Kelly Clarkson explains the tears behind her emotional 'American Idol' performance

There wasn't a dry eye in the room after Kelly Clarkson took the American Idol stage for the last time. During last week's show, the former champion took the stage, and brought the entire house to tears with a performance of her new single "Piece by Piece." While the audience loved it, the 33-year-old mommy-to-be didn't think it was her proudest moment.

Kelly performed "Piece by Piece" on The Ellen Show Photo: Michael Rozman / Warner Bros

"I came off almost in tears for a different reason, because I was so embarrassed," Kelly told Ellen DeGeneres during Thursday's show. "I was like, 'Oh, God – this is my final thing on 'Idol', and I could not hold it together. I was almost losing it almost the entire song."


She continued: "I was proud of myself for making it as far as I did. My husband knows me well. I came off stage, and he was like, 'Don’t ruin it, don’t ruin the moment.' Because I was like, it was so embarrassing. I cried the whole time. I didn’t realize it was gonna be that bad. And we were rehearsing that day and I just couldn’t get through it. My one year old is running around the same hallway as I was at 19."

The "Since You Been Gone" singer took home the title as the first American Idol in 2002 and couldn't hold back her tears while performing her first single "A Moment Like This" after winning the competition. Kelly admits that it took a lot of support from her husband Brandon Blackstock, who she married in 2013, and her sister to prepare for the performance.

Kelly's 1-year-old daughter got in on the 'Idol' action Photo: Michael Rozman / Warner Bros

The song is incredibly sad," she shared. "It’s just incredibly… it’s sad, but hopeful. A lot of us, we didn’t have a bar to set as far as finding love and relationships. Or friendships in any form. So my sister and I had a conversation afterwards I ended up writing this song about how lucky we are because we both found incredible fathers and just lovers and men and just partners. I feel really lucky because I feel like a lot of girls with daddy issues don’t end up that way, we end up going the same."

When it comes to things that make her smile, Kelly couldn't help but talk about her 1-year-old daughter, River and her new baby boy, who had some amazing reactions during her performance.

"My little girl was there my little boy was like turning circles in my stomach," she said about the moment. "It was like nostalgic. It was the last time I was gonna be on Idol and it’s ending. I was screwed from the get-go."

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