Kelly Clarkson, awards host and ‘superfan’
Kelly Clarkson insists she agreed to host the Billboard Music Awards only because she thought she’d be a comedian’s wingman. Then The Voice star found she’d be solo onstage in her first-ever hosting gig. ❚ “That was a DEFCON, red-alert, total run-for-the-hills moment,” Clarkson says. “But then we figured out something fun and cool to do that’s totally in my wheelhouse. Now I’m not really nervous. ❚ “And I’m not afraid to look like an idiot, so we’ll start with that.”
Here’s what Clarkson has in mind for Sunday’s live show from Las Vegas (NBC, 8 ET/5 PT), the day before The Voice’s two-part finale (Monday, 8 ET/ PT, and Tuesday, 9 ET/PT).
She won’t do musician jokes
Clarkson immediately laid down the law: No lampooning fellow musicians in the show’s opening number. That’s best left to the pros.
“I cannot pull that off, making fun of people. Every time I’d make a joke, I’d be like: ‘I’m just kidding. We’re cool, right?’ ” Clarkson says. “But we’ve found a way to do this.”
Mark Bracco, a BBMA executive producer, says the opening will key on Clarkson’s rabid fandom in a number “celebrating the year in music that will set the entire show’s tone.”
She will perform more than once
Clarkson will rock out to an “awesome” new song, Whole Lotta Woman, from her album Meaning of Life. She also will sing along with one of the evening’s star performers. (She’s not saying who.)
The singer is intent on meeting
“When I get nervous, I just don’t shut up. The plane never lands.”
Janet Jackson, who will perform and receive the Icon Award.
“If I agree to host this show, I definitely deserve to meet Janet Jackson,” Clarkson says. “That’s my big goal.”
She will talk ... a lot
You don’t try to stop Clarkson from hilariously rambling at the podium, you just try to contain her.
“When I get nervous, I just don’t shut up,” she says. “The plane never lands.”
Even her introductions are going to be rambling riffs. “They are just going to put bullet points in the prompter, and I’ll say whatever is in my head at the moment.”
There will be at least one televised flub, and that’s OK
Clarkson makes no bones about her personality on live TV.
“Hands down, I will trip, there will be some kind of wardrobe thing. Something will happen with Spanx,” she says. “I’m that person: If it can happen, it will happen.”
But she’s not sweating that: “I do not get embarrassed, honestly. If I trip, I’ll get back up and be like, ‘That’s funny!’ ”
Her true fear is mispronouncing a name.
“I don’t want to pull a John Travolta and be like Nazee Whatever,” Clarkson says, referring to Travolta’s infamous 2014 Oscars flub when he introduced Idina Menzel.
“I just don’t want to insult someone.”
She will rock the looks and have fun
Clarkson vows to show off fantastic outfits with multiple changes.
“Hell, yeah!” she says. “And I’m not always performing, so I can even do stuff that’s uncomfortable.”
The evening will be a great night for her to watch performers, who’ll include Jennifer Lopez and John Legend.
“I’m a superfan with four kids, and I work a lot. I don’t get to see a lot of shows. I can’t wait.”
No sharing the stage: Clarkson hosts Sunday’s “Billboard Music Awards” solo.
Kelly Clarkson now spreads the wealth as a coach on “The Voice.”