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Carrie Underwood Reminisces on Her ‘American Idol’ Days as She Performs in Los Angeles: ‘Magical’

By Grace Turney,


Carrie Underwood stepped into the spotlight on American Idol season 4, and now she is one of the biggest country music stars in the world. She recently reflected on her competition show days during a stop on her Denim & Rhinestones tour. Here’s what Underwood said about American Idol and what she’s most excited about on tour.
Carrie Underwood | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Carrie Underwood is 1 of the biggest stars to come from ‘American Idol’

Underwood was a 21-year-old college student when she auditioned for American Idol in 2004. The first time the Checotah, Oklahoma native flew on an airplane was for the competition show.

“It was terrifying. It still freaks me out, to be honest,” Underwood described her first plane trip to Hollywood on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She said she missed one of her connecting flights and feared she’d miss her chance to be on the show. “I’m on the phone with whoever our contact person was and I’m like, ‘Please don’t kick me off the show!’ But I made it!”

After impressing the judges at her audition, Underwood went on to win season 4 of American Idol. During one of her performances on the show, judge Simon Cowell predicted the rising star would not only win the season, but would become more successful than the show’s previous winners.

“You’re not just the girl to beat, you’re the person to beat,” Cowell said after Underwood sang “Alone” by Heart. “I will make a prediction: Not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner.”

Since winning the competition show, Underwood has won eight Grammy Awards, earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and amassed an impressive net worth of $140 million.

Carrie Underwood reflected on her ‘American Idol’ days during her ‘Denim & Rhinestones’ tour

Underwood recently reminisced on her American Idol days during one of the last stops on her Denim & Rhinestones tour.

“I’m from a small town in OK…I currently live outside of Nashville, TN…but I’ve got roots in LA, too,” Underwood wrote in a March 14 Instagram post. “I took my first plane ride when I was 21 years old out to LA during auditions for #AmericanIdol. It was pretty much my first trip ANYWHERE and I was alone…but Los Angeles was magical to me, so somehow it didn’t seem as scary to this small town farm kid…”

She continued, “Flash forward 19 years and here we are playing to a monstrous, incredible crowd at the @cryptocomarena and, while I’m still a small town farm girl at heart, LA still holds a part of it, too!”

The country music star shared what excites her most about the ‘Denim & Rhinestones’ tour

Underwood launched her Denim & Rhinestones tour in October 2022 and will play her final show on March 17. The two-hour concert features hits spanning the star’s lengthy career, with Underwood performing aerial acrobatics in a suspended sphere.

“I always want to be sure every tour is a new and unique experience for the fans,” the singer told Music Row in October 2022. “We’re always looking at different ways to perform the hits that everyone knows and loves and, of course, it’s fun to get to bring the new music to life on stage. The challenge is always figuring out how much we can fit into a show and we like to get creative with different ways to represent as many songs as we can, even if we aren’t able to perform entire versions of every one.”

Underwood revealed what she looked forward to on the Denim & Rhinestones tour. “I’m most excited about performing new music from Denim & Rhinestones – it’s such a fun, energetic album, which I think we all need right now, and we definitely bring that upbeat, party vibe to the stage.”

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