KC the Vocal Slayer MEGAPOST!

Kelly Clarkson's personal trainer Nora James (Kelly calls her 'Chuck Nora') tells Shape.com how she helped get the 30-year-old pop star to tone up for her summer tour. Plus, Blake Shelton spills details of a Kelly duet on his upcoming Christmas album AND Covergate 2012 continues with KC's killer renditions of Michael Buble's "Home" and MC's "Always Be My Baby." 

Things couldn’t possibly be any ‘Stronger’ for Kelly Clarkson: new song, new TV show, new tour, new boyfriend, new hair, new bod! Thanks to an intense workout routine and portion-controlled diet, the two-time Grammy winner recently dropped 30 pounds and couldn’t be more excited.

What’s the secret to her slimmer silhouette? We spoke with the powerhouse personal trainer behind Clarkson’s fab figure,Nora James, to talk about all things fitness.

SHAPE: So great to connect with you! To begin, how long have you been working with Kelly, and what were her fitness goals?
Nora James (NJ): I have been with Kelly for five months. She just wanted to get back in shape and feel good. When you’re on the road, sometimes you get so busy that exercise isn't your focus unless someone is there to remind you and work with you. All you have to do is look at Kelly and you see the results. The goal was to help her get on track with eating and exercise, and I believe with five months to work with we did a great job! There were never any specific weight-loss goals. She wanted more energy and to be healthy.

SHAPE: She looks amazing, by the way! Can you give us some insight on how she was able to get back in shape, lose weight, and successfully keep it off?
NJ: She does look great! I feel a trainer and a client have to be willing to work together through the rough times of getting fit because it’s tough at first to get your mind and body wanting to cooperate with change. Your client has to trust you and be willing to do a true lifestyle change! Eat right and exercise. It’s hard work but well worth it. That is the only way to keep it off.

SHAPE: So what type of workouts did you do?
NJ: Our workouts were different each day. I always get bored doing the same old workout so when I train, I like to keep my clients wondering what's next. I was raised around boxing so that's always a part of the workout. Lots of strength cardio. There is nothing better than feeling the muscles work and your heartbeat going as if you just got off the treadmill! It is amazing how just the right workout combination can totally change your appearance.

SHAPE: Kelly has such a busy schedule! How often was she able to work out?
NJ: We started doing an hour a day and then we went to two hours a day, because we knew that her schedule was going to get hectic. We would also run or hike with the workout. I was on the road with her during her first tour this year, and then we were in California while she was working on Duets. So me traveling with her helped as far as the ability to have some type of a workout program set.

SHAPE: Did you have her on any special diet? What was a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
NJ: I don't believe in diets. I just believe in being healthy! I had lots of fruits, vegetables, assorted raw nuts, and seeds always on hand. Breakfast (depending on the day) would be an egg white omelet with spinach and hot sauce, or oatmeal with fruit and a slice of whole-grain bread. Lunch was a good-sized salad and always had chicken or fish in it. If she got a sweet tooth, she would have a small dessert. In between meals, we’d have a piece of fruit with about 10 raw nuts.  Dinner was grilled fish and quinoa with veggies mixed in it. This is just a small sample.

Source (Includes rest of the interview + sample workout)

Kelly to appear on Blake Shelton's "Cheers It's Christmas," out Oct. 2.

Blake says his Christmas album contains several classics, plus four new songs.  “One of them I co-wrote with my mother.  I told her to think of Christmas song ideas, and I took one of them and we wrote it together, plus she sings on it.  It’s called ‘Time For Me To Come Home,’ and it’s about going home and seeing your mom for Christmas, and it’s my favorite thing on the album.”

In addition to Blake’s mother and Michael Buble, there are several other guests: “I wanted to record ‘There’s a New Kid In Town,’ which was co-written by Keith Whitley, and has been recorded by Alan Jackson and others.  So I asked Kelly Clarkson to sing on it, and she says, ‘I don’t know that song,’ and I realized it’s a country Christmas song.  Miranda and I did ‘Jingle Bell Rock,’ which I thought was perfect, and Pistol Annies sing ‘Blue Christmas,’ and I tried to channel my best Elvis, and then Reba McEntire came in and did ‘Oklahoma Christmas.’  It’s kind of a western swing song, with inside jokes where you have to be from Oklahoma to know about.”


Speaking of Buble, Kelly sang the hell out of "Home" in Toronto this week. (Buble chatter ends :50)


And showed her inner lamb by covering Mariah last night. (Mariah gushing ends :45)


Bonus vid! Awesome performance of "Because of You" from Toronto's show. Amazing how she continues to find new ways to change this song up and kill it tour after tour.


Dat ass. Dat voice. KC got it going on.