Hippo Manchester
August 4, 2005

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A look at Kelly Clarkson

Hippo reporter tries to land a date with Miss Independent

By Richie Victorino

Kelly Clarkson hit superstar status after becoming the first-ever American Idol in 2002.

But sheís not just a reality TV personality. Since her American Idol win, sheís had hit singles, albums and sold-out shows. Not bad for a gal from Texas who left Hollywood prior to her Idol audition because her house burned down. Although sheís a celebrity, Clarkson tries to keep things as normal as they can be. She took some time prior to her Atlantic City show to talk to us about getting yelled at on the red carpet, why blonds have more fun and why you wonít get inside her heart if youíre hoping to be a rock star.

Kelly, youíre calling me 10 minutes early! Whatís up with that?

I know, I know. I was just playing at the casino and happened to be up here soÖ

The casino?

Yeah, I won $200 actually. At the slot machine, randomly enough. My friends were mad ícause Iím the one with money and Iím the one who ended up winning.

Where are you?

Atlantic City. [Speaks to someone away from the phone.] Is that right? Yeah, Atlantic City,  N.J. 

Is it tough to tell where you are?

Well, yeah, I woke up this morning and didnít know where I was. All I knew was itís my momís birthday.

What are you getting her?

Well, I canít tell  you ícause sheís sitting right here. 

Congratulations on your VMA [MTV Video Music Awards] nominations. What type of preparation do you go through in picking a dress and all that stuff?

I think other people get more into it than I do.  Iím on tour right now and will be after the VMAs, so weíre kinda  sticking it in between the shows. So Iím sure me and my stylist will get together, and be like, ďOh I want this colorĒ or something. But Iím not one of those fashion moguls.

Do you get starstruck on the red carpet?

No, I just get yelled at by all the photographers who are yelling your name. Itís like a war zone. I actually donít usually see anybody on the red carpet. Or sometimes they make you pose with someone you donít know. But Iím like ďOK.Ē And then you see the picture in a magazine one day and it says that you two are best friends.

I see. So, when did you go blond?

I did it the night before I did SNL [Saturday Night Live]. I donít remember what month it was. [For the record, the show was on Feb. 12]. I was just bored. Iíve been dying my hair dark for a while. Iím naturally dirty blond. So Iíve been dying it dark for five years.

So what do you prefer for yourself, blond or brunette?

I think I like the blond. Itís more showy ... for when Iím on stage. There are a lot of other brunettes on stage. Now you can tell Iím the performer.

[Loud noise.] Did you hear that?

Kinda, what was it?

Thatís my show, really loud. [Pauses.] Ahh, they must be doing sound check.

What time do you go on?

At 8:30 [p.m.]. Iíll be down there at 7:30 [p.m.].

Whatís been the biggest advantage to being a star?

I can pay my bills, I think thatís been pretty cool. Especially for someone who grew up never having money.

What about the biggest drawback?

I donít really get to see my family a whole lot. Well, touring is good ícause I can bring them out. Like my momís gonna be with me for two weeks. Instead of me missing her birthday sheís come out to see me. And itís like Thanksgiving, Iím missing again this year.

How hard has it been to hold onto your old friends?

Well, for me itís not so bad because my friends have been my friends for like 10 to 15 years. So they're like family. And I donít really go out a lot in L.A. I'm barely there. Unless thereís a club we want to go to, and thatís not too often. Besides, Iím not really into being famous so I think that helps.

So, Kelly, are you single or seeing someone?

Iím single. [Pauses.] Itís hard. Iím on the road. My whole band is married. I wouldnít know who Iíd be dating.

Well, what do you look for in a guy?

I like funny guys. I like humorous guys. Thatís  the one thing that wins me over. I like cute guys, but not too cute. I donít like pretty boys. I want to be cuter than my guy.

So what about seeing a 26-year-old music writer from New Hampshire?

[Laughs.] Yeah, as long as youíre not playing the music. Iím not into dating the people in the limelight. Iíd prefer the people behind the scenes.

Well, Kelly, if youíre free and around for your show [in Manchester] and want to go out, definitely give me a call and Iíll show you the town.

[Laughs.] Absolutely.