At last week's Southern showdown on American Idol
, Carrie Underwood
— the 21-year-old Reese Witherspoon
look-alike from Oklahoma — captured the coveted title. Of course, the wholesome young lady had already been crowned America's sweetheart well before she officially snagged more votes than Bo Bice
, the 29-year-old rocker from Alabama. Next up, she goes on a whirlwind publicity tour to promote the heck out of herself, and particularly her first single, "Inside Your Heaven," which drops June 14. TVGuide.com is one of Miss Underwood's stops on her way to ruling the country charts, which means we get to give her a (gentle) grilling!TVGuide.com: The sentimental "Inside Your Heaven" seems to be for you what "A Moment Like This" was for Kelly Clarkson. Did Idol give you any say about singing that song?
They just gave me that song to sing but fortunately, I love it. So I'm really glad.
TVG: Why are you glad? Specifically, what do you like about this song?
It's just a good song to me. I feel good about it. It's got highs and lows and a good melody.
TVG: Any chance of a Carrie-Bo duet on your first full album? You two sounded flawless doing "Up Where We Belong."
I would love that! You never know. I'm sure we could work that in. Bo and I will be spending a whole lot of time together in the next couple of months [on the American Idol
tour]. After that, I'll definitely keep in touch with them all.
TVG: Jessica and Lindsey stood up in the audience throughout one of your songs on Tuesday night. Did you notice their show of support?
notice. Lindsey's been one of my friends from the beginning. She was just so happy for me. It's so wonderful that [she] can still be happy for [me] like that. Me and Lindsey and Mikalah
were really close; we were roommates. And I've also been close with Anthony
and Bo. We didn't have our family or friends here with us, so we kinda had to rely on each other. This is the best group of people, I
think, that has ever been on American Idol
's stage and they're just so wonderful to be around.
TVG: You and Anthony seemed close. You tearfully mouthed "I love you" to him in one episode!
Yes, I did and lord knows I opened up a can of worms on that one! Everybody's like, "Oh, Carrie and Anthony are together!" I was like, "No, I don't love him like that
." He's like a little brother to me. It's just a friendship. I'm not with
anybody on the show. That seems to be most people's [misconception].
TVG: How did you take Simon's constant criticisms of your hair and clothes?
His biggest problem always seemed to be with my image. I'm never going to wear anything that I don't feel comfortable in, which is, like, anything
that's revealing at all. 'Cause I'll always keep tuggin' at it.... I always picked outfits, hairstyles and makeup to fit the song that I was doing. [Chuckles
] Maybe I'll get some help in that department, and Simon won't have any problems with it!
TVG: What was Simon's worst slam?
It was either the "Stepford Wife" comment or the dishwashing-detergent commercial one. He had some good ones; I don't know how he thinks of these things!
TVG: You have a good sense of humor. But did those jabs ever really hurt?
Those things never really bothered me. Of course, it's hard to have him criticize your talent in front of everybody. If it were just us in a room and they told me I did a horrible job, that'd be one thing. But it's really a lot more difficult when you know the whole world's
TVG: Of course, it seemed like Simon was dropping huge hints that viewers should vote for you.
I know Simon's been a supporter from the beginning, but everybody loves Bo. It was up to America in the end. I told Bo, "We really should've stopped Ryan before he opened that envelope, and called it a tie. We'll both be the American Idol."
TVG: Inside TV published a story about you breaking up with your college boyfriend, Drake Clark, after moving to L.A. to do Idol. Was all that true?
] Yes. We weren't even dating for that long, about six months. The majority of our time together [at college] was spent not together. It's not the right time in my life at all for a relationship. People were calling his parents [after that article] like, "Did Carrie and Drake break up?"
TVG: Oh, well. Now that you're in the Hollywood limelight, have you got any celebrity dream dates?
Underwood: Johnny Depp
's my favorite actor, but he's married and a little old for me. [Laughs
] I think Josh Hartnett
's a cutie. I think he might be a little bit of a player, though. I honestly don't think I'd like to date a famous person.
TVG: I hope you find someone nice from back home in Oklahoma then.