Tomorrow night, FOX gives its best shot at reviving the holiday variety show with “Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special.”
Carrie will sing her hits and holiday tunes and participate in skits with David Cook, Brad Paisley, Kristin Chenoweth, Christina Applegate, Dolly Parton and more.
A few weeks ago, Carrie participated in a conference call with the media to talk about the show, although she was pretty quiet about specific details. The thing that struck me most about hearing Carrie talk is how young she sounds. You would never expect that big singing voice to come from the same person. And Carrie comes off just as down to Earth on the phone as she does on TV.
Here’s a taste of what she had to say…
On variety shows: “I just missed the variety stuff era…It’s great family programming. It was fun to tape.”
On Brad Paisley: “Brad and I have a lot of history together. He’s just a great guy. We have a lot of fun. We do a song together and he does one of his own.” Carrie explained that Brad was unable to be in LA for the taping so they do something “kind of cool” to bring two locations together.
On doing a Christmas album: “I would love to…I love classic Christmas songs. I like doing things very traditional. There are so many things that are just perfect as they are.” However, Carrie admitted she would have to add some of herself to the songs because “if we sing songs the same way nobody would want to hear it.”
On Dolly Parton: “I get to sing with Dolly. I had never met her before this. It felt like such a special moment for me. A dream come true. When Dolly’s there, you just step back and let her have the spotlight.” Again, Carrie wouldn’t give up titles, but she said she and Dolly sing one of Dolly’s classics. “I thought we sounded really good together.”
On her favorite Christmas songs: Carrie said her favorites were “O Holy Night” (which the promos show her singing) and “Little Drummer Boy.”
On the best Christmas present she ever got. When she was seven, Carrie wanted a TV, but on Christmas morning there wasn’t a box under the tree big enough. Her mother had wrapped the remote. “It was really awesome for a 7-year-old girl.”
On what she’ll be doing for Christmas this year: “I’ll be with my family. We are together and that’s the most important thing. We’ll eat ourselves silly and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus…I’m not a picky eater. I just love food.”
On Kristin Chenoweth and Christina Applegate: “They were great. It’s easier to do it when you have people who know what they’re doing…We’re three blondes. We had fun together.” Carrie said they do a medley of songs with a 50s/60s vibe.
On David Cook: “I love him to death. We kind of rocked out for a minute. It’s one of my favorite moments from the show.” Carrie would not share what song the duo sings, but Internet reports say it’s Van Halen’s “Why Can’t This Be Love.” Carrie said when the duo sang together at the opening of the Idol Experience at Disney World, she thought, “Hey this is really good” so she wanted the opportunity to sing with him again.
On whether she still watches “Idol”: “Yes of course. I will always have the biggest love for ‘American Idol’ as a participant and a fan. I vote too.”
On her advice for “Idol” contestants post-“Idol”: “I feel like any contestant has to stay true to what people voted for. It’s really strange when they try to do something else. [The “Idol” voters] are telling us we love this person as is…You cross your fingers and say a little prayer.”
On her favorites from last season: “I really like Kris Allen. He’s from my neck of the woods. I loved Danny Gokey. I got to know him a little bit. He’s really sweet. He’s hanging out in Nashville. Hopefully he’ll be done with his stuff soon and be on his way.”
On what’s on her iPod: A lot of other Idols, The Rolling Stones, Credence Clearwater Revival, Ne-Yo. “It’s a big mess. You never know what you’re going to get when you put it on shuffle.”
Finally, Carrie was able to address the slight controversy that popped up on the Internet after the CMAs. Some people said that Carrie dissed Taylor Swift when she appeared to interrupt Brad Paisley talking about what a special night it was for Swift to compliment the job they did hosting….
“It was really hurtful. My brain would never operate that way at all. I have so much respect for the people in that room. It was such a great moment turned into trash. Stuff like that takes away everybody’s moment. It’s sad that someone turns a great moment into a tabloid headline.”
“Carrie Underwood’s An All-Star Holiday Special” airs Monday, December 7th from 8-10 p.m. on FOX…Photos Credit: Michael Becker/FOX