Interview with Carrie Underwood of All-Star Holiday Special on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Singer Carrie Underwood

Interview with Carrie Underwood on FOX 11/16/09

Ms. Underwood seems like a very nice person. I don't watch "American Idol" (although everyone I know does), and I don't really know her music too well, but I know she is a very good singer, judging from the few times I heard her.  She has an upcoming holiday special on FOX, so that's why they arranged this conference call with her and the media. I did not get to ask any questions, because time was limited, but it was interesting nonetheless, to listen to on the phone. Her new holiday show sounds like it will be a treat!

FBC PUBLICITY: Carrie Underwood All-Star Holiday Special
November 16, 2009/6:15 p.m. EST

Jill Hudson
Carrie Underwood


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Carrie Underwood All-Star Holiday Special interview call. Due to the large volume of callers, we ask that you please limit yourself to one question and one follow-up. You may the re-queue and additional questions will be taken as time permits. Iíd also like to remind you that todayís conference is being recorded.

Iíll now turn the conference over to Jill Hudson for opening remarks. Please go ahead.

J. Hudson: Hello, thank you so much for joining the call today. The topic discussed today will be Carrie Underwood All-Star Holiday Special thatís airing on Monday, December 7th from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. both eastern and Pacific time on FOX and Carrieís album that debuted number one last week, which is entitled Play On. Iíd like to go ahead and introduce Carrie Underwood at this time.

Carrie: Hello, guys, thanks for being here.

Moderator: Weíll go right in to the first question then and that will come from Michael Hughes with TV America.

Michael: Hey, Carrie, before this started not that long ago, what was your typical Christmas for you growing and to what extent was music involved with it.

Carrie: Growing up, basically we donít really have too many traditions as a family. But we would always celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. Of course, Santa would come on Christmas morning. But we had records that and it wasnít even any specific name, artist. It was just like a choir or something. We had these old records that I would always play for Christmas. I have them now. Thank God, my mom didnít throw them away. I have them now and I still like to play them. It makes me think about Christmas.

Michael: Thatís good. Youíre also going to be doing some of your hits. So are you going to be doing like Cowboy Casanova during the special?

Carrie: Yes, weíre doing several new songs, as well as a few that people should recognize. Other artists get to come on and do some of their own stuff, too, which is really cool. And I do stuff with them and itís just a big mish mash of awesome music.

Michael: Good, because I just wanted to ask you one thing about Cowboy Casanova. That is such a mouthful. You have to do so much so fast in that song. What did you first think of when you first saw this song and how hard was it to really master it?

Carrie: It wasnít that hard to master it because I was one of the writers. So it came from me from my mouth and on to paper and then out of my mouth again when we recorded it. So it really wasnít that difficult to do.

Michael: Your mouth just has to be so nimble and so agile to get around all that so fast, but it was never hard to do.

Carrie: I talk a lot, so.

Moderator: Next, we have Rita Sherrow with Tulsa World.

Rita: I wanted to ask where and when will you be playing on Oklahoma again?

Carrie: I honestly have no idea. Iíve seen a few tour schedule kind of first run through list that Iím sure is going to change about 70 more times before we actually lock something down. But thereís no doubt that Iíll be headed in that direction.

Rita: And also, when you were a little kid, did you watch variety musical shows? Is this a dream of yours to do this show for Fox?

Carrie: Well, I think I kind of just missed some of the variety stuff. Iíve seen the Mandrell sisters before, but it wasnít something that we all gathered around to watch. I kind of missed that era and Iím glad to see that thereís other people doing their stuff, too, and I think itís really great family programming. It was a lot of fun to tape and I think we ended up with a great show. And Iím glad to see that that format may be catching on again.

Rita: And you have a lot of Oklahomans on the show.

Carrie: I do.

Rita: Just like old home week. Thank you for your time.

Moderator: Weíll go to Alice Chapman-Newgen with the Time Courier.

Alice: I have a twofold question. What was it like last week on state co-hosting with Brad Paisley at the CMA Awards presentation? And I understand he is going to be on the special coming up. Whatís that going to be like with him?

Carrie: Brad and I have a bit of a history together. I got to co-headline a tour with him not too long ago, but heís just a great guy. Iím lucky to have gotten to know him over the past few years and got to co-host with him last year. I feel like the more weíre around each other, the more we get comfortable with each other and things just get better and better. Heís a great guy.

It was a lot of fun co-hosting the CMAs again. I felt like we did a good job. I was really proud of both of us for managing to, I donít know, not cause any major problems. It was just a lot of fun and, yes, he is on the special. We get to do a song together and he performs one of his own. We had do it in a different way, though, because he couldnít actually be in LA for the taping, so we did something kind of cool to bring two locations together.

Alice: Okay, that sounds cool. Yes, you guys were great. I really enjoyed it. I just watched the whole thing; it was so good watching you.

Carrie: From a host standpoint, it makes three hours fly by.

