Kelly Clarkson Says The Cast Of American Idol's First Season Thought The Show Was Going To Be "A Joke"

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Kelly Clarkson had no idea the impact American Idol would have on her life when she signed up.

Kelly smiles while wearing a black denim dress with a large black belt
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In fact, Kelly said the entire cast of the show's first season was pretty skeptical and thought the show was going to be "a joke."

Kelly poses with three of her American Idol castmates
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"I mean, we didn't think it was going to come of anything. Like, we were the first season of American Idol. So we were there for that paycheck that SAG-AFTRA gives you, to pay for some bills," Kelly said on Hart to Heart.

Kelly and Justin Guarini pose together on a red carpet
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She continued, "Nobody knew that anything would actually come to fruition. That's what everyone hopes, but that doesn't usually happen."

Kelly smiles and holds back tears after winning American Idol
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Kelly added that while she got "thrown into" the experience, she's thankful because she "skipped the surreal part" of rising to fame.

"I love what I do and I love singing, and I love what you're able to do with your spotlight, but I think because I skipped all that so fast and I was thrown in, there was no time for people to really drill me on, 'You have to do this. You have to be this,'" Kelly explained.

But because she so suddenly found herself in the middle of the music industry, Kelly said, she had a more difficult time setting boundaries.

Kelly smiles and wears a red, blue, and black geometric top
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"I always let everybody in. I'm very inclusive. I'm not great at boundaries. I just didn't know that I could say no. I didn't want to be difficult — especially as a woman. I didn't want to be perceived as bitchy or difficult or whatever," Kelly shared.

Kelly smiling with her hands on her hips on the red carpet
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Thankfully, Kelly quickly learned how to navigate the industry and obviously set herself on an incredible path to success!

Hear all that Kelly had to say below: