It was a lucky thing not just for Kelly Clarkson but for society as a whole that she didn’t trip over a speaker during the first season of American Idol. (She saved that move for her first visit to Kansas City, at 2003’s Red, White & Boom.) Otherwise, you might now be reading about Justin Guarini instead. The fact that Clarkson remains the only Idol victor to have achieved any kind of prolonged mainstream success is partly because there are worse pop records than Thankful and Breakaway — after all, she can definitely sing. But perhaps it’s also because Clarkson still seems as genuinely excited about winning her fame as she is amused by the way she won it. She’s there, and loser Nikki McKibbin is crying on Fear Factor. So what if, for Clarkson, the sweet taste of success comes with having to suck it up after thousands of people watch her bust on her ass? We don’t think Fantasia would’ve handled that half as well — that is, if we thought of Fantasia at all.