Kelly Clarkson Admits It Was Hard Seeing Fellow Contestants ‘Break Their Spirit’ in First Season of ‘American Idol’ (Video)

“Other artists were not handling it well,” Clarkson said of online backlash

If there’s one thing Kelly Clarkson remembers about the very first season of “American Idol,” it’s how much some of her fellow contestants got beaten down by online backlash. According to the singer and talk show host, she watched several people “break their spirit” on the show.

During Thursday’s episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” the host welcomed fellow musical icon Seal, who made a point to praise her for having the “courage” to put herself on a stage to be judged not only by the actual judges, but the entire audience around the country.

But, for Clarkson, the experience was “a good boot camp.” What was harder was seeing other people struggle with nationwide input.

“It was more hard, not for me, but to watch other people — I’m always that person, like, it’s hard for me to watch other people go through something,” Clarkson said. “And like, other artists were not handling it well, like what people would say online.”

Clarkson acknowledged that it’s possible things were so intense because it was the very first season of the show, but nonetheless, it hurt her to see.

“That was harder, watching people, you know, break their spirit a bit,” she said.

You can watch the full moment in the video above, and tune in on Thursday for the entire interview on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”