Katy Perry is leaving American Idol and Kelly Clarkson won’t be the one to replace her as a judge on the singing competition show. The series’ season 1 winner explained why she doesn’t see herself joining the panel of judges on Idol in the future.

“I can’t do that, only because I promised my kids,” Kelly, 42, told Entertainment Tonight. “I was like, ‘I want to be there as much as I possibly can.’ And it would put me in L.A. and that’s why I had to quit The Voice, which I love that team. And I miss them so much.”

The mom of two, whose divorce from Brandon Blackstock was finalized in 2022, previously served as a coach on The Voice for seasons 14-21 and then season 23. However, she left the show after relocating to New York City with her children in 2023.

kelly clarkson on if shed replace katy perry on american idol

“I wanted a life for [me and my kids],” Kelly explained. “And we enjoy the park every day and we enjoy each other. As a parent – people get this – you only get so much time until they don’t want to hang out with you. That’s the reason [I can’t do Idol]. It’s my kiddos.”

Katy, 39, judged American Idol alongside Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie from seasons 16 to 22. However, she then decided to step away from the panel to focus on her music career. A replacement has not been named yet, but Katy has been advocating for Jelly Roll to fill her shoes. The country star served as a mentor to the contestants in season 22.

Meanwhile, The Voice has already announced its coaching panels for the upcoming seasons 26 and 27. Season 26 will feature the return of Reba McEntire and Gwen Stefani, while Snoop Dogg and Michael Bublé will be joining for the first time. In season 27, Michael, 48, is returning with John Legend, along with newcomer Kelsea Ballerini and Adam Levine, who previously coached from seasons 1 to 16.

Kelly’s plate is already quite full with her kids and talk show, which she won a Daytime Emmy Award for on June 7. The “Stronger” singer took home the award for outstanding daytime talk series at the event in Los Angeles.

“The fact that NBC, a huge company, took time and listened when I said, ‘Hey, my life is not going super great. I don’t know if I can live [in L.A.] anymore. I don’t know if I can do this.’ And they really wrapped their arms around us and they helped us move [to New York],” she said, while accepting the honor. “And the move has been so great, not just for me and my family, but our whole show. It takes a lot of time and money and effort to do that. It’s not unnoticed. I just want to say thank you for thinking of mental health as well as, you know, a product.”