American Idol

Kelly Clarkson Returns to American Idol

04/15/2011 at 09:10 AM EDT



Who says you can never go home?

American Idol's original winner, Kelly Clarkson, returned to the stage where she first stepped into the spotlight and sang "Don't You Want to Stay" with country singer Jason Aldean on Thursday night's elimination show.

Ryan Seacrest introduced her as "someone the world knows as the platinum-selling Grammy winner, but to us she's the girl who started it all."





Dressed in a fitted black dress, Clarkson belted out the love song with her duet partner – and with a smile on her face.

Unlike the nervous season 10 contestants who were up for elimination, Clakson was in a playful mood. After the song, she teased Seacrest for talking about her Tweets. "You keep rephrasing them," she said.

Seacrest asked about a Tweet about contestant Casey Abrams. "He's certainly delicious. He's cute," she replied. "But you don't say the whole thing."

"It's a very short results show," Seacrest said. "I've got to get right to it."

"Just like a man," Clarkson said, and the crowd, including Jennifer Lopez, went wild.

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