Kelly Clarkson Performs on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

04/08/2011 AT 08:50 AM EDT

As season 10 of American Idol winds down to its final eight contestants, the woman – and the voice – who helped make the singing competition a household name is showing off just how far she's come since her season 1 win nearly a decade ago.

Kelly Clarkson, who will take on the Idol stage for a performance next Thursday alongside Rihanna, rocked through a medley of her top hits on Wednesday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Clarkson, 28, kicked off the mash-up with her 2003 hit "Miss Independent" before launching into "Walk Away" and "Since U Been Gone."

And with a powerhouse performance that might give Idol hopefuls some inspiration, it's anyone's guess whether this season's top contenders, like Scotty McCreery and James Durbin, will enjoy success like Clarkson – or even Carrie Underwood. Clarkson, according to Nielsen SoundScan, is the highest-selling winner to the tune of 23 million albums and 36 million singles sold.

Season 10's contestants are a promising bunch but now that Pia Toscano, formerly considered an obvious frontrunner, is out of the mix, do any of the remaining contestants have what it takes to be the next Clarkson?

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