Randy Jackson, Carrie UnderwoodWith the ninth season of 'American Idol' kicking off this week, judge Randy Jackson is once again hunting for the country's best hidden talent. And with a long list of success stories spawned from the show, Randy admits he has two favorites.

"Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are my favorite 'American Idol' winners," he tells OK! magazine. "I think what they've done is amazing, and they've stayed tried-and-true to their audience. I love that."

Kelly -- the show's first winner, and Carrie -- Season 4's winner, both call Nashville home, but still find time to connect with the Los Angeles-based Randy. "I talk to them all the time, see them quite often," he says. "Really, really love them a lot. So talented."

'American Idol' was also the launching pad for the careers of Kellie Pickler, Chris Daughtry, Josh Gracin, Jennifer Hudson and Bucky Covington, among many others. The show airs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.