Kellie Pickler Kellie Pickler

GAC's before-they-were-famous series Day Jobs (Wednesdays, 10/9c) regularly tasks country stars with working their old 9-to-5s, but on occasion, the series allows artists to get a taste of their other dream gigs. For Kellie Pickler, that means caring for animals — and awfully large ones at that. In tonight's new episode, the American Idol alum, who recently released the throwback-country album 100 Proof, learns how to be a caregiver for elephants. We asked Pickler about playing Dr. Dolittle.

TV Guide Magazine: This is a refuge, not a zoo, right?
Yes, it's the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. It's not a petting zoo or an amusement park. They have thousands of acres and they created a natural wildlife habitat for these elephants to roam. All of the elephants have had trauma, whether it was at a circus or a zoo. Now, for the first time, they have freedom.

TV Guide Magazine: What was the most surprising thing you learned about the pachyderms?
How smart they are. They're so much like us, in the sense that they have feelings — they just don't have a voice. There was a stray dog that bonded with one of the elephants there, and that elephant protected that dog like it was its own baby. This grown, big-ass elephant was best friends with this little-bitty dog! I've never seen anything like that.

TV Guide Magazine: It sounds like you really enjoyed the experience.
I loved everything about it, except cleaning the poop. That was my only diva moment. But I think I did what anyone else would have done when they saw that pile!

TV Guide Magazine: So are you watching American Idol this season?
I haven't been able to keep up with it much since I've been on the road. But I was so excited to go back and perform and meet the contestants. Skylar sang one of my songs ["Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You"] and I thought she did a great job. There's a lot of talent this year.

TV Guide Magazine: Aside from animals and music, what's your other dream job?
Something that would allow me to travel. Whether it would be a flight attendant or whatever, as long as it enabled me to not be in the same place for too long.

TV Guide Magazine: Well, maybe for your next Day Jobs you can be a flight attendant.
[Laughs] I'd get the whole plane drunk!

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