American Idol alert! Kelly Clarkson is returning to her roots tonight as a guest judge for the first live show of the reality competition's 15th and final season.

E! News caught up with Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. to find out whether the current roster of Idol judges has any words of wisdom for their new protégé. Want to know what their advice was?


"Advice? Hell no! I think she knows exactly what this is all about. She was the first Idol. She's watched 15 seasons of it now," Lopez says. Clarkson is a pro with albums and albums behind her, so she'll be fine, Lopez tells us.

Connick said he feels the same way.

Ranking American Idol Winners, Kelly Clarkson, Celebrities Who Had Career Setbacks

Steve Granitz/

"She's going to be great. I'm going to sit back and just listen, because if anyone knows how to judge on American Idol it would have to be her. She was there the first year; she went through from the very first day all the way to winning it. She's had so many hits over the years. American Idol is so lucky that she was able to come back and contribute like that."

Connick and Clarkson's Idol connection goes way back—he was in the audience when she was crowned. "I was shooting Will and Grace at the time in L.A., and Debra Messing and I went to the finale," Connick reminisces. "I'll never forget that. That was when the show was just starting to catch on and people were starting to become obsessed with it. To be in the house when that happened, that's a fond memory for me."

Press play on the video above to find out what the two judges think of Simon Cowell's potential return and more final Idol season thoughts. American Idol airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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