Alice: It was great. Iím looking forward to the new special, too. Thank you.

Moderator: Weíll go to Mike Ayers with AOL.

Mike: Have you ever thought about cutting a Christmas record yourself?

Carrie: I was lucky enough to record a few songs last year. I was so busy last year, I didnít actually have time to do a full album, but I would love to. I love classic Christmas songs. They have been around forever and everybody knows them and I like doing things very traditional as far as Christmas songs go, so I would love to do that some point. Iím going to finish the album, I guess.

Mike: So youíre into the crooners.

Carrie: Yes. I just think thereís so many things that are just perfect the way they are. When you get some good, classics, of course, you can put a little bit of yourself in there. If we all sang the same song the exact same way, that would be really boring and nobody would want to hear anybody else sing it. But I love to keep things as traditional as possible and I love strings and I love to just keeping them traditional and very classy.

Mike: Cool, and Dolly Parton is going to be joining you, yes?

Carrie: Yes, she was very nice, nice enough to come and be a part of the show. I got to sing with her and she did some stuff on her own, too. Iíd never met her before this, so I was so excited to be able to get to talk to her and obviously get to sing with her. It felt like such a special moment for me in the show to be able to perform with her. It was a dream come true.

Mike: Yes, sheís a funny person and youíre doing on the CMAs, funny as well. So I feel like it could play off each other if you do any skits, too.

Carrie: Yes, we didnít really doóI did something with her. It really wasnít a skit. It was more kind of an impromptu fun moment. When Dollyís there, you just step out of the spotlight; let her do her thing because no matter how hard you try, sheís going to steal the spotlight. Itís great. Itís the way it should be.

Moderator: Next, we have Katie Kauss with

Katie: So I know youíre talking about a Christmas album and how youíve recorded. But do you have favorite Christmas song of all time?

Carrie: Oh, man, I love things like O Holy Night. I think thatís probably my favorite, but Little Drummer Boy, and things like that. I have those on my records. Theyíre just the things that really puts you in a Christmas frame of mind.

Katie: What was the best present youíve ever received for Christmas?

Carrie: Oh, I donít know. I remember when I was little, I wanted a TV so bad. Thereís wasnít a box underneath the tree big enough to have a TV in it. So I was kind of getting disappointed, the closer it got to Christmas because there was never another box that was under there that was big enough. And my mom had wrapped up the remote and it was like whatever, the smallest TV you could possibly get, it was my TV. I think I had that sucker until I was like, they might even still have it at the house to be honest, I was probably like 15, 20 years old, but that was really awesome to like a seven year old girl.

Katie: What will you be doing for Christmas this year?

Carrie: Iíll just be with my family. We donít really have that many traditions, but we are together and thatís the most important thing. We eat ourselves silly and try, of course, remember the true meaning of Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Katie: Do you have a favorite food to eat on Christmas?

Carrie: Goodness, my mom always makes like a broccoli cheese casserole and we do like potato casseroles and stuff like that. Just whatever is meat free. I can load on my plate, Iím there. I am not a picky eater. I just love food.

Moderator: Weíll go to Hunter Kelly with ABC News Radio.

Hunter: It was so funny last week watching you and Brad sing those songs. So I wanted to know about what you did with Kristin Chenoweth and Christina Applegate for this special, as far as the skits and working with them and really just working on your comedic side.

Carrie: Well, they were great. I think itís a lot easier to do stuff like that when you have two people around you that actually know what theyíre doing. And they both have great comedic timing. Like I said, they know what theyíre doing. So we ended up doing a medley of sorts of throwback songs, like the Ď50s, Ď60s vibe with matching pink dresses and beehives. It was just a lot of fun being around them and theyíre great. They showed up and they were willing to do whatever we needed them to do. Three blondes, we had fun together.

Hunter: Hopefully, you can talk about what you do on the show with your Ö friend, David Cook.

Carrie: We sing together, which the first time we sang together was last year, was it last year, it seems like a long time ago, at the opening in Disney World of the American Idol attraction. They asked us to sing together and we did and it was like, hey, this is really good. This feels really good. So we kind of rocked out for a minute and got to sing together again and I think, again, itís probably one of my favorites on the show, because I just love him to death.

Moderator: We have Paulette Cohn with ET Online.

Paulette: Can you talk about some of the songs that youíre going to sing, specific songs, name them instead of just generally?

Carrie: I hate to give away too much information, but another one of my favorite moments, of course, is singing with Dolly. We kind of did one of her classics that many should recognize, but it was an amazing moment in the show and she was so great. I thought we sounded really good together. Like I said, it was a dream come true for me.

Paulette: Do you still watch American Idol?

Carrie: Yes, maíam, of course. I will always have just the biggest love for American Idol as a participant and as a fan. Now itís so crazy for me to watch and think, ďOh my gosh, I was on that show.Ē But I love the people on that. I love the people working on it. I love to go back and talk to the contestants and I feel, I vote, too, just like everybody else. I sit out there and I vote, so itís great to understand being a fan and being a participant. I get to see both sides.

