Distracted by Gadot — who was sitting near the front — a few minutes into her speech, Clarkson, 35, told the crowd she was “so nervous I’m shaking.”
“I am excited … I just saw her. I can’t. She’s Wonder Woman!” said Clarkson, who’s mom to daughter River Rose, 3, and son Remington Alexander, 18 months, about Gadot, 32. “I feel like that’s what we were meant to look like.”
Clarkson said the actress’s portrayal of the superhero was especially meaningful to her because of River.
“The story of Belle [and] the Beast is a little scary. She was in a dungeon, trapped, and they fell in love. Aurora, she just slept it out! But [my daughter] loves Wonder Woman. She’s 3. I probably shouldn’t show it to her. I know I’m being judged, [but] all the grown-up stuff goes over her head,” said Clarkson. “It’s nice to have this bold, female figure for your girl.”
“Once she saw the little girl in Woman Woman defend herself and all that she loved, she started acting it out, and I couldn’t have been more proud,” continued Clarkson. “You’re a little proud ’cause you’re like, ‘Aw, you’re cute in the Belle dress.’ But you’re more proud when she’s like [fighting evil].”
The Voice coach also watched Gadot’s appearance on The Tonight Show, and “I was like, ‘You know what? Screw you! Bitch got it all,'” she said, causing the room to erupt into laughter. “[She’s] awesome at everything and she’s so funny. I was like ‘Ugh,’ but I love you. I can’t believe I’m looking at you.”
Clarkson was introduced at the event (presented by Lifetime and also sponsored by Dermstore and Moroccanoil) by her longtime friend Blake Shelton, who hilariously shared what kind of mentor his pal will be on her upcoming season of NBC’s hit reality show.
“I know what she’s like as a coach because years ago, I think seven to eight years ago, she has a huge hit in country music with Jason Aldean called “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” he told the audience.
Shelton often invited Clarkson to sing the duet with him as a surprise for his fans while he was on tour, and Clarkson returned the favor when he attended one of her shows at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I came out and sang with her that night and hung out after the show. I said, ‘What do you think? That was cool, right?’ And she says, ‘Well, you know.’ I mean, I’m a limited singer at best, but I thought I was hitting the notes, and she goes, ‘I want you to sing the song like we did f—ing!’ And I think that’s probably how she’d approach coaching.”
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After bringing Clarkson out on stage, the “Stronger” singer told the crowd “there are explanations!” for Shelton’s story.
“I mean, I’m just saying when you’re singing a ballad, even with Jason, like we’d be on an award show singing a song … ‘Can you pretend you want to woo? Can you pretend to look at me and be like ‘Yes!’ But no, I literally did say that, but I said it because every time he did it, I was like, ‘Does he like this song? Does he wanna sing with me?'”
“I’m not gonna coach like that. Sexual harassment is wrong!” she told the crowd, who applauded appreciatively.
This year’s programming at the event included a featured video titled EQUAL by Audi and Variety Content Studios presented by Girls’ Trip writer Tracy Oliver. Clarkson’s fellow honorees Priyanka Chopra, Patty Jenkins and Octavia Spencer arrived at the event in Audi’s Q7 model.