March 18, 2003 01:00 PM

Kelly Clarkson’s been down this road before, but this time she doesn’t have anything to prove — at least not to Simon.

Clarkson, the winner of FOX’s first season of “American Idol,” returns to the show Tuesday to perform “Anytime,” a song from her upcoming album, which hits stores April 15. Though it’s not the album’s first single, the tune also will be used in Clarkson’s movie debut with “Idol” runner-up Justin Guarini, “From Justin to Kelly,” opening in theaters April 25, USA Today reports.

Clarkson, 20, won the TV competition last fall, and started her new career with a bang with the hit single “A Moment Like This,” which sold 612,000 copies and was the top-selling single of 2002. The song, however, may not make it onto the forthcoming album, tentatively titled “Kelly Clarkson,” the newspaper reports.

The former Texas cocktail waitress originally was scheduled to release an album last fall, but the date was pushed back to the spring in order to give her more time on it. And while “American Idol” is all about performing cover songs, her debut album will feature all original material.

Billboard magazine editor Geoff Mayfield tells USA Today that Clarkson’s “Idol” return is a smart move, especially given the show’s continued popularity.

“I was skeptical about the ratings the second time around, but they’re more handsome than during (last) summer,” he says. “So far, the public has shown a mighty appetite for everything associated with ‘American Idol.'”

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