Carrie Underwood *Almost* Wasn't On 'American Idol' — See Her 5 Best Performances

Carrie Underwood at the CMT Music Awards
Source: MEGA

Nov. 30 2020, Published 2:04 p.m. ET

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The superstar that almost never was! Carrie Underwood spilled that she had second thoughts about competing on American Idol in 2005 and nearly didn’t fly to Los Angeles, Calif., because she was so scared.

The "Before He Cheats" singer went on to win the competition, but she wrote in Guideposts magazine that her American Idol journey didn’t feel like "it was meant to be" at the time. 

Underwood was even going to pass on her first audition as it was a six to seven hour drive from her home, but her mom offered to take her there. "The summer before my senior year, I was home one day, watching TV … and saw a news segment about people auditioning for the show American Idol,” she recalled. “I checked online. The closest auditions were being held in St. Louis.”

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"Going through a slew of auditions in St. Louis, getting the 'golden ticket' to Hollywood, every contestant’s dream, I was terrified," Underwood recalled. 


Then, after Underwood's parents drove her to the airport to catch her flight to L.A., she burst into tears because it "was all too much."

"My dad turned to me in the backseat. 'Carrie,' he said, 'we can go home right now, and we don’t ever have to talk about it again,'" she recalled. "I took a deep breath. 'No,' I said at last. 'I'll go.'"

15 years later, the rest is history as Underwood went on to win the show and became one of the most famous country singers in the world. 

Scroll through the gallery below to watch Underwood's best American Idol performances.

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Her First Audition

A 21-year-old Underwood covered "I Can't Make You Love Me" by George Michael for her first audition and impressed the judges enough to land herself a ticket to Hollywood!

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Underwood was the lone country singer on American Idol in 2005 and decided to push herself out of her comfort zone and sing a big rock song. The edgy tune "Alone" by Heart suited Underwood's strong voice and kept her in the competition.

American Idol
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Her Finale Performance

After Underwood won the fourth season of American Idol, she gave a victorious and emotional performance of "Inside Your Heaven."

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Jesus, Take The Wheel

One year after she won American Idol, Underwood returned a year later to perform her hit song "Jesus, Take The Wheel" during season 5.

Blown Away

Underwood returned to the American Idol stage again in 2012 to promote the release of her album, Blown Away, and performed the title track.


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