Saturday, March 27, 2010


Carrie Underwood learned something new when she sang the National Anthem at this year’s Super Bowl. She tells Lon Helton of Country Countdown USA that she never knew people bet money on the time it takes to sing the anthem. “We went to a party, and more than anything men would come up and ask. “How long do you think the anthem’s gonna be.’ People even texted Mike, my fiancĂ© how long it was gonna be. I said, ‘That’s cheating! What time do they have for it?’ They said ‘1:42.’ But I felt like I was cheating. I felt dirty. If I lost some people some money, I’m sorry. I didn’t have music. I had a click track in my ears, so I could keep some sort of time, but it dropped out at the end. So I could have gone faster or slower.”

The Super Bowl was just one of the topics they discussed. Carrie also performed in the Michael Jackson tribute at the Grammy Awards. “It was great, the coolest part for me was being in rehearsal with Celine Dion, Usher, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson, everybody walked in, no egos, they were there for a common purpose, to honor someone in a way the people around him wanted to be honored. They could have picked any one of his songs, but they wanted “Earth Song” because that was his love and passion. It was cool they asked us to do that song. I never met Michael, but the people who had, to see how emotional they got, made me want to do my best. I met Smokey Robinson before, but never sang with him. He’s just warm and sweet. There was one moment when we were in rehearsal, someone said we should do something, and he said, ‘I second that emotion.’ It was really cool. Celine Dion was amazing. All the ladies were in one dressing room, and she was doing her vocal warm-ups, and it was really cool. She does stuff I can’t do. She speaks in French a lot too. I didn’t know what she was saying.”

Carrie has branched into acting lately. She appeared in an episode of the CBS-TV show “How I Met Your Mother.” Carrie told Lon it was her first real TV show experience. “It was good, I’d do it again. While you’re filming it, the clothes and hair were different for me because I was playing a character. I usually wear a lot more make-up, and they had me more natural. I got to play with a pig, that was cool. We had a little problem with the pig. They were three days old, and they were adorable, but at one point, one of my co-stars said, ‘What is that?” And it was on my dress, so you can imagine what it was. So I had to ask for a new dress. They just had one back-up dress. The pig didn’t mess that one up.”

One other acting project on Carrie’s schedule this year is a movie called “Soul Surfer,” the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. Carrie told Lon, “There’s so many amazing things in this story. Her dad was in surgery when they brought her in. Not only did she bounce back afterwards, but she learned how to surf with one arm.” Carrie character plays an integral part in Bethany’s rehabilitation. “I was her youth leader who was instrumental in helping them all through. I’m honored. This is one of those things at the end of my career and think I was a part of it. It doesn’t matter how many people see it. It was a wonderful thing to be a part of. It makes you want to be a fighter. If she can face that, you can face anything.”

Back in February, Carrie appeared at the annual Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. Her record label puts together an incredible show for radio programmers, and Carrie did a couple of very special duets. The first was with Miranda Lambert on the classic Cree dance Clearwater Revival song “Traveling Band.” Carrie says the song was Miranda’s idea. “I asked to sing with her, and texted her about it, but didn’t know what to sing. So she says, ‘I like old rock,’ and we went back and forth on a song until I said, ‘What about CCR?’ She goes, ‘I love them.’ And she suggested Traveling Band because her band knew it, so we did it. But we never rehearsed it. That was the first time we sang it. That was a lot of fun. I think that’s going to be the first of more. I also told my record label that we need to do some side project with all the women. Write our own stuff, see what we can do.” Then at the end, rocker Bryan Adams was introduced, did a couple hits by himself, then brought out Brad Paisley, and then it was Carrie’s turn to sing. “I got to sing “It’s Only Love” with Bryan, he originally did that with Tina Turner, and he’s a nice guy. I was impressed at us! We had a lot of fun, there was one note when we were singing, and we both held it for a crazy amount of time. We were able to let loose and have some fun.”

Lon Helton's interview with Carrie Underwood aired on Country Countdown USA over the weekend of March 27-28, 2010. Excerpts are available at the show's website,