Moderator: Next is Alex Dobozinskis with Reuters.

Alex: You just released another hit album and itís funny because it comes out now at a time when a lot of this yearís Idol finalists are also getting ready to release their albums. What would you say or what do you think that they need to do to get to the point that you are now at your career?

Carrie: I feel like any contestant that comes off Idol that does well on Idol has to stay true to what people voted for. Iíve seen it happen a few times where people are one thing on the show and then they get off the show and try to do something else. And thatís really strange because Idol is one of those things that theyíre telling you what they want. People are telling you we love this person as is. Itís the best testing form that you can possibly have because Ö what they want. So I think itís just really important to remember why people voted for you and, of course, cross your fingers and say a little prayer and hope that people dig what youíre doing.

Alex: You mentioned that you vote. From this past season, do you have some favorites that youíd like to talk about now?

Carrie: I was one of those that, I really like Chris Allen. He seemed really genuine and he was from my neck in the woods. I use to do a few shows here and there in Connelly, Arkansas. So it was cool to see not a hometown boy, because it was still a four hour drive, but from my neck of the woods.

I love Danny Gokey, too. I thought he was just the sweetest person. Iíve gotten to know him a little bit from the show and heís hanging out in Nashville now, so hopefully heíll be done with his stuff and be on his way because I think heís really sweet.

Moderator: Next weíll go to David Martindale with the Hearst Newspapers.

David: By the way, I saw the CMT invitation only special and enjoyed it, too. Who are some of the artists in your CD collection or on your iPod that might surprise people to learn that you listen to?

Carrie: I honestly listen to everything, Ö is one of my favorite. I know some of them and like Trevor is just amazing. I think they are people that deserve a lot more credit than they get. I donít know. I am an Idol fan, so I do have a lot of other idols on my iPod. I love classic things. I love like Rolling Stones and things that my parents introduced me to, Creedence Clearwater Revival, like Ne-Yo, I donít know. Itís just a big mess on my iPod. You never know what youíre going to get when you put on shuffle. I think thatís good, though. I love music in general.

Moderator: Next weíll go Juliet Izon with Life & Style Weekly.

Juliet: So we were just hoping you could set the record straight for us because one of the tabloids accused you of cutting off Brad Paisley from praising Taylor Swift so that the focus went back to you. So we just wanted to get your own opinion on that.

Carrie: I just want to say that that was really hurtful. My brain would never operate that way at all. I have so much respect for every single person that is in that room, because most of the people that are in that room are in the music industry. They are part of it. I would never dream of doing anything like that. Like I said, my brain does not work that way and it was really, really hurtful to see such a great night and such a great moment be turned into trash. That just made me sad and it made me sadder foróI feel like stuff like that kind of takes away anybodyís moment more than anything else because thatís turning somebodyís great moment into a tabloid headline and thatís sad.

Moderator: We apologize, we are out of time. Weíll take one last question from Susan Yeager with Entertainment News.

Susan: I am a big fan of Sons of Sylvia and have the utmost respect for those guys. I wanted to ask you how that collaboration came about and did you consider any other bigger names for that duet.

Carrie: I think when we wrote the song, it was written as a duet, so itís not one that we tried to turn into a duet. And tons of names, of course, you think of all the obvious people, but Iím kind of a person that would like to do the not so obvious choice. Like when we had Ö on the Grammyís last, that wasnít really somebody, somebody would have been like they should get together. It was completely unexpected and it was so wonderful. So I kind of wanted to do the same thing with this song.

Ashley Clark, whoís the lead vocalist of Sons of Sylvia was in my band when I first came off of Idol, so Iíve known him for about five years now. Weíd sing together in our shows, so I knew we sounded good together.

When I went to everybody with this idea, it was kind of like, ďOh, my gosh, yes, this works so well.Ē And then we got into the studio and they completely transformed the song. It sounds nothing like the demo. They really put their spin on it and they are so freaking talented, itís amazing.

So Ashley gets in the studio and I just think we sounded really good together and I was so excited that they wanted to be a part of it. I love the way it turned out. So it adds a different element thatís little unexpected, but hopefully, a lot of people will hear them and say whoís that and be really interested in them because I think they are amazingly talented.

Susan: Do you know if that song is going to be a single?

Carrie: I honestly have no idea. I think we have so many options for singles right now that it is hard toóthings change from week to week and new songs getóoh, we have to do this one. I donít know. We hear peopleís favorites and stuff like that, so itís one of those that itíd be great if it was, but I honestly have no clue.

Moderator: We are out of time. Carrie, do you have any closing remarks?

Carrie: Just thank you, guys, for coming. Thanks for dialing in. I hope people really enjoy the special and thank you, guys, for hopefully writing nice things about it.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference. You may now disconnect.

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