon Owen sang "Since U Been Gone." As a group, the American Idol contestants also performed "People Like Us."

Daniel Seavey was eliminated from the competition.

FOX via Getty Images

Kelly's appearance aside, the judges had their own fun. During a critique, Jennifer Lopez mentioned a singer she "used to be married to"—Marc Anthony. Harry Connick Jr. joked that the singer was really David Hasselhoff, who was on last week's show. "He's one guy I haven't been married to yet," she said.

"The night is young," Keith Urban added, to which Jennifer replied, "You know I like them young!"

In the middle of her "At Last" performance, Kelly pulled out her ear buds. "My ears didn't work!" she told host Ryan Seacrest. Despite the minor technical difficulty, she still gave pitch perfect performance. Ryan showed footage from Kelly's 2002 audition and congratulated her on becoming a wife and mother.

FOX via Getty Images

Kelly then shared a moment with Harry, whom she'd admired for years. The "Breakaway" singer also teased him for being a "bad dad" after he said his daughters are huge fans but weren't in attendance.

When the show ended, Kelly posed for a picture with the judges—none of whom were on the show when she became a star 13 years ago. "Idol love! Good to be home!" she wrote in an Instagram caption.

American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.