|The Confessions of Carrie Underwood |
Beauty Carrie Underwood open up at her romance with Dallas Cowboy's quarterback Tony Romo in the new Entertainment Weekly , Carrie also talks about her family & American Idol
On her romance with Dallas Cowboy's quarterback Tony Romo:
The private Carrie Underwood, suddenly spilling all about her love life with NFL quarterback Tony Romo? Not so fast: Though Underwood seemed to be enjoying a blossoming relationship with the Dallas Cowboy earlier this year - he was her date to the ACM Awards and each flew to the other's side for their respective birthdays - she swears they were never a couple. "At one point it seemed like that's where it was headed," she says, "but point blank, he is about football. I don't know if it's that I'm not quite his type or whatever, but I don't think he's at the point in his life where he would be willing to sacrifice football. He hated so much that people thought that he was paying more attention to me and that was causing him to not do well." (Could she be talking about the fumble last January that helped cost his team a playoff win?) For his part, Romo tells Sports Illustrated, "I've been lucky to get to know her. We're friends." Either way, Underwood continues to be a Dallas cheerleader: "The Cowboys are still my favorite team - no matter what happens with us."
How do you prepare for all the scrutiny that'll surely be placed on you as you release your follow-up?
It's already been placed on me and the album. It's more annoying than anything. I've learned this, that haters wanna hate. You could sing a song perfectly, you could write the songs perfectly, and some people are absolutely going to hate you. I heard, like, on live shows, people thought I was lip-synching. Which, I guess, hey, if they think it sounds that good that they think I'm lip-synching, I'll take it. Whatever. I know there's a certain point where I have to just be like, ''Forget it, I don't care.'' And I do care.
Some Hearts had a handful of pop songs, while Carnival Ride absolutely sounds like a country record the whole way through.
The first one definitely had a different purpose to serve. I'd gained a big following from Idol of people who were not all country-music listeners. I want to be a country artist in a country world with country fans. We had to figure out a way, even if they're not country-music fans, to make them country-music fans.
You co-wrote several songs on this record, compared with only one the first time.
I'm so new at the writing game that I just wanted to see what I could do. I'm not sure if I could sit down and write a whole song by myself. A lot of people write throughout their lives and then if they get a record deal, they have material. I never thought I'd be in the position I'm in now. So I never tried to write.
Have you ever had singing lessons?
Years ago I got together with a voice coach briefly and I hated it, because I felt like they tried to change things that, like, would make me me, you know? There's been a lot of growth over the past two years. I think I sound different now. I've gotten a lot more practice and everything's just gotten easier. Like, notes that I could barely hit for the first album — like, ''Oh my gosh, this is gonna kill me'' — are a piece of cake now. We're on to new notes now that are way in the stratosphere. On [Carnival's] ''All-American Girl,'' the high note is the highest I've ever hit.
On Amazon.com, all these user reviews say...
''She's not country.'' [Makes raspberry noise and sticks her thumbs down] Okay, here's my thing: On Top 40 stations, nobody cares that you'll have Fergie next to 50 Cent. They're different. Why can't you have me next to somebody that's more traditional country? You can call me ''not country'' until your face is blue, but I sing country music.
Is it true that your label asked you to record pop versions of some of the country tracks on Some Hearts, like ''Before He Cheats,'' and you said no?
I didn't have to put my foot down, thank goodness. I hate it when country artists do that. You're listening to a song on one station and you turn it and you hear a different version? It's like, ''All right, it's not good enough for everybody this way, so let's change it to make it good enough.''
But Shania Twain recorded pop versions of all the songs on Up! and it made her a superstar.
I liked the original country version. On all the ones that she redid.
Since you want to be considered a country artist, were you worried when ''Cheats'' became a pop hit?
I wasn't, because we didn't change the song. I did sing it on SNL, but we sang it as it was. It wasn't like, ''This is my new pop single, 'Before He Cheats.'''
Let's talk about your time on Idol. What went through your mind after you sang ''Alone'' and Simon said, ''Not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner''?
I thought, I might be here another week. I can go on tour and make enough money to pay for college.
Come on! You didn't think you had it in the bag?
They said around 100,000 people tried out. For me to think that I'm one in 100,000 was ludicrous. I've always loved to sing, and I thought it would be the coolest job ever, and I thought I was okay, but there were people that were so good that made it to Hollywood Week who people never even saw.
Do you like being famous?
