When you're a famous celebrity, you get used to being recognized. It comes with the territory. You have a familiar face, and whether or not people recognize you instantly, they are often certain they've seen you somewhere. Did we grow up together? Were you on this show, by chance? One would imagine it can be tiresome after a while. Then again, if you're Kelly Clarkson getting mis-recognized as a seat filler, the opposite may happen.
When Kelly Clarkson attended the 54th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, the famous musician and American Idol winner was not only flattered but relieved when she not only went unrecognized but was instead mistaken for a seat filler by a random person in attendance that evening. While some celebrities might find their ego bruised by such a notion, Clarkson admits she thought it was utterly hilarious. As the singer-songwriter later wrote, the whole incident "made" her night.
Apparently, whenever Kelly Clarkson isn't noticed, it's a breath of fresh air for the singer who regained her normalcy, if only for a fleeting moment or two. Still, presumably someone then looked in her direction, knew exactly who she was, and the cycle began anew.
As Kelly Clarkson admitted on Twitter, she didn't find the situation even the least bit embarrassing. Or, at least, she didn't let anyone think she was embarrassed by this case of mistaken identity. The musician claims it was "the greatest thing by far" that occurred that evening, and she was deeply amused by the encounter because there was apparently no hint of irony or insincerity in the person's voice. He really didn't know Kelly Clarkson. Or, at least, he didn't recognize the singer during that moment, and he thought she might be filling in for a celebrity who vacated her seat or wasn't there yet. Nevertheless, it earned a hearty laugh from Clarkson, who isn't often used to people not recognizing her in such a stark way -- particularly at an awards show.
There's no doubt this moment must have been a humbling one for Kelly Clarkson. Though it sounds like it was humbling in a good way, based on Clarkson's amused response. One doesn't know what goes through a celebrity's mind day- in-and-day-out unless you are one yourself, but it must be exhausting to always be recognized, in this case, as the Kelly Clarkson. "Oh my God, it's you," she must often hear. To have the freedom to just be a person in the crowd — literally — for at least one bystander who is evidently not clued in is deeply liberating, according to Clarkson.
That freedom likely won't last long, though. Kelly Clarkson is soon set to hit the promotional rounds for her latest project, UglyDolls. Clarkson provides her voice to one of the lead roles and she has composed some new original songs for the musical animated feature as well. She already appeared at CinemaCon and she'll be appearing at press junkets and talk shows and whatnot in the near future as well. But for this one brief moment, she wasn't a celebrity. Or Kelly Clarkson. Instead, she was mistakenly assumed to be a chair-filler. And for Kelly Clarkson, that felt very good.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.