Carrie Underwood Reveals Why She Never Thought She Would Win 'American Idol'

When Carrie Underwood auditioned for Season 4 of American Idol, she hoped she would make it onto the show, but she never expected she would actually win. The Oklahoma native thought she would ultimately be eliminated from the reality TV talent show, and would go back to college at Northeastern State University to finish her degree, before she was unexpectedly crowned the winner.

"To be 1000 percent honest, I'm from the tiniest town in the world," Underwood shared at Country Radio Seminar (CRS). "I'd never been on a plane before. I like to sing, but lots of people like to sing. I wanted to grow up to be a famous singer, but a lot of people do. I think what I honestly thought would happen was, I would go there, and the door would shut, and I could move on with the rest of my life saying, 'Well, I tried.'"

It was a fluke that Underwood decided to try out for American Idol, although she had no idea at the time how much that one decision would impact the rest of her life.

"I had no idea how to get here, and it was just one of those God moments where everything just lined up an instant," Underwood reflected. "I learned a ton on the show and was blessed enough to work with so many incredible people. Even after the show was over, it would just kind of be people being placed in my life, that I still work with, who are just absolutely amazing.

"We worked hard to say, 'Okay, yes, we're going to start out in a different place, as far as the world knows,' but just really wanting to earn every second,'" she added.

Underwood acknowledges that not everyone is fortunate enough to start out by being super-famous, as she did, but insists she has worked just as hard, if not harder, than others who find their success in more traditional ways.

"I feel like my path to the music industry started the way a lot of other people's do," Underwood insisted. "It just wasn't seen. I grew up always wanting to sing and would sing anywhere. I'd take any opportunities. We had a band when I was a teenager, and we would go play bars in Oklahoma and Arkansas, and do car shows, fairs, and county fairs. I did the company Christmas parties and stuff like that, too. So, it was just trying to get experience and doing what I loved, and I just always wanted to sing.

"But, of course, my path took a major turn when I decided to try out for American Idol," she continued. "I think at that point I was at a time in my life where it was like, 'Grow up' ... I had to make some kind of decision, and I was about to graduate from university, and it was time to grow up, get a job, right?"


Underwood's debut album, Some Hearts, sold more than eight million copies.

Photo Credit: Getty / Eric McCandless