I love being able to perform in front of people. I like potentially making a difference in somebody's day or somebody's life. Sometimes things can get kind of scary. Like, I was in Victoria's Secret the other day, which I went to for the first time last year, 'cause, I don't know, I have a weird thing about that.
What do you mean?
I have problems going into a store like that. I'm a private person, and I don't want people knowing what kind of underwear I like. It's creepy! But these girls followed me the whole time, and I'm like, ''Man, they see every single pair of underwear I'm putting in my little shopping bag!'' Just say something. Say hey, I'll say hey, it'll be good, and then we can both continue shopping.
So what do you want us to know about you?
Not that much. I'm funny but I'm not, like, too funny. I'd rather go bowling than go to a club. A lot of people think I don't like them just because I'm pretty quiet. But there are certain things people don't necessarily need to know. There's got to be some things for me.
Both of your older sisters have kids. How old were they when they got married?
I think Shanna was 17, and I think Stephanie was 19. I'm about the only person in my family that's made it to 24 without being married. That's the way it works where I'm from. Most people, if you find someone to marry in high school, you do that, and if you don't find that, then you find someone in college. The End. I couldn't imagine myself being married [now].
At next month's CMA Awards, you have three nominations, but not Entertainer of the Year, the biggest prize. In the last six years, no women have been nominated for that. Why do you think that is?
Um, I don't know. And frankly, I get mad when I think about it. I feel like we have to work three times as hard as the guys just to be almost where they are. I don't think it's fair, and I don't think it's right, and I'm hoping I can do something about that.
I've heard people say it's because that award is primarily about touring, and the guys are the ones who play the big arenas.
'Cause they get the opportunity! People like Martina McBride, it's not like they're singing in front of 25 people — they're singing in front of thousands and thousands of people every single night. Someone like that should be nominated.
Speaking of prizes, it seems like you can't go to an awards show without causing some scandal.
It's all my fault! It's just been a lot of bad luck. It's not like I've done anything that I'm in the hot seat.
Is it because you've won so many big awards so early in your career, and not just new-artist awards?
It's just 'cause I didn't go about it the way a lot of people did. Every single person in the music industry knows if they had a chance like [Idol], they'd take it. And I'm sorry, anybody who says I took a shortcut, they are insane. We didn't take the easy way; if anything we took a more difficult way. It was just unconventional, therefore it must be wrong.
There was that one awkward moment backstage at the CMT Music Awards where Wynonna Judd was answering a question about you and then said that country music was ''getting a little vanilla.'' Have you bumped into her since?
There's no weirdness at all. We've had several long talks. I have her phone number. If I ever need anything she's made it very clear that I can call her for whatever. It was just taken out of context. And people want drama, so they will create drama.
But you were within earshot when she said it, and it upset you.
Definitely. I was standing right there. Nobody knew I was back there, but I was back there. It was a big mess. I took it out of context too.
What about that Faith Hill fiasco? I'm sorry, but wasn't it pretty clear that she was joking?
Oh, yeah. And half of the people got that. She called me immediately after that happened. I felt so horrible, and I even told her that. I was like, ''I'm sorry for what I'm sure is about to happen.''
Are you hopeful that this new record will help your case in the country world?
We do have [songs] like ''Flat on the Floor,'' and that's the first impression that you get from that album. It's got a jaw harp on it, it's gritty and very country, and that makes a statement. But it still goes with that ''haters hate'' policy. If you're going to hate me, that's one of the main things that you're going to be able to say, that I allegedly don't sing country music.
Well, there's nothing on Carnival Ride that could be mistaken for a pop song.
I consider that a compliment.
On her romance with Dallas Cowboy's quarterback Tony Romo:
The private Carrie Underwood, suddenly spilling all about her love life with NFL quarterback Tony Romo? Not so fast: Though Underwood seemed to be enjoying a blossoming relationship with the Dallas Cowboy earlier this year — he was her date to the ACM Awards and each flew to the other's side for their respective birthdays — she swears they were never a couple. ''At one point it seemed like that's where it was headed,'' she says, ''but point blank, he is about football. I don't know if it's that I'm not quite his type or whatever, but I don't think he's at the point in his life where he would be willing to sacrifice football. He hated so much that people thought that he was paying more attention to me and that was causing him to not do well.'' (Could she be talking about the fumble last January that helped cost his team a playoff win?) For his part, Romo tells Sports Illustrated, ''I've been lucky to get to know her. We're friends.'' Either way, Underwood continues to be a Dallas cheerleader: ''The Cowboys are still my favorite team — no matter what happens with us."