Kelly Clarkson has a clear favorite going into Wednesday's American Idol finale: 16-year-old Lauren Alaina.

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"I still watch Idol, more this season than any other," Clarkson tells PopEater. "I totally love Lauren. I just love when you can see someone sing through their 'person' and you can just feel it -- she has so much beauty that comes through with her singing."

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A record-breaking 122.4 million votes were cast at the end of Tuesday's show -- the highest number of votes in the program's history.

In the meantime, the 29-year-old "My Life Would Suck Without You" singer -- who was crowned the first Idol champ in 2002 -- added that she's looking forward to watching former Idol judge Simon Cowell's new project, The X Factor, debuting on FOX this fall.

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Says Clarkson, "I love all of those talent shows and think they are great for the whole industry, because they are all about the music and the voice."

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