Credit: Jeff Kravitz/AMA2009/FilmMagic; Chris McKay/Getty Images

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

"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."

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.

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."