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This is the world of Mariah. The land of scatter-brained Britney. Of tabloid favorite Jessica. Of no-good, awful, disgusting, bitchy, talentless and whorish Paris-ites.

All of which makes an anti-diva such as Kelly Clarkson appealing. The down-home girl-next-door is on the Entertainment Weekly “Must List” — people in the entertainment world you simply must like and keep your eyes on — in this week’s issue. Below, the first-ever American Idol champ shares her thoughts on concerts, vanity and future projects…

Maddie Poppe Wins American Idol

On her least favorite part of “work”:
“Photo shoots are the least favorite part of my job. Photographers ask me if I want to look at pictures of myself and I’m like, ‘Dude, why would I want to look at these photos? I’m not that vain.'”
On what she likes about her live performances:
“The Bridge of ‘Addicted.’ It sounds like a scary part of a horror movie, when you know something bad is going to happen. The first part of it is real intense and then I just full-on belt it out. I live for that!”

On some of the new songs she’s recording:
“I have 40 songs for my next record. I don’t stop writing. There is one called ‘Yeah.’ It’s very tour friendly and has an easy hook. It’s kind of Prince-ish and Sly & the Family Stone.”

On her own idol, of sorts:
“Oh my God, you know no idea. I’m in love with Patti Griffith. I got to meet her and acted like an idiot. I was like, ‘You are so great, but I’m not going to stay very long because otherwise I’m going to say something stupid.”

Kelly will be back in the studio starting in August, after her 24-city tour winds down. Her new album is scheduled for a February 2007 release.