Kelly Clarkson Performs “Heartbeat Song” and Etta James’ “At Last” on Idol


Kelly Clarkson took the ‘Piece by Piece’ promotional train to American Idol last night and definitively proved by she won the show’s first season.

Clarkson, as the inaugural winner of Idol, probably always has something to prove when she returns to the show, which is now in its 14th season. As the most successful alum to date, it makes sense that Kelly would kick ass and take names every time she takes the Idol stage and she didn’t disappoint last night, featuring in an evening of music dedicated to the “Since U Been Gone” star herself.

Kicking off with yet another performance of her criminally underrated new(ish) single, Kelly gave a note perfect rendition of “Heartbeat Song”. She’s a very watchable performer who’s as endearing on stage as she is off, but it’s probably time to let “Heartbeat Song” go. Peaking just outside of the top 20 on the Hot 100, it doesn’t feel like the track has very much life left in it. Clarkson would be better served pressing on with promoting “Invincible” which she revealed would be the LP’s second single way back in February but has yet to do anything about.

Kelly also delivered a stirring performance of her American Idol audition song, Etta James’ “At Last”. You’d be a fool to call this anything but a show-stopping moment although I’m not sure what it says about her new material that Clarkson delivered the 1960 classic with far more passion and enthusiasm than she did her own “Heartbeat Song”.

The actual contestants also covered some of Kelly’s classics, which you can catch up with here if you’re so inclined.

What did you think of Kelly’s return to Idol?