For years, rumors have been circulating about hostility between the two biggest winners of American Idol, Carrie Underwood and former Voice coach, Kelly Clarkson. Despite efforts on both of their parts to squash these rumors, they continue to surface on a regular basis.
The Latest ‘Feud’
Most recently, several outlets reported that Underwood was furious with Clarkson because she dropped her “Kellyoke” EP at the same time Underwood dropped her “Denim and Rhinestones” album. One of those publications was OK! Magazine, which, on July 15, 2022, not only addressed the alleged rival over the album drop dates, but also reported that an unnamed source claimed, “As the most successful winners of the show, they’re very [competitive] with each other. The constant comparisons drive them crazy.”
On July 29, 2022, Entertainment Times also claimed that Underwood was angry with Clarkson for the album release dates, quoting an unnamed source who allegedly said, “Carrie worked long and hard on her album. She co-wrote most of the songs and the lyrics came from her heart. Then there’s Kelly, putting out an EP of the cover made famous by other people. Kelly’s album was meant to be a fun record to listen to on summer road trips, but you can’t step on Carrie’s toes like that and not feel the consequences from Carrie and her fans.”
Past Attempts to Squash Rumors
While both Idol winners tried to ignore the headlines about their supposed rivalry for a while, eventually they did speak out about it. According to Country Music Family, “In real life, Clarkson and Underwood have nothing but love for each other. In recent years, the two have tried to put an end to the rumors of rivalry, but the rumors still swirl. So, Kelly decided to take a very bold approach to publicly show how she really feels about Carrie Underwood.”
The approach consisted of Clarkson taking Underwood by the hand on the red carpet at the 2020 Radio Disney Music Awards, and posing for the cameras together, smiling and laughing. Regarding the incident, Clarkson told Yahoo! Entertainment, “Everybody always tries to pit me and Carrie against each other. So, when I saw her I was like, ‘You know what? Let’s just end this right now and get a picture together because we are never in the same place.’”
The ex-Voice coach continued, “people always try to put it together like we’re enemies. And I’m like, ‘We don’t even know each other well enough to be enemies.’ So, anyway, I went to get a picture and then everybody lost their mind.’”
Some people think that the photographs were just for show. According to Entertainment Times, Clarkson and Underwood “are trying to conceal the truth about their relationship because they know that it’s not a good look for their career.” The unnamed source went on to claim that “They may say there’s been no feud between them but anyone who knows them will tell you, they’re not friends, nor will they ever be. The bottom line is, that Carrie and Kelly don’t like each other much.”
Woman Against Woman: A Common Story
Clarkson and Underwood are certainly not the first two powerful women to be accused of feuding, and they won’t be the last. According to Zcenters.org “It seems that one of the narratives that is constantly plaguing the women of Hollywood, and the rest of the female population, is the one where women are constantly pitted against one another.”
The outlet continues, “Their whole narrative is surrounded by the fact that there cannot be more than one powerful woman in Hollywood…Rather than celebrating the successes, tabloids and news sites keep talking about how these women ‘despise each other.’”
Whether Clarkson and Underwood are just part of this tradition, or whether a real rivalry exists which they are trying to hide is still up for debate.