Kelly Clarkson returned home on Thursday night (Feb. 25) to help judge on the farewell season of American Idol. After dishing out some of the best advice, praise and criticism of the evening to the top 10 contestants, the original Idol returned to the stage for one of the most emotional performances of "Piece by Piece," and there was not a dry eye in the house.
Backed simply by a piano, Clarkson took on the title track from her new album Piece by Piece, which deals with her relationship with her absentee father and her husband, Brandon Blackstock. Clarkson, who is eight months pregnant with her second child (a son), couldn't help but break down in tears near the end of the result. Blame it on a combination of the pregnancy hormones, the emotions of the song or the idea that the platform that launched Clarkson to stardom is coming to an end.
"I'm pregnant and it's nostalgic and I can't believe it's the last season-yeah, really sorry I just bawled. I'm actually quite proud that I made it that far," Clarkson said. "It's just a touching song for me, because I wrote it about my little girl when I was pregnant, and now I'm pregnant with my little boy-which I hope comes out very soon."
But, nobody could blame Clarkson, the entire studio was in tears. Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez as well as several Idol contestants (including La'Porsha Renae and Dalton Rapattoni) were also notably emotional.
The moment was also a beautiful callback to when Clarkson broke down in tears singing "A Moment Like This" win she won American Idol back in 2002.